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"Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile.”
Mark Twain

 

Putting Honey Bees to Work for Veterans
Putting Honey Bees to Work for Veterans Honey bees may reduce stress and become a new business venture for those who have served in the U.S. military.
"We want to give back to the veteran community," explained ARS researcher Michael Simone-Finstrom. "We do that by helping veterans, both new and experienced at beekeeping, learn about honey bee biology including their pests and pathogens. Then we provide hands-on experience with sustainable honey bees our lab has developed so they can raise healthy bees from the start."

 

Anti-pesticide groups rally outside EPA
Anti-pesticide groups rally outside EPA A rally sponsored by a coalition of two dozen environmental groups, farmers and beekeepers took place in front of the EPA on Wednesday to urge the federal agency to ban bee-killing pesticides. Wednesday’s rally ended a week-long cross country tour to raise awareness about the dangers of a pesticide family known as neonicotinoids, which kill bees and other insects that pollinate plants.

 

Interpreting the Buzz of Honeybees
Interpreting the Buzz of Honeybees Every visit to the bee yard, I learn something new. Either about beekeeping in general or about my particular colonies. In previous years, I have gone four to six weeks without opening a hive. This spring and summer, the longest is two weeks. It is one thing to read about bee behavior and quite another to experience it for yourself. My latest curiosity is about the sound of the bees.

 

Bees are more productive in the city than in surrounding regions
Bees are more productive in the city than in surrounding regions Bees pollinate plants more frequently in the city than in the country even though they are more often infected with parasites, a factor which can shorten their lifespans, researchers report.

 

London bee tracking project begins
London bee tracking project begins Hundreds of bees with individual coloured number tags will be released from the rooftops of Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) on Tuesday 21 June and over the next month for a project that hopes to uncover the secret lives of London's bees.
Prizes of £100 Amazon gift vouchers will be awarded for the best photo of a QMUL-tagged bee on a flower, for the highest number of QMUL-tagged bees spotted and for the best photo of a London bee-friendly garden (as judged by the research team).

 

People allergic to insect venom need precision medical diagnosis, treatment
People allergic to insect venom need precision medical diagnosis, treatment Three to 5 percent of the European population is allergic to insect venom, and many of them are at risk of anaphylaxis if they are stung. Some patients do not respond properly to immunotherapy and in some cases the treatment has reduced or no effect at all -- which can be fatal. Researchers are now developing artificial allergens and human antibodies in order to enable individualized immunotherapeutic treatment.

 

The sculpture controlled by bees: Wolfgang Buttress's Hive
The sculpture controlled by bees: Wolfgang Buttress's Hive My approach to a sculpture seeks to frame nature so one can experience it more intimately,” says British artist Wolfgang Buttress, whose 17-metre high Hive installation opens at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, in London on Saturday. “I want visitors to feel enveloped, wrapped-up and involved in the experience, rather than adopting the position of an external observer.”
Its 170,000 pieces of aluminium, suspended from the ground, appear as a twisting swarm of bees from afar, but as you come closer it becomes a hive-like structure of latticework whose low humming sound and hundreds of flickering LED lights draws you in to a multi-sensory instillation.

 

Exposed: Pesticide Industry Deployed Aggressive Lobby Effort to Quash Bee Protections
Exposed: Pesticide Industry Deployed Aggressive Lobby Effort to Quash Bee Protections Despite the abundance of scientific studies documenting the rapid and dangerous decline of pollinator populations, state and federal lawmakers have yet to pass any meaningful protections for bees.
The reason, according to the findings of a new investigation, is that pesticide giants such as Bayer, Monsanto, and Syngenta have deployed an aggressive lobbying campaign to dilute and suppress attempts to regulate their multi-billion dollar industry—with great success.

 

Bee vampire picks the right host to suck
Bee vampire picks the right host to suck New insights into the reproductive secrets of one of the world's tiniest and most destructive parasites - the Varroa mite - has scientists edging closer to regulating them.
"If you know your enemies better, you can come up with new ways of controlling them," said Michigan State University entomologist Zachary Huang, whose research explores the fertility of the notorious mite, a pest that is devastating honeybee populations worldwide. The mite sucks the blood of honeybees and transmits deadly viruses.

 

Honey bees’ behaviour is impaired by chronic exposure to the neonicotinoid Thiacloprid in the field
Honey bees’ behaviour is impaired by chronic exposure to the neonicotinoid  Thiacloprid in the field Key finding, p. 15:
Our study documents important sublethal effects of a low concentration (4.5 ppm) of thiacloprid taken up chronically by foraging bees.
We found that higher-order functions like navigation according to a learned landscape memory, motivation to forage and to communicate in a social context were compromised.

 

Supporting Pollinators Could Have Big Payoff for Texas Cotton Farmers
Supporting Pollinators Could Have Big Payoff for Texas Cotton Farmers According to a new study by The University of Texas at Austin, increasing the diversity of pollinator species, including bees, flies and butterflies, can dramatically increase cotton production. The researchers estimate that in South Texas, the region they studied, increasing the diversity of pollinators could boost cotton production by up to 18 percent, yielding an increase in annual revenue of more than $1.1 million.

 

New insights on how bees battle deadly varroa mite by grooming
New insights on how bees battle deadly varroa mite by grooming In a new study published in the Journal of Apicultural Research, scientists have compared the ability of two strains of honey bees to defend themselves against the parasitic mite varroa by grooming the mites from their bodies.

 

Parasitic Cape honeybees out-reproduce other bees using a few unusual gene regions
Parasitic Cape honeybees out-reproduce other bees using a few unusual gene regions Parasitic cape honeybees exploit and overrun other honeybee colonies by triggering changes that let worker bees reproduce. This social parasitism is enabled by differences in several gene regions, including some related to hormone signaling and chromosomal segregation, report Andreas Wallberg and Matthew T. Webster of Uppsala University, in a new study published on June 9 in PLOS Genetics.

 

State beekeepers battle dramatic honeybee losses
State beekeepers battle dramatic honeybee losses Palkovich oversees the hives with a hint of concern. Last winter and spring, all seven of her hives died off before beekeeping season, which has never happened in her 12 years of raising bees.
Last season, about 60% of Wisconsin honeybees died over the winter, a rate four times higher than beekeepers consider acceptable. Bee die-off rates have hung above 30% in six of the last seven years. This season, 44% of bees died off nationwide, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
Experts say the die-off is due to insecticides, global warming and a mite.

 

Bees are in trouble. Around the world many types of bee are in decline, and some species have gone extinct. These declines are driven by multiple factors including loss of wildflowers from the countryside, outbreaks of disease, and exposure to the many pesticides used in modern farming. Without bees we would have no strawberries, tomatoes, chili peppers, blueberries or cucumbers, to name just a few. We need to take action to help them.

 

Honeybees pick up 'astonishing' number of pesticides via non-crop plants
Honeybees pick up 'astonishing' number of pesticides via non-crop plants A Purdue University study shows that honeybees collect the vast majority of their pollen from plants other than crops, even in areas dominated by corn and soybeans, and that pollen is consistently contaminated with a host of agricultural and urban pesticides throughout the growing season.
Christian Krupke, professor of entomology, and then-postdoctoral researcher Elizabeth Long collected pollen from Indiana honeybee hives at three sites over 16 weeks to learn which pollen sources honeybees use throughout the season and whether they are contaminated with pesticides

 

Dancing hairs alert bees to floral electric fields
Dancing hairs alert bees to floral electric fields Tiny, vibrating hairs may explain how bumblebees sense and interpret the signals transmitted by flowers, according to a study by researchers at the University of Bristol.
Although it's known that flowers communicate with pollinators by sending out electric signals, just how bees detects these fields has been a mystery -- until now.
Using a laser to measure vibrations, researchers found that both the bees' antenna and hairs deflect in response to an electric field, but the hairs move more rapidly and with overall greater displacements.

 

Iolo Williams speech to members of the Welsh Parliament Assembly: “The State of Nature"
Iolo Williams speech to members of the Welsh Parliament Assembly: 'The State of Nature' And your grand kids will turn to you and they’ll say:

‘Grandad, what was it like? What was it like walking through these hay meadows?
It must have been lovely to have skylarks all around you singing away.
Do you know, it must have been fantastic to walk through all of these damp fields and these funny birds with little caps on called ‘peewits' going all around you.


What was it like grandad ?

 

Ontario bee kills continue: OBA media release
Ontario bee kills continue: OBA media release A few good weeks of corn planting weather in May has turned out to be bad news for beekeepers. While Ontario grain farmers have been able to get on the field and get their crops planted, Ontario beekeepers are reporting bee kills and pesticide related problems with colony build-up in corn planting areas.
“We’re definitely hearing about more bee kills this year than in the past two years,” says OBA president Tibor Szabo. “What we are seeing is consistent with pesticide exposure.”

 

The Apicultural Coverup ... Begins In Your Backyard
The Apicultural Coverup ... Begins In Your Backyard I am surprised at the number of highly regarded and experienced beekeepers who blame the dramatically high honey bee colony losses being experienced these days on Varroa. I’m not saying that Varroa mites are not a major problem. They are, especially among the large number of beekeepers who do nothing to control mites in the hope that they are going to help the bees get stronger through the evolutionary process.

 

Did You Know Humans Have Relied on Bees for 9,000 Years?

 

Bears and Bees                  

 

Sticky fingers: The rise of the bee thieves
Sticky fingers: The rise of the bee thieves The bees crawled up the thief’s arms while he dragged their hive over a patch of grass and through a slit in the wire fence he had clipped minutes earlier. In the pitch dark, his face, which was not covered with a protective veil, hovered inches from the low hum of some 30,000 bees.

 

Insect Stings: Why Do They Ouch So Bad?
Insect Stings: Why Do They Ouch So Bad? Schmidt’s been stung by many, many, many bugs. Tiny, squishable things that leave temporary marks, but would probably have the most inked-up Hells Angel shaking in his chaps.
Because the pain of an insect sting is not normal. It’s like getting stabbed with a pencil point. Or like a single drop of hot oil. Hydrochloric acid on a paper cut. Walking on charcoal with a rusty nail in your heel. Hot oil spilling all over your hand. Schmidt is a connoisseur.

 

Unsafe at any Dose? Diagnosing Chemical Safety Failures, from DDT to BPA
Unsafe at any Dose? Diagnosing Chemical Safety Failures, from DDT to BPA Synopsis: Why do concentrations of harmful chemical pollutants continue to rise, in the environment and in our bodies, despite decades of campaigning against them? The chosen strategy of most environmental and public health advocates has been to focus on the elimination (banning) of specific toxic chemicals. Such campaigns are sometimes successful on their own terms, but the result is never a reduction in chemical usage. Instead, a new chemical replaces the old one. Even worse, the replacement is often also found to be toxic. Neonicotinoid pesticides, for example, are the fourth and latest iteration of 'safer' pesticides. Rather than presuming that the problem is one of chemical 'rotten apples', this article considers whether or not the evidence indicates a more profound failure of chemical risk assessment. Jonathan Latham examines whether the fault lies with the science underpinning chemical risk assessments or the regulatory institutions responsible for their implementation. The conclusion reached is that the institutions are broken while the science is unfixable. This understanding has many implications besides showing an urgent need for a profound rethinking of the strategies and goals of campaigners who wish to create a world free of toxic chemicals.
Please share this article if you enjoy it.

 

Results of Glyphosate Pee Test Are in ‘And It’s Not Good News’
Results of Glyphosate Pee Test Are in ‘And It’s Not Good News’ Last month, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) volunteered to take a urine test to see if glyphosate—the cancer-linked weedkiller—is in their system. Forty-eight MEPs from 13 different EU countries participated in the test, and now the results are in.
On average, the MEPs had 1.7 micrograms/liter of glyphosate in their urine, 17 times higher than the European drinking water norm (0.1 microgram/litre). This means that everyone we tested was way above the limit for residues of pesticides in drinking water.

 

In the Caucasus, a Bronze Age site hints at embalming with honey.
In the Caucasus, a Bronze Age site hints at embalming with honey. According to Li Shizhen, the 16th-century Chinese apothecary and author of the monumental Bengcao gangmu—a compendium of exotic cures that features decoctions of dragon bones and ground up human hair—mellification was a practice whereby certain altruistic volunteers, usually aged holy men from Arabia, sacrificed themselves by ingesting nothing but honey until they sweated honey, shat honey, bled honey: Until they died. Their sugar-crystallized bodies were then immersed in huge jars of honey for a century. The end result: human rock candy—“mellified man”—a miraculous remedy for broken bones.

 

Defra rejects NFU application to use neonicotinoids on OSR
Defra rejects NFU application to use neonicotinoids on OSR Defra has rejected an emergency application for growers to use banned neonicotinoid seed treatments on oilseed rape this autumn.
The decision, announced by Defra on Thursday (12 May), will be a major blow to growers in England who rely on neonics to establish OSR in “hotspot” areas – whose crops suffer cabbage stem flea beetle attacks.
See also: NFU applies for emergency neonics ban exemption

 

How pesticides are undermining the health of rural children                  

 

Beekeepers across the USA lost 44% of their honey bee colonies during the year April 2015 - 2016
Beekeepers across the USA lost 44% of their honey bee colonies during the year  April 2015 to April 2016 Summer losses rival winter losses for the second year running.
Beekeepers across the United States lost 44% of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2015 to April 2016
The survey, which asks both commercial and small-scale beekeepers to track the health and survival rates of their honey bee colonies, is conducted each year by the Bee Informed Partnership in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America, with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Survey results for this year and all previous years are publicly available on the Bee Informed website.

 

Honeybees more likely to regulate hive's 'thermostat' during rapid temperature increases
Honeybees more likely to regulate hive's 'thermostat' during rapid temperature increases Honeybees use their wings to cool down their hives when temperatures rise, but new University of Colorado Boulder research shows that this intriguing behavior may be linked to both the rate of heating and the size of a honeybee group.
The findings, which were recently published in the journal Animal Behaviour, indicate that honeybees anticipate and react to rapid temperature increases sooner than they do when the increase is gradual -- but only when the bees are clustered in groups of 10.

 

The Indispensable Honey Bee
The Indispensable Honey Bee Thought provoking article about a report written in 1973, when USA was losing 500,000 hives a year to . . . pesticides - as compared with 2015, when they lost 1.5 million hives a year to . . . pesticides.    NOTHING has changed.?

 

2015 Pesticide contamination results for one Canadian beekeeper's operation
2015 Pesticide contamination results for one Canadian beekeeper's operation 2015 Pesticide contamination results for one beekeeper's operation in Canadian.
It is little wonder that he was having major problems keeping the bees alive. Especially with over 246 ppb of Thiamethoxam and 232 ppb of Imidacloprid in stored nectar collected from hive-comb the at the time of testing ... when acute lethal dose of Imidacloprid for bees is 10 ppb

 

Scientists develop bee model that will impact the development of aerial robotics
Scientists develop bee model that will impact the development of aerial robotics Scientists have built a computer model that shows how bees use vision to detect the movement of the world around them and avoid crashing. This research, published in PLOS Computational Biology, is an important step in understanding how the bee brain processes the visual world and will aid the development of robotics.

 

Insecticide toxic to bees promoted to kill Vancouver chafer beetles
Insecticide toxic to bees promoted to kill Vancouver chafer beetles The news story from Vancouver is about this Imidacloprid-based lawn grub killer.
Note that, by weight, it contains 0.25% Imidacloprid, which means that in this 2 kilogram jug there are 5 grams of imidacloprid.
That means the spray applied to the lawn will contain 2.5 parts per THOUSAND of imidacloprid - when acute lethal dose for bees is 10 parts per BILLION.
The dosage is a million times more toxic than bees would encounter in a treated crop, so if it migrates into garden flowers, probably very lethal.
Note that there are NO ecological implications on the advice label - apart from not spraying into water. This is presumably being applied to millions of lawns, with no warning whatever that bees and pollinators may be killed by it.

 

Great British Bee Count 2016
Great British Bee Count 2016 Join Britain's biggest bee survey from 19 May to 30 June 2016.
Our tiny bees make a huge difference to our lives. We can thank them for our food, garden plants, and crops. But our bees are under threat and they need our help.

 

Rescue WILD BEE COLONY by Nairn Beekeepers (Invernessshire) after a phone call from the local Police reporting that the bee tree was in danger of falling

 

Are bee harming insecticides hurting humans too ?
Are bee harming insecticides hurting humans too ? In a packed auditorium at York U, scientists from Europe, Asia, and North America have gathered to discuss the fallout from the world's most widely used insecticides.
A lot of attention is being paid to how controversial neonicotinoids are messing with pollinators like bees. But another question is buzzing among attendees around the edges of the April 19 symposium: what are neonic-laced foods doing to humans?

 

6 ways to help bees when you don't have a garden
6 ways to help bees when you don't have a garden Want to help bees but live in a concrete jungle?                  
Not enough space? No garden?
No problem, as these 6 projects show.

 

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