Archives – September, 2017

Farm Babe: How GMOs help bees

From: AgDaily



The fact is that, according to the USDA, the honeybee population is actually at a 20-year high. Colony collapse disorder was an issue that had originally affected the bees in 2006, however much has been done to alleviate this problem. There were many factors that contributed to their decline, such as habitat loss, varroa mites, bad management, chemicals, and predators.

Leave a Comment September 18, 2017

Poor quality queens focus of colony loss

From: The Western Producer

by Robert Arnason


In 2017, beekeepers have said that poor quality queens are the primary factor for bee colony loss.

“The most frequently cited causes in order from high to low were poor queens, followed by poor winter and spring weather, ineffective varroa control and weak colonies in the fall,” said the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA), in a report published in August.

Read Complete Article

Leave a Comment September 15, 2017

RNAi Offers a New Option for Tackling the Number 1 Threat to Honey Bees

From: University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service via Technology Networks
Varroa mite on an adult worker honey bee (photo by Stephen Ausmus, USDA-ARS), and proportionally sized mite, if scaled up to a human-sized host (photo by Landi Simone, Goose Rock Farm).

The varroa mite is the #1 threat to honey bees and the beekeeping industry around the world.  These parasites infest just about every honey bee colony in the world, except for those in Australia.  Originally a pest of the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana, these mites made the jump to a novel host, Apis mellifera, after people began moving the gentle European honey bee around the world.  The trade and movement of bee stocks has exposed honey bee populations to many new and exotic diseases and pests, many of which have made their way to the U.S. in recent years.

Leave a Comment September 14, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Gloria D Degrandi-Hoffman, Bee Researcher & USDA/ARS 2017 Area Senior Research Scientist of the Year

Editor’s Note: Congratulations to all of the award winners, each of them is a vital example of how federal employees contribute to America’s food security and well-being.

From: USDA/Agricultural Research Service

USDA’s Agricultural Research Service Honors Scientists of the Year

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2017—For her groundbreaking work with food allergies, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist Soheila J. Maleki is the agency’s Distinguished Senior Research Scientist of the Year for 2017. Maleki, a research chemist at ARS’ Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research Unit in New Orleans, Louisiana, is one of many ARS researchers being honored for their scientific achievements.

Leave a Comment September 13, 2017

Effect of Insecticide-Treated Crops on Bees

From: ChemistryViews

  • Author:
  • Published: 12 September 2017
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Environmental Science & Technology/ACS Publications
  • Associated Societies: American Chemical Society (ACS), USA


The team found that the colonies of bumble bees were not significantly affected by the distance from the insecticide-treated plants. They attribute this to the fact that any negative effects of the insecticide could be offset by improved food supply. For the honey bees, the survival of the colonies and the queen bees was also unaffected. However, there was a small negative effect of the neonicotinoid-treated plants on the colonies’ weight gain and on honey contamination. According to the researchers, these results put into question whether neonicotinoids are an important factor in the ongoing decline of bee populations.

Leave a Comment September 12, 2017

The man on a mission to save declining bee populations by extracting the insects’ semen with his own hands and artificially inseminating the queens

From: Daily Mail

  • Michael Waite, 53, is one of the few beekeepers to manually inseminate queens 
  • He says manual intervention has become the final chance to bring backs bees
  • The parasite varroa mite and colder summers is making it hard for bees to mate
  • They need 16 to 17 degrees Celsius and little wind for a mating flight

Michael Waite, 53, is one of the few beekeepers around the globe who is speeding up reproduction in his hives by manually inseminating queen bees. Pictured is the process of squeezing semen out of bees

Leave a Comment September 11, 2017

Don’t ignore neonics science. Do ignore NGOs trying to turn retailers into regulators.

Editor’s Note: For more information on the dangers of poorly informed “Regulation by Retailers,” See here.

From: Horticulture Week

Don’t ignore neonics science, says grower

by Matthew Appleby

Kernock Park Plants managing director Bruce Harnett has defended use of legal neonicotinoids in a blog on the grower’s website.

Harnett said: “Recent press based on some scientific data regarding unknown levels of unknown categories of neonicotinoid has created media pressure causing some retailers to formulate a pledge to go neonicotinoid free.


Leave a Comment September 8, 2017

BeeDar: University Of Newcastle research accelerates into the spotlight

From: The University of Newcastle (Australia)

Seven University Of Newcastle teams will soon get the chance to validate their research and test whether there are real world applications for their ideas.


The diverse research projects and teams are:


Leave a Comment September 7, 2017

Bees are on the rise again

From: Citrus County Chronicle

Experts, local beekeepers offer different perspectives on data

Julie Gorham and Reilly Cash


“Over the last decade, we’ve seen the bee population increase little by little,” said Jamie Ellis, associate professor at the University of Florida Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory.

***Ellis outlines some of the most common threats to bee populations. These include low-quality queens, poor nutrition, weather, and varroa mites — parasites that feed off of bees.

Read Complete Article

Leave a Comment September 6, 2017

How to Help Honey Bees: Participate in the First Ever Mite-A-Thon

From: Honey Bee Health Coalition

by Mike Saccone

A single Varroa mite infestation can quickly spread and devastate hives across an entire region. Early detection and control are key to supporting honey bee health and preventing catastrophic infestations. That’s why the Honey Bee Health Coalition, which has developed essential Varroa mite resources, is proud to support the first ever Mite-A-Thon.

The Coalition urges beekeepers to participate in this exciting and free event by visiting

The event, which will take place from Saturday, September 9, to Saturday, September 16, will help collect vital data on Varroa infestations across North America and help beekeepers and others confront these problematic parasites.

Leave a Comment September 5, 2017

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