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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.

 

Neonicotinoids: Landmark European Court Verdict Could Change Bee Deaths Debate
Neonicotinoids: Landmark European Court Verdict Could Change Bee Deaths Debate Safety tests submitted to European regulators by chemical companies will have to be made public, following a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that could have a major impact on the debate around the decline of bee populations across the world.
The verdict means studies submitted by the chemical industry to national regulators and the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) will now be open to scrutiny.
In its ruling, the ECJ said that research looking at the safety of pesticides carried out by chemical companies counts as “information on emissions into the environment” as set our under EU law and should therefore be available for public scrutiny.

 

Neonicotinoids: Systemic Insecticides and Systematic Failure
Neonicotinoids: Systemic Insecticides and Systematic Failure As we celebrate 50 years of publication of the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (BECT), we are simultaneously discovering that the widespread adoption and use of neonicotinoid compounds originally considered to be environmentally benign can now potentially be considered to be an environmental catastrophe.

 

High Time to Stop "Managing" the Bees
High Time to Stop Managing the Bees Here are some words from the bee health page of the BBKA’s website followed by an extract from the BBKA’s teaching syllabus:
  • You must be able to manage varroa in your bees, if you want to be a beekeeper. Keeping bees is like keeping other animals. You are responsible for their well-being and must be aware of how to keep them healthy.
  • The Assessors will examine the Candidates’ method of queen rearing. This does not need to include grafting techniques but will demonstrate that the candidate is selecting the material for breeding and not rely on the use of naturally occurring swarm cells.

 

Court Fails to Protect Bees and Beekeepers from Toxic Pesticides
Court Fails to Protect Bees and Beekeepers from Toxic Pesticides Yesterday a judge in the Northern District of California delivered a crushing blow to the nation’s beekeepers and imperiled honey bees. The judge ruled against the beekeepers and public interest advocates in a lawsuit seeking to protect honey bees and the broader environment from unregulated harms caused by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) lax policies for seeds coated with certain insecticides known to cause massive die-offs of honey bees.

 

Another species of Varroa mite threatens European honeybees
Another species of Varroa mite threatens European honeybees WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A sister species of the Varroa destructor mite is developing the ability to parasitize European honeybees, threatening pollinators already hard pressed by pesticides, nutritional deficiencies and disease, a Purdue University study says.
Researchers found that some populations of Varroa jacobsoni mites are shifting from feeding and reproducing on Asian honeybees, their preferred host, to European honeybees, the primary species used for crop pollination and honey production worldwide. To bee researchers, it's a grimly familiar story: V. destructor made the same host leap at least 60 years ago, spreading rapidly to become the most important global health threat to European honeybees

 

Bacterial Imbalances Can Mean Bad News for Honey Bees
Bacterial Imbalances Can Mean Bad News for Honey Bees In a study published in the November issue of Molecular Ecology, the team fed caged honey bees one of four diets: fresh pollen, aged pollen, fresh supplements, and aged supplements. After seven days, the team euthanized and dissected the bees and used next-generation sequencing methods to identify the bacteria communities that had colonized the bees' digestive tract.

 

Honey wars: crime and killings in New Zealand’s booming manuka industry
Honey wars: crime and killings in New Zealand’s booming manuka industry An extraordinary rise in the popularity of manuka honey has led to mass poisonings of bees, thefts, vandalism and beatings
It was the day the bees died – tens of thousands of them in 300 hives, mysteriously killed.
“The massacre”, as it is being called, happened in the otherwise idyllic landscape of Doubtless Bay in New Zealand’s far north

 

New findings about the honey bee infecting deformed wing virus
New findings about the honey bee infecting deformed wing virus Apiculture in North America and Europe is especially affected by partly massive losses. Only during the winter months of 2014/2015, up to fifty per cent of all bee colonies in some Austrian regions collapsed.
The deformed wing virus (DWV) belongs to the family of Iflaviridae. These viruses are so-called RNA viruses. Their genetic material only consists of one ribonucleotide strand, unlike the prevailing double-stranded DNA in mammals. In most but not all cases, infections with the deformed wing virus are bound to an infestation of a hive with the Varroa mite. "The virus persists in the hives and can even be detected if there are no parasites in the hive."

 

Pest control: Wicked weeds may be agricultural angels
Pest control: Wicked weeds may be agricultural angels Farmers looking to reduce reliance on pesticides, herbicides and other pest management tools may want to heed the advice of Cornell agricultural scientists: Let nature be nature - to a degree.
"Managing crop pests without fully understanding the impacts of tactics - related to resistance and nontarget plants or insects - costs producers money," said Antonio DiTommaso, professor of soil and crop science and lead author of a new study, "Integrating Insect, Resistance and Floral Resource Management in Weed Control Decision-Making," in the journal Weed Science (Oct-Dec 2016)

 

In this week’s segment of The Neonicotinoid View, host June Stoyer and Tom Theobald talk to bee health advocate and environmental author, Graham White about the importance of the dose-time ratio. Stay tuned !

 

EPA Approves Use of Dangerous Herbicide Dicamba on GE Crops
EPA Approves Use of Dangerous Herbicide Dicamba on GE Crops Ignoring the legal requirement to examine threats to endangered species, the Environmental Protection Agency today approved the use of the dangerously toxic herbicide dicamba on crops genetically engineered to tolerate the pesticide. Dicamba has been around for decades, but this new EPA decision allows the herbicide to be sprayed directly on genetically engineered cotton and soybeans — opening the door for dicamba use to jump from less than 1 million pounds to more than 25 million annually on these two crops.

 

Royal beekeeper accused of giving banned drugs to animals
Royal beekeeper accused of giving banned drugs to animals A beekeeper from Perthshire has gone on trial accused of administering banned drugs to honey bees.
Royal apiarist Murray McGregor, who has produced honey for Prince Charles, faces a series of charges relating to the importing and storing of unauthorised medicinal products.
McGregor, the owner of Denrosa Apiaries in Blairgowrie, is alleged to have "administered unauthorised veterinary medicinal products" to an animal, namely the honey bee.

 

Bees use multiple cues in hunt for pollen
Bees use multiple cues in hunt for pollen Bees use a variety of senses and memory of previous experiences when deciding where to forage for pollen, research by the University of Exeter suggests.
The researchers believe pollen-collecting bees do not base their foraging decisions on taste alone, but instead make an "overall sensory assessment" of their experience at a particular flower.
Bees typically do not eat pollen when they collect it from flowers, but carry it back to the nest via special "sacs" on their legs or hairs on their body.
This makes it difficult to understand how bees judge whether the pollen a flower produces is nutritious enough for their young.

 

Study highlights a new threat to bees worldwide
Study highlights a new threat to bees worldwide A recent study published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports highlights a newly identified virus—named Moku after the Hawaiian Island from which it was isolated—in the invasive wasp, Vespula pensylvanica. The research also warns that transmission of these kinds of viruses, especially from invasive species which can spread viruses to new locations, is a threat to pollinator health worldwide.
Particularly under threat are honey bees, which are as vital to our food systems as the crops they pollinate, and which are prone to a range of emergent diseases including Moku and Deformed wing virus (DWV).

 

Contamination of the Aquatic Environment with Neonicotinoids and its Implication for Ecosystems
Contamination of the Aquatic Environment with Neonicotinoids and its Implication for Ecosystems The widespread use of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides in agriculture results first in contamination of the soil of the treated crops, and secondly in the transfer of residues to the aquatic environment. The high toxicity of these insecticides to aquatic insects and other arthropods has been recognized, but there is little awareness of the impacts these chemicals have on aquatic environments and the ecosystem at large.

 

Bayer Ordered to Halt Ads Describing Its Pesticide, Which is Toxic to Bees, as “Vitamins for Plants”
Bayer Ordered to Halt Ads Describing Its Pesticide, Which is Toxic to Bees, as “Vitamins for Plants” Bayer Crop Science, the world's largest agrochemical company, buckled to Massachusetts' demand that it stop advertising that its neonicotinoid pesticides are like "giving 'a daily vitamin' to plants," though the chemicals have been linked to honeybee colony collapse disorder.
Attorney General Maura Healey filed an Assurance of Discontinuance on Oct. 26 in Suffolk County Court to settle the dispute, which her office began investigating in September 2013. Bayer Cropscience promised to pay $75,000 and to stop its misleading advertising, for instance, that its neonicotinoid pesticide products are EPA-approved.

 

Norm Gary still plays his tunes, talks to the bees, and entertains us all
Norm Gary still plays his tunes, talks to the bees, and entertains us all This picture of Dr. Gary covered with bees and playing the clarinet is the 2-page “center fold” for a book, “A Day in the Life of California”. Pictures in this book were taken on April 29, 1988 and chosen from 115,000 photos submitted by 100 of the world’s most famous photojournalists.
Dr. Norm Gary started beekeeping as a teenager in Florida 69 years ago!
This 2-minute link shows some of the exciting moments of his long beekeeping career.

 

New Magazine
A  new Natural Bee Husbandry Magazine A new Natural Bee Husbandry Magazine which was launched at the National Honey Show which is for beekeepers who prefer other than conventional ways of keeping bees.

 

Neonicotinoids Lawsuit
Neonicotinoids Lawsuit Should seeds coated with neonicotinoids be regulated as pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)? The answer to that question, which is at the heart of a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco, could have huge implications for farmers, who plant neonic-coated seeds on about 142 million acres.
At issue is an EPA guidance issued in 2013 for evaluating alleged cases of pesticide-related bee deaths and other incidents. The guidance said that planting neonic-coated seeds is not considered a “pesticide use.” Instead, EPA said the seeds can be considered “treated articles” that are exempt from FIFRA regulation.

 

Buzz Kill
Buzz Kill Not that long ago, third-generation commercial beekeeper Jim Doan was a prosperous man. He maintained as many as 5,300 hives on his farm in western New York. In addition to selling honey, he earned a good living renting out the services of his honeybees to pollinate crops such as butternut squash, zucchini, pumpkins, cucumbers, and apples.
But around 2006, Doan noticed that something was wrong with his bees. Whole colonies were simply disappearing, leaving behind empty hives.

 

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