Archives – July, 2017

Who’s really anti‑science?

From: Spiked

Yaël Ossowski


On the pesticide front, anti-science claims by publicly funded NGOs have routinely tipped the UK and the EU against innovation and established research. The chemical and weed-killer glyphosate has come under fire from various NGOs for its apparent connection to carcinogens, despite definitive statements from the European Food Safety Authority and 27 out of 28 member states which argue the opposite. ‘If political actors discredit scientific organisations because they don’t like the outcome in one out of 100 cases, they diminish the reputation of an organisation that they as policymakers will need to rely on in future’, said Bernhard Url, executive director of the European Food Safety Authority.

Leave a Comment July 17, 2017

Cornell University’s New York State Beekeeper Tech Team is Working to Secure US Food Supply

From: Observer

Mite takes major bite out of honeybee population, threatens crops

ITHACA — A tiny mite is causing major problems for New York’s honeybee population and is threatening the fruit and vegetable crops that are a major part of the state’s $500 million agriculture industry.

Cornell University scientists are tackling the problem by working with beekeepers whose colonies are at risk. Launched in 2016, the New York State Beekeeper Tech Team sampled 309 honeybee colonies from 70 apiaries across New York last fall. They found that 90 percent of the colonies were infested with varroa mites, and discovered deformed wing virus in 96 percent of the colonies and 100 percent of the operations sampled.

Leave a Comment July 7, 2017

CATCH THE BUZZ – N.Y. honeybees stung hard by varroa mite, researchers find

From: Bee Culture | The Magazine of American Beekeeping

By David Nutt

A small mite is causing big trouble for New York’s honeybee population and putting in peril the fruit and vegetable crops that depend on these pollinators.

Other beekeeper team findings:

  • A study of 30 apple orchards revealed a high level of pesticide exposure (five acute cases, 22 chronic). The majority of the high-risk insecticides appear to be coming not from the apples or the pollen that bees are collecting from the apples, but from wildflowers surrounding the orchards, which points to a potential issue in grower spray practices.

Leave a Comment July 6, 2017

Toxicity of destruxins against the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and its host Apis mellifera | Toxicidad de destruxinas contra el ácaro parásito Varroa destructor y su hospedador Apis mellifera

From: Journal of Apicultural Research

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The parasitic mite Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman (Acari: Mesostigmata) is the most challenging honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) pest for beekeepers worldwide. Studies involving the use of entomopathogenic fungi for control of mite populations have shown that there is potential for their use, but there are several obstacles to their direct application in the hive. One of the promising fungi is Metarrhizium anisopliae, which produces toxins involved in pathogenicity named “destruxins” (Dtx). In this study, we performed trials to evaluate the toxicity of crude and purified Dtx (fractions A, B, CE and D) towards V. destructor and A. mellifera. Mortality of mites treated with crude Dtx and Dtx B and CE was higher than control mites in all performed trials, in which several solvents and administration modes were employed. When purified Dtx B and CE were administered to honey bees at the higher concentration they caused a significantly higher mortality compared to control, showing the need for further research.

Leave a Comment July 5, 2017

Vice-President’s beehive brings attention to pollinators

From: North Platte Bulletin

In a show of concern for the plight of bees and other pollinators, Second Lady Karen Pence and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue recently unveiled a beehive on the grounds of the U.S. vice president’s res­idence.


The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service is conducting research to improve the nutritional health of bees, to control the Varroa mite and other pests and pathogens, and to understand the effects of pesticides on colonies, the USDA said.

Read Complete Article

Leave a Comment July 5, 2017

Do Neonics Hurt Bees? Researchers and the Media Say Yes. The Data Do Not.


A new, landmark study provides plenty of useful information. If only we could interpret it accurately.

Leave a Comment July 3, 2017

Science by Press Release

From: Forbes

Researchers in the U.K. this week have provided us the most recent example of a scourge about which I and others have written previously: science by press release. It often includes almost everything that is wrong with what passes for science today: ex post facto cherry-picking of data to support an agenda-driven conclusion (a form of “confirmation bias”); hyping of questionable results to garner headlines; the failure of large parts of the science community to call their colleagues on what are clear and egregious distortions; and shortcuts by “science writers” who substitute parroting the press release for critical thinking.

Leave a Comment July 3, 2017

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