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Honeybees let out a ‘whoop’ when they bump into each other
Honeybees let out a ‘whoop’ when they bump into each other Whoop whoop! A vibrational pulse produced by honeybees, long thought to be a signal to other bees to stop what they are doing, might actually be an expression of surprise.
Bees produce vibrations with their wing muscles that are inaudible to humans but can be detected by accelerometers embedded in the honeycomb.
Embedded video: Honeybee whooping signal and Bees whoop when they bump into each other

 

Mexico builds wall to keep out Monsanto’s GMOs
Mexican beekeepers are celebrating a victory after biotech giant Monsanto lost its permit to plant Roundup-ready genetically modified soybeans in the country. RT America's Marina Portnaya reports. Then, Simone Del Rosario is joined by Jeffrey Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology to weigh-in.

 

Despite few taste genes, honey bees seek out essential nutrients based on floral resources
Despite few taste genes, honey bees seek out essential nutrients based on floral resources Despite having few taste genes, honey bees are fine-tuned to know what minerals the colony may lack and proactively seek out nutrients in conjunction with the season when their floral diet varies.
The research, published in Ecological Entomology, suggests that beekeepers should provide opportunities for their bees to access specific nutrients, possibly through a natural mineral lick, to support their balanced health because the bees will search for the minerals when they need them.

 

Chile is trying to save its bee population damaged by fires
Chile’s worst wildfires in its modern history, which are ravaging wide swaths of the country’s central-south regions, have claimed another silent but essential victim of human life: Bees.
For the past few weeks, bees and other pollinators have faced increasing risks to their survival, threatening foods such as apples, blueberries and coffee.
It is estimated at least 9,000 hives have been destroyed around the country, local media reported.

 

Pesticide deregulation - the real reason for Myron Ebell's Number 10 meeting ?
Pesticide deregulation - the real reason for Myron Ebell's Number 10 meeting ? If it wasn't climate change, was the real purpose of the Number 10 meeting of Theresa May's adivisors and President Trump's environmental transition supremo Myron Ebell to plan the post-Brexit deregulation of UK farming, including pesticides? That's how it looks, writes Georgina Downs - and we had better begin now to fight for our health, wildlife and environment.

 

Royal beekeeper fined for giving bees banned drug
Royal beekeeper fined for giving bees banned drug A Royal beekeeper who gave a banned drug to his honey bees in a landmark legal case has been fined £2,500.
Apiarist Murray McGregor, the owner of Denrosa Apiaries in Blairgowrie, is the first person in the UK to be convicted of the charges.
The 61-year-old previously admitted administering "unauthorised veterinary medicinal products".
McGregor has produced honey for both the Balmoral Estate and Prince Charles' Duchy Estate.

 

Pitching in: USU biologists study development of division of labor among bees
Pitching in: USU biologists study development of division of labor among bees Social bees are celebrated for their cooperative industry, but how did their innovative division of labor evolve? A starting point for examining this question may be study of their solitary cousins, say Utah State University biologists.

 

An experiment on the impact of a neonicotinoid pesticide on honeybees: the value of a formal analysis of the data
An experiment on the impact of a neonicotinoid pesticide on honeybees: the value of a formal analysis of the data We assess the analysis of the data resulting from a field experiment conducted by Pilling et al. on the potential effects of thiamethoxam on honeybees. The experiment had low levels of replication, so Pilling et al. concluded that formal statistical analysis would be misleading. This would be true if such an analysis merely comprised tests of statistical significance and if the investigators concluded that lack of significance meant little or no effect. However, an analysis that includes estimation of the size of any effects—with confidence limits—allows one to reach conclusions that are not misleading and that produce useful insights ... Executive summary

 

Common crop chemical leaves bees susceptible to deadly viruses
Common crop chemical leaves bees susceptible to deadly viruses A chemical that is thought to be safe and is, therefore, widely used on crops -- such as almonds, wine grapes and tree fruits -- to boost the performance of pesticides, makes honey bee larvae significantly more susceptible to a deadly virus, according to researchers at Penn State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 

Open Highlights: A Swarm of Bee Research
Open Highlights: A Swarm of Bee Research Bees are amazing little creatures; while some of them live solitary lifestyles, many bee species form large colonies and function as a superorganism. This Open Highlight Collection examines some of the recent advances in our understanding of these fascinating insects. Open Highlights use recent PLOS Biology research articles as keystones around which to nucleate a short synopsis of up to ten related research articles from other PLOS journals and from the wider Open Access corpus.

 

The Environmental Risks of Neonicotinoid Pesticides: a review of the evidence post-2013
The Environmental Risks of Neonicotinoid Pesticides: a review of the evidence post-2013 Pollinators, including honeybees, wild bees and other insects, play a crucial role in our food and agricultural production. Three-quarters of the crops traded on the global market depend on them to some degree. However, these essential insects are in serious trouble. For example, some wild bumblebees have undergone dramatic declines and become regionally or globally extinct. The data available for other pollinators paint a similarly worrisome picture.

 

Same Day: EPA Acknowledges Proven Dangers of Bee-killing Pesticides But Refuses to Restrict Them
Same Day: EPA Acknowledges Proven Dangers of Bee-killing Pesticides But Refuses to Restrict Them The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today acknowledged for the first time that three of the nation’s most-used neonicotinoid pesticides pose significant risks to commercial honeybees. But in a second decision that represents a deep bow to the pesticide industry, the agency refused to restrict the use of any leading bee-killing pesticides despite broad evidence of their well-established role in alarming declines of pollinators.
The new analyses released today indicate that honeybees can be harmed by the widely-used pesticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam and dinetofuran. The agency also released today an updated assessment for a fourth leading neonicotinoid — imidacloprid — showing that in addition to harms to pollinators identified last year, the pesticide can also harm aquatic insects.

 

Bees prefer to forage upside down on these flowers so their hind legs and bee butts are warmed by the dark petals as they drink nectar and collect pollen
Bees prefer to forage upside down on these flowers so their hind legs and bee butts are warmed by the dark petals as they drink nectar and collect pollen “Remember how you were told that a dark coat keeps you a little warmer on a cold but sunny day?” Bernhardt said. “Some plants blooming in chilly environments have dark purple or almost black patches on their flowers to keep cold-blooded insects toasty warm as they pollinate.”

 

Research finds pesticide impairs echolocation ability in bats
Research finds pesticide impairs echolocation ability in bats In the wake of ongoing debate by experts, neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid, has been proven a threat to the survival of bats in Taiwan after last year being confirmed as harmful to bees by the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States.
A research team headed by Wu Chung-hsin (吳忠信), professor in life sciences at National Taiwan Normal University, found that bats feeding on imidacloprid-tainted insects were unable to fly along learned paths, as a reuslt of which they often "got lost" while out hunting.

 

Neonicotinoid pesticide affects foraging and social interaction in bumblebees
Neonicotinoid pesticide affects foraging and social interaction in bumblebees For their study, Crall developed an 'automated behavioral tracking system' that allows a computer connected to cameras within the nest to recognize individual bees and create data points that indicate position and proximity to others. "Bumblebee nests are not the organized, beautiful geometry of the honeybee," said Crall. Instead, "they're more a hodge-podge of food and larvae in a pile in the middle of the nest space." This automated tracking system allowed Crall to see into "messy, complex, realistic, individual scenes" and could be adapted for use in natural environments.

 

Environmental groups calls for neonicotinoid ban to be extended to wheat
Environmental groups calls for neonicotinoid ban to be extended to wheat Environmental charity Friends of the Earth has published a new report today at the Oxford Real Farming Conference warning that pesticides must not be used on wheat due to their 'high acute risk' to bees.
In 2013 the European Union restricted the use of three neonicotinoid insecticides following a scientific review that concluded they pose a high risk to honey bees
'High levels of neonicotinoids have been found in wildflowers next to wheat crops'

 

Flower Power: The Physics of Pollination
Flower Power: The Physics of Pollination Pollination. The word brings to mind the droning buzz of fat yellow and black bumblebees bouncing from blossom to blossom in flower-decked meadows. But up close and in person, pollination is often anything but idyllic. The physical forces involved in pollination can be impressive, and both plants and insects must be well adapted to withstand them.

 

Scientists Loved and Loathed by an Agrochemical Giant
Scientists Loved and Loathed by an Agrochemical Giant The bee findings were not what Syngenta expected to hear.
The pesticide giant had commissioned James Cresswell, an expert in flowers and bees at the University of Exeter in England, to study why many of the world’s bee colonies were dying. Companies like Syngenta have long blamed a tiny bug called a varroa mite, rather than their own pesticides, for the bee decline.

 

What's killing bees? New clue emerges
What's killing bees? New clue emerges A University of Wisconsin-Stout biology professor and his students may have made an important discovery in the effort to determine why honey bee hives are dying out during the winters in the Upper Midwest.
Biology Professor Jim Burritt and his students have published research about a new strain of the bacterium called Serratia marcescens strain sicaria. With evidence of its killing power, they chose the name sicaria, which means assassin, and Ss1 for short

 

Revolution in fighting the Varroa mites using ultrasound !
Revolution in fighting the Varroa mites using ultrasound! Here in 2013 the idea was born to break new ground and try a varroa treatment using sound waves. As dogs reacting on a dog whistle which humans are not able to hear, there might be frequencies which cause reaction by Varroa mites but the bees keep cool. At latest sound is able to kill if sound pressure is strong enough... so it just needed to be explored if there is a frequencie which causes harm to the mites but not to the bees. (Lower half of the page referenced is in ENGLISH !)

 

Mexican Beekeepers Win Case Against Monsanto
Mexican Beekeepers Win Case Against Monsanto Judge ruled that co-existence between GM soybeans and honey production is not possible.
Now Mexico is making headlines by banning Monsanto products. A group of beekeepers was successful in banning Monsanto from planting genetically modified soybeans. Originally Monsanto had received permission to plant their GM seeds in a large area of land, despite the protests organized by thousands of beekeepers, citizens, major environmental groups, the National Institute of Ecology, and Mayan farmers. But a district judge overturned the Monsanto permit as he was convinced by the scientific evidence showing the threats GM crops had on honey production in the Yucatan peninsula. He went even further, and ruled that co-existence between GM soybeans and honey production is not possible.

 

Protecting Pollinators in Agronomic Crop Production
Protecting Pollinators in Agronomic Crop Production Although agronomic crops such as corn, soybeans, and wheat do not require pollinators to produce a crop, foraging bees are extremely likely to pass over or near agronomic crop fields in Indiana and states with similar cropping practices. As a result, agronomic crop producers can have a major effect on pollinator health.
This publication focuses on simple steps that agronomic crop producers can take to minimize the negative effects of pesticide use on honey bees and other pollinators.

 

For the first time, Varroa mites have been recorded hopping onto honey bees from flowers, and doing so with surprising agility, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Researchers from Cornell University recorded the footage. It matters because Varroa mites are the scourge of honey bee populations worldwide, infesting managed and wild colonies alike. The tiny parasites feed on bee adults and larvae, making the fliers more prone to infections and passing onto them illnesses such as deformed wing virus.

 

Seasonality of salt foraging in honey bees (Apis mellifera)
Seasonality of salt foraging in honey bees (Apis mellifera) Honey bees (Apis mellifera) prefer foraging at compound-rich, ‘dirty’, water sources over clean water sources. As a honey bee's main floral diet only contains trace amounts of micronutrients – likely not enough to sustain an entire colony – it was hypothesised that honey bees forage in dirty water for physiologically essential minerals that their floral diet, and thus the colony, may lack.

 

Aldi US blacklists eight insecticides used or potentially usable on banana plants
Aldi US blacklists eight insecticides used or potentially usable on banana plants Aldi US has just sent a strong signal to the whole market.
From 1st January 2017, the US branch of the German discounter (more than 1,500 points of sale in the United States, growing steeply) is set to banish from its shelves products which have been treated by the following eight insecticides: Thiametoxam, Chlorpyrifos, Clothianidin, Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Fipronil, Imidacloprid, Sulfoxaflor.

 

Pesticides are damaging bumblebees’ vibes
Pesticides are damaging bumblebees’ vibes Bumblebees' ability to produce the buzzing – or vibration – that enables them to pollinate key commercial food crops may be harmed by the controversial pesticides neonicotinoids, according to new research from the University of Stirling.
The preliminary findings of the study – which examined a type of pollination unique to bees known as 'buzz pollination' – will be presented at the British Ecological Society's annual meeting in Liverpool this week.

 

Common insecticides are riskier than thought to predatory insects
Common insecticides are riskier than thought to predatory insects Neonicotinoids - the most widely used class of insecticides - significantly reduce populations of predatory insects when used as seed coatings, according to researchers at Penn State. The team's research challenges the previously held belief that neonicotinoid seed coatings have little to no effect on predatory insect populations. In fact, the work suggests that neonicotinoids reduce populations of insect predators as much as broadcast applications of commonly used pyrethroid insecticides.

 

New Report Confirms Bee-Killing Pesticides Cause Other Widespread Environmental Harm
New Report Confirms Bee-Killing Pesticides Cause Other Widespread Environmental Harm A new report released today by Center for Food Safety (CFS), Net Loss—Economic Efficacy and Costs of Neonicotinoid Insecticides Used as Seed Coatings: Updates from the United States and Europe, shows that the economic and environmental losses associated with widespread overuse of certain pesticide seed coatings greatly outweigh potential gains. The report is an update to CFS’s 2013 report Heavy Costs. It examines the “gross overuse” of neonicotinoids, or “neonics”, as prophylactic insecticidal seed coatings, which have long been recognized as causing both acute honey bee kills and chronic long-term damages to colonies and to beekeeper livelihoods.

 

Halfway through a video of a speech by the biologist Professor Dave Goulson there is an abrupt loss of sound. Goulson, who has devoted his working life to highlighting the catastrophic decline of bees, is giving a talk to hundreds gathered at the National Honey Show in 2015. Strangely, his words are silenced for 20 seconds of the video uploaded by the show to YouTube, precisely when he discusses the impact on bees of the most widely used insecticides in the world – neonicotinoids. ... ( Source: The Guardian )

 

Flowers use physics to attract pollinators
Flowers use physics to attract pollinators A new review indicates that flowers may be able to manipulate the laws of physics, by playing with light, using mechanical tricks, and harnessing electrostatic forces to attract pollinators.
The New Phytologist review describes the latest advances in our understanding of how plants use their flowers to ensure reproductive success. Flowers use light to attract pollinators by creating colour using microscopic structures or chemical effects. Using gravity to their advantage, petals cause pollinators to slip or grip when they land on a flower, ensuring that they transfer pollen without taking too much of the sugary nectar reward. Plants may even alter their electrical fields to influence pollinator visits.

 

Experimental insecticide explodes mosquitoes, not honeybees
Experimental insecticide explodes mosquitoes, not honeybees In a new study, Vanderbilt pharmacologist Jerod Denton, Ph.D., Ohio State entomologist Peter Piermarini, Ph.D., and colleagues report an experimental molecule that inhibits kidney function in mosquitoes and thus might provide a new way to control the deadliest animal on Earth.
The investigators aim their inhibitor, named VU041, at the mosquito Anopheles gambiae, the leading vector for malaria, and Aedes aegypti, a mosquito that transmits Zika virus and other pathogens.

 

Health Canada to consult on plan to manage agricultural uses of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid to protect aquatic insects
Health Canada to consult on plan to manage agricultural uses of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid to protect aquatic insects
  • In recent years, Health Canada identified and worked to address risks to bees and other pollinators from this class of pesticides. The Department’s neonicotinoid re-evaluation efforts on potential risks to pollinators have reduced the environmental risks of neonicotinoids. Since Health Canada introduced mandatory mitigation measures on treated corn and soybean seed in 2014, the number of incidents reported at the time of planting has decreased by up to 80%.
  • Health Canada has determined that concentrations of imidacloprid in surface water can range from non-detectable to, in some rare cases, levels as high as 11.9 parts per billion. Scientific evidence indicates that levels above 0.041 parts per billion are a concern.

 

Wildlife and environment groups call for neonicotinoid pesticides ban to be retained and extended
Wildlife and environment groups call for neonicotinoid pesticides ban to be retained and extended In an open letter marking the third anniversary of the EU ban on neonicotinoids, 16 UK wildlife, conservation and environment groups are calling for the current EU restrictions on neonicotinoid insecticides to be retained, and extended to all crops.
The organisations claim: "There is now more than enough evidence to retain the ban and extend it to all crops, and that this is essential to reverse the decline of bees and other pollinators."
Industry organisations such as the NFU and HTA have opposed the ban and called for more scientific research on neonicotinoid use.

 

Neonicotinoid pesticides foster spider mite outbreaks
Neonicotinoid pesticides foster spider mite outbreaks The pesticide has garnered negative attention recently, in part because of a spider mite outbreak it caused in New York. In 2005, neonicotinoid pesticides were sprayed on the trees in Central Park to combat the invasive Asian long-horned beetles living in the elm trees, as well as emerald ash borers, another invasive insect.
The insecticide did kill the invasive insects, but had the unforeseen consequence of causing a boom in spider mites, plant eating mites that eat hundreds of species of plants. Mites poke holes in leaves to feed, and they did this to the trees in the park so much that they began to drop leaves.

 

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