Archives – November, 2017

European Union Delays Protecting Bees in Its Rush to Ban Neonics

Editor’s Note: The EU’s decision to delay it’s risk assessment of neonicotinoids in order to first ban neonics recalls the Red Queen’s statement in Alice in Wonderland, ‘Sentence first — verdict afterwards.’ In light of the environmental devastation being wrought by the current EU neonic restrictions, it’s worth recalling Alice’s retort to the Red Queen, “Stuff and nonsense!” In the United States, the Data Quality Act prevents stuff and nonsense from becoming the basis of environmental policy.



POLITICO Pro Morning Energy and Environment, presented by GasNaturally: Politics take over in Bonn — China’s carbon trading plans — Acting on nature


Leave a Comment November 15, 2017

U.S. exchanges seek delay of massive new regulatory audit system

From: Reuters

John McCrank

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stock exchanges have requested the Securities and Exchange Commission delay the rollout of a massive new database aimed at helping the regulator better police the markets so they can address cyber security concerns and conduct more testing.

The exchanges are seeking to postpone by a year implementation of the first phase of the Consolidated Audit Trail, or CAT, which was to begin on Wednesday, according to a letter to the SEC dated Nov. 13 and posted on its website. It was signed by representatives from Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE.N) New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O), CBOE Global Markets (CBOE.O) and other exchanges.

Leave a Comment November 15, 2017

The Never Ending Impacts of a Neonicotinoid Ban

Editor’s Note: EFSA risk assessments need to be evaluated in light of (1) previous EFSA work on neonicotinoids being determined to be unfit for government use (2) EFSA’s conflicts of interest and (3) data demonstrating that neonic bans don’t help bees.

From: Horticulture Week

by Matthew Appleby

After Defra said it wants an end to neonicotinoid use, Friends of the Earth has increased its campaign demanding Homebase/Bunnings ban use of the pesticides and for the RHS to be clear on neonics in Perfect for Pollinators, while EFSA says it will update risk assessments.

Leave a Comment November 14, 2017

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology: One Voice on Neonicotinoid Policy

Editor’s Note:  An alternative view  (November 8, 2017)

From: Science Media Centre          (November 9, 2017)

expert reaction to Michael Gove announcement on neonicotinoids

The UK’s environment secretary Michael Gove, has announced that the UK will back a total ban on neonicotinoids across Europe.


Prof. Richard Pywell, Biodiversity science area head at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, said:

“I welcome the fact that independent expert evidence from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, and the wider scientific community, has been taken into consideration by the European Commission and the UK Government with regard to further restrictions proposed on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

Leave a Comment November 13, 2017

Bee Health and the Woodcock Study #1

Updated   November 10, 2017


A number of leading European Universities may or may not not agree with particular aspects of CRE’s analysis of bees and neonicotinoids but we are pleased when they do conclude that all relevant information should be made available to all parties which surprisingly is not a position shared by the UK government.

CRE continues to welcome contact from interested parties.


Based upon CRE’s review of the published data concerning the Woodcock study, as opposed to a review of  all its supporting data which have not been made available to the public, it appears that a study performed by the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology [a UK governmental agency] can not be used by US regulators because it fails to meet the standards mandated in the Data Quality Act notwithstanding a possible action to the contrary by the EU.

Leave a Comment November 8, 2017

Positive Buzz About Honey Bees

From: AgPro

Alison Wedig


“It is hard to look at the colony numbers and get a clear snapshot on overall bee health; what the numbers and charts don’t show is how much harder the beekeepers are working to keep those bees alive,” says Jeff Harris, Mississippi State University Extension research apiculturist and honey bee expert.

USDA research shows varroa mites were the top stressor for operations in 2017, though their impact on the colonies is down 11% this year compared with April through June 2016. While mites might be causing less harm than in the past, honey bee colonies will always face threats from this pest and numerous other pressures.

Leave a Comment November 8, 2017

Varroa Mite Presentation Slideshow, Notes, and Resources

From: Low Technology Institute

Last night, Scott gave a presentation to the Dane County Beekeeping Association about Varroa destructor, a parasite afflicting the European honeybee across the world. An audio recording was made, but due to technical difficulties (wrong microphone selected on recorder), it is not available. Instead, the notes with citations are available as well as links to a few resources for beekeepers.

Varroa-DCBA-7Nov11-FrontPagePresentation and Notes

Slideshow (20 MB)

Notes with References (105 kB)


Tools for Varroa Management, Honey Bee Health Coalition — The best all-around resource for basic information on Varroa for beekeepers.

Leave a Comment November 8, 2017

Honey Monthly Update –

From: USDA/AMS via Lancaster Farming


Seasoned beekeepers have observed that early on- back in July, many hives had high levels of mite infestation with the possibility that nosema disease was the main causal agent. Several keepers complained about slow growth in their hives. It would logically follow that a shortened lifespan of workers would consequently impact the foraging population and thus result in less nectar collection. Some experienced beekeepers advised treating with Fumigellin-B and consequently observed marked improvement after treatment for nosema. Nosema disease has been a growing concern, hence more difficult for beekeepers to identify and being blamed for hives failing to thrive.

Leave a Comment November 7, 2017

Public Comments and New Data to Inform EPA’s Understanding of Neonic Risks and Benefits


Neonicotinoids Status Update

Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee, November 1-2, 2017

Session 5e: Status Update on Neonicotinoids


Results from the preliminary pollinator assessments show:

• Potential on-field risk from some use patterns appear to be low

o Based on attractiveness to bees and agronomic practices

o Includes seed treatment uses

• Potential on-field risk from some use patterns remain uncertain: more data (to be reviewed in 2017-18) and further analysis will reduce these uncertainties

o Includes soil uses

• Potential on-field risk from some use patterns

o Includes foliar uses

Leave a Comment November 6, 2017

Honeybees are dying. In three minutes, a UMD student can tell you why.

Editor’s Note: See the video here.

From: The Diamondback
University of Maryland doctoral student Samuel Ramsey has conducted award-winning research on honeybees in Thailand. (Courtesy of John Consoli)



Within 10 years of the introduction of the invasive Varroa mite, almost all of the wild honeybee population worldwide was wiped out, Ramsey said. Some regions of the United States lost more than 80 percent of managed honeybee colonies due to an infestation in the mid-1990s.

Leave a Comment November 3, 2017

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