Archives – October, 2017

Is the Study “A worldwide survey of neonicotinoids in honey” Accurate?

From: NZFarmer

Study uncovers puzzling case of insecticides in New Zealand honey



However, the findings are at odds with testing carried out on behalf of the Ministry for Primary Industries between 2014-16, which showed no traces of neonicotinoids in honey for sale.


“MPI monitors pesticides, including neonics, and their published (2013-14) tests showed no detection of neonics in the honey tested.  I understand that MPI has undertaken more recent monitoring since then (2015-16 yet to be published) and again there was no detection of neonics,” Kos said.

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Leave a Comment October 31, 2017

Justice for bees: French court to look at pesticide ban

Editor’s Note: Justice requires that science-based policies be grounded in high quality science. Unfortunately the EU’s pollinator protection policies are poorly founded. As the US Department of Agriculture explains:

The only basis for the proposed restrictions is EFSA’s risk assessment, which is based on a currently unapproved Bee Guidance Document. This theoretical guidance on how to conduct the risk assessment of the impact of Plant Protection Products on bees is not supported by many EU Member States.


By Maxime Jacob

Leave a Comment October 30, 2017

Killing Bees to Save Them: Anti-pesticide activists place ideology over science

From: The Wellington Advertiser

Bees and neonics

Dear Editor:

RE: Better methods needed, Oct. 20.


The same conclusion appears in a major review on bee health released in 2017 by a team of University of Guelph researchers. Varroa, other pests/diseases and sometimes-inadequate bee management are the dominant causes of bee deaths. The obsession with neonics by some Ontario beekeepers is puzzling. It’s almost like they are more focused on anti-pesticide activism than on better bee health per se.


Leave a Comment October 27, 2017

USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service Report—EU-28: Further Restrictions to Neonicotinoids

From: USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service

GAIN Report Number: E17069


Post: Brussels USEU

Further Restrictions to Neonicotinoids

Report Categories:

Agriculture in the News

SP2-Prevent or Resolve Barriers to Trade that Hinder U.S. Food and Agricultural Exports


Proposal for further restrictions

Leave a Comment October 26, 2017

Upcoming Presentation: Varroa destructor, Scourge of the Honey Bee

From: Low Technology Institute

Scott Johnson, director of the Low Technology Institute, will be speaking to the Dane County Beekeepers’ Association (locally known as Madbees) about the Varroa destructor mite. This tick-like creature has become honey bees’ top pest over the last few decades. As we’re learning, colony collapse disorder seems to be caused by a variety of factors that weaken the hive — Varroa mites are a big contributor.

The presentation will be held at the Fitchburg Public Library on November 7th, 2017 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Meetings are open to the public. The presentation will be turned into a podcast added to our Occasional Lectures series.

Leave a Comment October 25, 2017

Norwegian honey bees surviving Varroa destructor mite infestations by means of natural selection

From: PeerJ

1, 2, 1,3

Leave a Comment October 24, 2017

Hassle-Free Classical Conditioning for Honey Bees

From: Hackday



It was proven back in 2011 that honey bees will make more pessimistic decisions after being shaken in a way that simulates an attack by varroa destructor mites. The bees were trained to associate a reward of sugar-water with a particular odor and to associate foul-tasting punishment water with another odor—that of formic acid, a common treatment against varroa mites. When a third stimulus created by mixing the two odors was presented, the experimenters found that the aggravated bees were more likely to expect the bad odor. Sure enough, they kept their tongues in their mouths when they smelled the third odor. All the bees that weren’t shaken looked forward to sucking down a bit of sugar-water.

Leave a Comment October 23, 2017

Pushing to be one of the best in the beekeeping industry at Colorado Mountain Honey

From: Post Independent

Chelsea Self

Derrick Maness started beekeeping 23 years ago when he was only 14 after being inspired by his middle school science teacher. He began working at Western Colorado Honey with Paul Limbach at a young age and now owns Colorado Mountain Honey, which is located in Silt next to the Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation.
Although the farm and facility is located in Silt, the hives are spread throughout the Western Slope. Limbach, Maness and their teams take care of close to 3,000 hives, which equates to roughly 200 million bees raised locally.

Leave a Comment October 23, 2017

Neonic levels in honey below accepted guidelines: expert

From: The Western Producer


In Oct. 9, CBC news posted a story on its website suggesting honey is contaminated with insecticides. The CBC story was factual but omitted a key point. The levels of neonics found in the honey samples were insignificant.


“The concentrations detected in honey are very, very low, or absent,” said Chris Cutler, a Dalhousie University professor who specializes in pollinator risk assessment and insect toxicology.

“This recent Science paper is a monitoring survey that does not report anything unexpected. The concentrations detected align with that in previous reports.”

Leave a Comment October 20, 2017

What’s the buzz? Pennsylvania developing plan to help save the bees

From: The Morning  Call

By Carol Thompson


Bogansky described unhealthy hives as “varroa bombs,” because of their capability of spreading the mites.

They are considered an unpleasant outcome of increased attention paid to honeybee population loss — people with good intentions may think they can support honeybees by keeping hives as a hobby, but if those hives are poorly tended they could turn into varroa bombs.

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Leave a Comment October 19, 2017

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