Archives – July, 2017

National Farmers Union complains of ‘conspiracy of silence’ following study on impact of neonics

From: FarmingUK

An NFU scientist has complained of a “conspiracy of silence” following the publication of a pan-European study on the impact of neonicotinioids on bees.
Dr Chris Hartfield, the NFU’s acting chief science and regulatory affairs adviser, says that whilst most press and media coverage has suggested the study shows a link between use of neonicotinoids and falling bee numbers, most of the study’s results showed no impact whatsoever and some results recorded a positive effect.

“There are only six out of 84 results that show a negative impact,” he told FarmingUK.

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Leave a Comment July 31, 2017

Medical Oregano: New Mexico State University researchers study medicinal benefits of oregano for bees

From: New Mexico State University

‘Bee’ healthy: NMSU researchers study medicinal benefits of oregano for bees

Writer: Jane Moorman


Bees preserved in saline solution are being sent to the Bee Information Partnership, a nation-wide beehive health database.

“We are adding our findings to that database to have records of these exact hives as they progress,” Heyduck said. “Population samples of Varroa mite, a parasite threatening honeybees worldwide, will be taken at multiple times from the project hives and will serve as an indicator of oregano’s effect on bee health.”

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Leave a Comment July 28, 2017

New York State Becoming Aware of Varroa Mites

From: Manuka Honey USA


The Effect of Varroa Mites

One person who agrees that varroa mites are a huge problem is Emma Mullen, who leads the beekeeper tech team at Cornell University, which is funding numerous research teams searching for answers about the high die-off rates. “The varroa mite is a parasite that’s kind of similar to a tick, and it actually latches onto honeybees and it sucks the blood and feeds on the fat stores of honeybees,” Mullen says. “We’re actually working with [other local] beekeepers to figure out what solutions we can come up with.”

Leave a Comment July 27, 2017

Kenya-based centre receives recognition for bee safety

From: Daily Nation



The centre’s African Reference Laboratory for Bee Health headquartered in Nairobi carried out studies that proved the resilience of the African bee against varroa mites, the insects that are implicated in colony collapse in Europe and the Americas.

READ: Icipe set to offer bee health expertise globally: Official 

Dr. Michael Lattorff, Icipe’s head of Environmental Health termed the mite as the most detrimental to bees because it sucks blood of bees in the larva stage and infects them with viral diseases such as the deformed wing virus.

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Leave a Comment July 26, 2017

Purdue Extension Publication Discusses Role of Data Quality Act in Protecting Honey Bees

The distinguished authors of The Complex Life of the Honey Bee: Environmental, Biological, and Chemical Challenges to Colony Health discuss the crucial role of the Data Quality Act in ecological risk assessments. Below is an excerpt. The complete Purdue Extension publication is available here.

Leave a Comment July 25, 2017

Are dispersal mechanisms changing the host-parasite relationship and increasing the virulence of Varroa destructor in managed honey bee colonies?

From: USDA Agriculture Research Service


item Degrandi-hoffman, Gloria
item Ahumada, Fabiana
item Graham, Richard – Henry

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/24/2017

Leave a Comment July 24, 2017

Gove neonicotinoid remarks welcomed

From: Horticulture Week

by Matthew Appleby

The HTA has welcomed a comment by Defra secretary of state Michael Gove on neonicotinoids.

Defra secretary Michael Gove has told MPs UK Government policy on neonicotinoid pesticides will “follow both existing EU protections” and will be “enhanced in line with the science”.


“I’m very pleased he wants to take he science seriously. We’ve always asked for a risk-based approach based on science.

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Leave a Comment July 21, 2017

Explaining Massachusetts’ Attempt to Protect Bees

From: Lancaster Farming

Ed Davidian, President, Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation


The bill, as written, restricts the use of neonicotinoids, a commonly used pesticide, without proper scientific review. Furthermore, research has been inconclusive on bee kills. In fact, the USDA states there are multiple causes of bee death with mites being the most serious problem. There are also viruses and poor nutrition.


Massachusetts farmers need access to healthy pollinators, including bee colonies, to pollinate their crops every spring. Farm Bureau and every farmer in the state supports the beekeeping community. However, farmers and Farm Bureau cannot support knee-jerk reactions that are not backed by scientific data and a refined review process.

Leave a Comment July 20, 2017

York-Laval University Paper on Neonics and Bees Marred by Inconsistencies, Data Deficiencies, Dubious Bee Management and Weak Statistics

From: Terry Daynard’s Blog | Comments about Agriculture, Food and the Bioeconomy

Terry Daynard | @TerryDaynard


This commentary is about the Tsvetkof et al paper. My conclusion, in brief:

This paper joins others in showing that honey bees exposed to high concentrations of neonics (in this case clothianidin) may demonstrate sub-lethal effects. However, the strength of this conclusion is weakened seriously by data inconsistencies and deficiencies, major questions about bee management, and dubious statistical analyses. The potential role of varroa mites and other pests and diseases is ignored.

To learn how I reached that conclusion, read on.

1 Comment July 19, 2017

No Offense, American Bees, But Your Sperm Isn’t Cutting It

From: NPR/The Salt | Food for Thought

Ryan Bell
With an American honeybee queen for a mother and a European honeybee drone for a father, this worker bee has a level of genetic diversity unseen in the U.S. for decades. Researchers at Washington State University hope a deeper gene pool will give a new generation of honeybees much-needed genetic traits, like resistance to varroa mites. The parasite kills a third of American honeybees each year.
Megan Asche/Courtesy of Washington State University

[NPR] Editor’s note: This story is for mature bees only.


Leave a Comment July 18, 2017

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