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The collapse of the Endocrine Disruptors’ policy: Commission’s ultimate gift to the pesticide industry
The collapse of the Endocrine Disruptors’ policy: Commission’s ultimate gift to the pesticide industry Europeans and the environment will continue to be exposed to pesticides that cause endocrine-related diseases to humans, animals and wildlife, according to this week’s Commission’s proposal. The proposal is an amendment to the regulation of Endocrine Disrupting (ED) pesticides (1107/2009, Annex II 3.6.5. and 3.8.2) to introduce the unrealistic and dangerous concept of ‘negligible risk’ and increase the presence of these harmful substances in our food by hundreds or thousand times.

 

Conservation in Baden-Württemberg: Just 20 % of the birds are left
Conservation in Baden-Württemberg:  Just 20 %  of the birds are left The results of this historical research are depressing and highly alarming.
Between 1800 and 1960, the number of individual birds had declined by just 15% , says Berthold - but from 1960 to 2018 bird populations crashed by a massive 65%.
"Today, we have just 20% of birds we had 200 years ago - and 55% of all species are seriously threatened."
Only a few species have thrived alongside humans, such as the greylag geese, crows and magpies.

 

Exposure of Hummingbirds and Bumble Bees to Pesticides
Exposure of Hummingbirds and Bumble Bees to Pesticides New research reveals that hummingbirds and bumble bees are being exposed to neonicotinoid and other pesticides through routes that are widespread and complex. The findings are published in Environmental Toxicology Chemistry.
To measure exposure to pesticides in these avian pollinators, investigators made novel use of cloacal fluid and fecal pellets from hummingbirds living near blueberry fields in British Columbia. They also collected bumble bees native to Canada, and their pollen, and blueberry leaves and flowers from within conventionally sprayed and organic blueberry farms.

 

Pesticides influence bee learning and memory
Pesticides influence bee learning and memory A large-scale study published by researchers from Royal Holloway University of London has drawn together the findings of a decade of agrochemical research to confirm that pesticides used in crop protection have a significant negative impact on the learning and memory abilities of bees. Their findings are published on 11 July in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

 

Determination of neonicotinoids in small volumes of songbird blood plasma
Determination of neonicotinoids in small volumes of songbird blood plasma Neonicotinoids are the most widely used class of insecticides in the world, and there are increasing concerns about their effects on non-target organisms. Analytical methods to diagnose exposure to neonicotinoids in wildlife are still very limited, particularly for small animals such as songbirds.

 

Scots beekeepers urged to join national honey monitoring scheme
Scots beekeepers urged to join national honey monitoring scheme Scientists need honey samples from across Scotland so they can better understand the factors that affect the size and health of honeybee populations, as well as honey yields.
The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) is asking amateur and professional beekeepers across Scotland to send in samples for its new national honey monitoring scheme. It will comprehensively test honey from around the UK.
The CEH scientists will use these techniques to identify the types of pollen and pesticide residues present in the honey samples, as well as some of the diseases bees are exposed to.

Dear **** Thanks for visiting the Honey Monitoring Scheme website. Regarding your query – the honey sample packs will be delivered to you, containing within them a freepost envelope addressed to our site at CEH Wallingford (see below). Once you have signed up to the scheme online and submitted your online questionnaire, this will trigger the process of us sending out the honey pack to you. I hope this helps - Please also check our FAQ page for wider information https://honey-monitoring.ac.uk/taking-part/faq
Ujala Syed

 

Study finds 29 pesticides in Devon river
Study finds 29 pesticides in Devon river Researchers have found 29 different pesticides in a single river in Devon.
Tests on four rivers in the county revealed 34 pesticides in total, as well as nine antimicrobials and veterinary drugs.
Scientists said they were surprised and concerned by the results, and warned there would be harmful effects for plants and wildlife
The tests were carried out using a high-quality new technique created by scientists in Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter.

 

Bees’ Needs Week 2018
Bees’ Needs Week 2018 Bees’ Needs Week is an annual event coordinated by Defra, working alongside and involving a number of charities, businesses, conservation groups and academic institutions to help raise awareness of bees and other pollinators. It is part of the National Pollinator Strategy in England’s wider work for bees and other pollinators.
From 9-15 July, London’s world-famous shopping destination will be renamed ‘Carnabee Street’ and transformed into a hive of activity in support of the campaign. Come down to enjoy a host of educational and fun games, installations and talks.

 

Dropcopter Releases Pollination Results. Way More Fruit Using a Drone Than When Using Honey Bees
Dropcopter Releases Pollination Results. Way More Fruit Using a Drone Than When Using Honey Bees Dropcopter, a drone AG startup based in California and Central New York, recently made headlines as the first company to successfully pollinate almonds, cherries and apples using drones.
Depending on environmental conditions which dictate the effectiveness of bees, the company has demonstrated an effective increase of 25% to 60% pollination set ( cherries and almonds). It means that in cold weather, and during bee shortages there’s a viable alternative to dependency on insect pollination.

 

National Trust buys two wildflower sites to protect wildlife
National Trust buys two wildflower sites to protect wildlife Hundreds of acres of flower-rich farmland have been bought by the National Trust to throw a lifeline to declining wildlife.
The £2.15 million deal to buy 186 hectares (460 acres) of land in the Peak District – an area equivalent to 260 football pitches – is the biggest farmland acquisition by the Trust since it bought Trevose Head in Cornwall in 2016.
The 80 hectares (198 acres) of land at High Fields at Stoney Middleton and the 106-hectare (262-acre) farm at Greensides near Buxton are home to “unusually large areas of hay meadows and flower rich grassland”.

 

‘Concrete’ kids who are baffled by bees
‘Concrete’ kids who are baffled by bees Youngsters brought up in skyscrapers are increasingly ignorant about nature.
One in 10 did not know where honey came from and one in four have not seen a caterpillar in over a year.
And 17% of children in the UK have not been to a park or forest in the last 12 months.
Youngsters are better at identifying Pokémon characters than British wildlife despite a £10million government pledge to get them closer to nature.

 

Manchester's Bee in the City mini bees have landed - here's where to find them
Manchester's Bee in the City mini bees have landed - here's where to find them Manchester will soon be abuzz with hundreds of giant bees - and the first ones have already landed in the city centre.
The Bee in the City trail will place eye-catching fibreglass sculptures of the insects at key landmarks around the city centre and surrounding suburbs throughout this summer.
More than 100 huge honeybees will be dotted around the public art trail, each with its own colourful design created by local artists, along with colonies of mini bees designed by school children, youth groups and adult creative groups.

 

Save us from the council verge neat-freaks
Save us from the council verge neat-freaks The autumn squill, Scilla autumnalis, has bright bluebell-coloured starry flowers. It is rare in the British Isles. It is also tiny, so small that most people could easily clodhop straight over it without noticing how lovely it is. I nearly did just that when I went looking for it in Surrey last summer until a kindly local botanist helped me find it flowering away on a grass verge.
I went home pleased to have met such a minutely pretty wild flower. But a few days later, the kindly local botanist got in touch again, distraught. The local council had strimmed the verge where the autumn squills grew, and they were no more. He had even told them that they should leave this patch of grass until later in the year so that the tiny squills could set seed, but someone had cut them down all the same.

 

Honey Bees Prioritize the Nutritional Status of Larvae When Selecting for a New Emergency Queen
Honey Bees Prioritize the Nutritional Status of Larvae When Selecting for a New Emergency Queen New research shows that honey bees prioritize the nutritional status of larvae when selecting for a new emergency queen.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded study is published in the journal Scientific Reports and is the result of a research collaboration between entomologists at Oregon State University and North Carolina State University.
This is the first study that has thoroughly investigated the role of nutritional state of larvae in their selection for queen rearing.

 

Asian hornet nests found by radio-tracking
Asian hornet nests found by radio-tracking Electronic radio tags could be used to track invasive Asian hornets and stop them colonising the UK and killing honeybees, new research shows.
Scientists from the University of Exeter attached tiny tags to Asian hornets, then used a tracking device to follow them to their nests; the first time this has been achieved.
They tested the technique in southern France and Jersey—where Asian hornets are well established—and the tags led researchers to five previously undiscovered nests.

 


Samuel Ramsey, a doctoral candidate in entomology, explains his dissertation on Varroa destructor, a parasitic mite that feeds on honey bees

 

Our natural world is disappearing before our eyes. We have to save it
Our natural world is disappearing before our eyes. We have to save it The creatures we feared our grandchildren wouldn’t see have vanished: it’s happened faster than even pessimists predicted.
It felt as disorienting as forgetting my pin number. I stared at the caterpillar, unable to attach a name to it. I don’t think my mental powers are fading: I still possess an eerie capacity to recall facts and figures and memorise long screeds of text. This is a specific loss. As a child and young adult, I delighted in being able to identify almost any wild plant or animal. And now it has gone. This ability has shrivelled from disuse: I can no longer identify them because I can no longer find them.

 

How to manage a bee swarm and use bait boxes
How to manage a bee swarm and use bait boxes Ann Chilcott, Scottish Expert Beemaster, offers advice on taking advantage of swarm season.
One way to get free bees is to entice swarms into your garden. I set up a bait hive which has been successful in attracting some of our most illustrious insect pollinators and honey makers into my apiary.

 

Hundreds and Hundreds of Bumble and Other Bees Killed on Linden Trees in Virginia.
Hundreds and Hundreds of Bumble and Other Bees Killed on Linden Trees in Virginia. There was a Linden tree associated kill event in Reston, VA this week. Table in link documents the species involved, what is known and follow up studies to see if mortality continues in subsequent years .

 

Boy, 3, stung 18 times in Burghfield bee attack
Boy, 3, stung 18 times in Burghfield bee attack A three-year-old boy was taken to A&E after being stung 18 times by a colony of angry bees.
Hundreds of the insects were set loose when efforts to move a hive in Burghfield, Berkshire "went wrong".
A note put up near the village hall says: "A hive broke open...we are very sorry if you got stung."
A bee expert said the insects "would have felt under attack" and were protecting their home.

 

Virginia honeybee losses nearly doubles over winter
Virginia honeybee losses nearly doubles over winter LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Winter bee losses reached their peak at 60 percent for the 2017-2018 season.
This is according to an announcement of winter losses from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).

 

Robot Bees Are Coming -- Be Afraid
Robot Bees Are Coming -- Be Afraid Appearing soon over a crop near you will be an army of bees that are bots. Monsanto, for one, is currently supporting a project by the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences calling for the design of robotic bees as a replacement for honeybees, a population that is now dropping like ... I guess you could say bees. In the year period that ended in April 2016, 44 percent of the overall commercial bee population died
Setting billions of years of evolution of the planet aside, industry's solution to a problem that they to a great measure created in the first place, are robotic bees made from plastic and titanium programmed to pollinate genetically engineered crops.

 

'We cannot survive without insects'
'We cannot survive without insects' Many people see insects as annoying pests. But British biologist Dave Goulson cautions: A world without insects is a dull place without coffee and chocolate — and with dead animals and cow patties piling up.
Dave Goulson: Insects are the dominant lifeform on the planet. We've named well over a million species of insects, and there could be 5 or 10 million. As for the number of individuals, it's safe to say that there are many more insects than anything else (excluding microorganisms like bacteria).

 

Scientists find evidence of 27 new viruses in bees
Scientists find evidence of 27 new viruses in bees An international team of researchers has discovered evidence of 27 previously unknown viruses in bees. The finding could help scientists design strategies to prevent the spread of viral pathogens among these important pollinators.
"Populations of bees around the world are declining, and viruses are known to contribute to these declines," said David Galbraith, research scientist at Bristol Myers Squibb and a recent Penn State graduate. "Despite the importance of bees as pollinators of flowering plants in agricultural and natural landscapes and the importance of viruses to bee health, our understanding of bee viruses is surprisingly limited."

 

Huge research programme announced to protect bees
Huge research programme announced to protect bees A new study into the effects of agrochemicals on bees across the UK and Europe is due to be carried out by a consortium of academics, governmental organisations, industry, and NGOs.
This will be the first study of its kind to incorporate the knowledge and experience of local beekeeping, farming organisations and academic researchers - including the EU RefLab for bee health - and will provide the first comprehensive pan-European assessment of the exposure hazard of chemicals.

 

Bees love blue fluorescent light, and not just any wavelength will do
Bees love blue fluorescent light, and not just any wavelength will do The research is important because bees have a nearly $15 billion dollar impact on the U.S. economy—almost 100 commercial crops would vanish without bees to transfer the pollen grains needed for reproduction.
"The blue fluorescence just triggered a crazy response in the bees, told them they must go to it," said the study's corresponding author, Oksana Ostroverkhova. "It's not just their vision, it's something behavioral that drives them."

 

Apiary fire back of Alves
Apiary fire back of Alves Got a call from Moray Estates last night teling me there had been a fire at one of my apiary sites at Alves. Two hives lost but the photos show it could have been much worse. There were 20 hives in the field and if the wind had been blowing the other way all would have been lost. The Police are treating it as deliberate as there was another fire nearby the same afternoon. Feeling a bit gutted but as I said, could have been a lot worse

 

Where have all our insects gone ?
Where have all our insects gone ? When Simon Leather was a student in the 1970s, he took a summer job as a postman and delivered mail to the villages of Kirk Hammerton and Green Hammerton in North Yorkshire. He recalls his early morning walks through its lanes, past the porches of houses on his round. At virtually every home, he saw the same picture: windows plastered with tiger moths that had been attracted by lights the previous night and were still clinging to the glass. “It was quite a sight,” says Leather, who is now a professor of entomology at Harper Adams University in Shropshire.

 

High risk of food shortages without pesticides, says chemical giant
High risk of food shortages without pesticides, says chemical giant The world is likely to face food shortages within 20 years if pesticides and genetically modified crops are shunned, according to the head of the world’s biggest pesticide manufacturer.
J Erik Fyrwald, CEO of Syngenta, also said the technologies to produce more food from less land are vital in halting climate change, but that better targeting will mean farmers around the world will use less pesticide in future.

 

Clever bees can identify different flowers by patterns of scent
Clever bees can identify different flowers by patterns of scent New research led by scientists from the University of Bristol and Queen Mary University of London has revealed that bumblebees can tell flowers apart by patterns of scent.
Flowers have lots of different patterns on their surfaces that help to guide bees and other pollinators towards the flower's nectar, speeding up pollination.
These patterns include visual signals like lines pointing to the centre of the flower, or colour differences.

 

The pollination of cultivated plants
The pollination of cultivated plants More than twenty years ago, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations contributed to the growing recognition of the role of pollination in agricultural production, with the publication of “The Pollination of Cultivated Plants in the Tropics”. Since that time, the appreciation of pollinators has grown, alongside the realization that we stand to lose them. But our knowledge and understanding of crop pollination, pollinator biology, and best management practices has also expanded over this time.
This volume is the first of two “compendiums for practitioners”, sharing expert knowledge on all dimensions of crop pollination in both temperate and tropical zones. The focus in this first volume is on applied crop and system-specific pollination. The focus in this second volume is on management, study and research tools and techniques.

 

Chris Packham warns of 'ecological apocalypse' in Britain
Chris Packham warns of 'ecological apocalypse' in Britain According to Packham, British people have normalised a “national catastrophe” and only see a wealth of wildlife in nature reserves, with the wider countryside bereft of life.
“Nature reserves are becoming natural art installations,” he said. “It’s just like looking at your favourite Constable or Rothko. We go there, muse over it, and feel good because we’ve seen a bittern or some avocets or orchids. But on the journey home there’s nothing – only wood pigeons and non-native pheasants and dead badgers on the side of the road.

 

French Beekeepers Accuse Bayer after Glyphosate Found in Honey
French Beekeepers Accuse Bayer after Glyphosate Found in Honey The head of the cooperative in the Aisne region, which represents some 200 beekeepers, said Famille Michaud, one of the country’s largest honey marketers, found the chemical in three batches supplied by one of its members.
“They systematically analyse the honey shipments they receive, and they found glyphosate,” Jean-Marie Camus said.
The weedkiller, introduced by the US agro-giant Monsanto under the Roundup brand name, is the most widely used in France, where President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to outlaw it by 2021.

 

‘Bees are dying’: Beekeepers stage Paris mock funeral
‘Bees are dying’: Beekeepers stage Paris mock funeral Bees in France are dying at an alarming rate, say beekeepers who staged a mock funeral in central Paris on Thursday, calling on the government to take urgent action to stave off an ecological disaster.
French beekeepers say an average of 30 percent of bee colonies died following the last winter, a devastating blow they blamed on the use of pesticides across the country.

 

Bees understand the concept of zero
Bees understand the concept of zero Scientists have discovered honeybees can understand the concept of zero, putting them in an elite club of clever animals that can grasp the abstract mathematical notion of nothing.
In research published in the journal Science, Australian and French researchers tested whether honey bees can rank numerical quantities and understand that zero belongs at the lower end of a sequence of numbers.

 

Inside the brains of killer bees
Inside the brains of killer bees Africanized honeybees, commonly known as "killer bees," are much more aggressive than their European counterparts. Now researchers have examined neuropeptide changes that take place in Africanized honeybees' brains during aggressive behavior. The researchers, who report their results in the Journal of Proteome Research, also showed they could turn gentle bees into angry ones by injecting them with certain peptides

 

Bee Saving Paper
Bee Saving Paper After a century of rapid industrialisation and unprecedented urban development, bees have to fly much further in search of the plants they need. Long distances exhaust them. This is putting them on the verge of extinction.
That’s why we created Bee Saving Paper - an innovative, biodegradable material that can be used for many purposes and works like an energy drink for bees to help them fly further.

 

540m-year-old bug tracks are oldest footprints ever discovered
540m-year-old bug tracks are oldest footprints ever discovered The oldest known footprints on Earth, left by an ancient creepy-crawly more than 500 million years ago, have been discovered in China.
The tracks were left by a primitive ancestor of modern-day insects or worms, according to scientists. Precisely what the creature looked like is a mystery, though: nothing this old with legs has been discovered to date.
Prof Shuhai Xiao, a geobiologist at Virginia Tech University and senior author of the research, said the finding brings scientists closer to understanding what creatures were the first to evolve pairs of legs.

 

B.C. beekeepers cautious as 233 scientists urge neonic pesticide ban
B.C. beekeepers cautious as 233 scientists urge neonic pesticide ban B.C. beekeepers say a new call from 233 global scientists for severe restrictions on pesticides that threaten the world’s bee populations is admirable but warrants caution to prevent unintended effects.
On Friday, the journal Science published “Call to restrict neonicotinoids,” an open letter signed by researchers in 38 countries, representing every continent.
“They are highly toxic to insects, a group of organisms that contains the majority of the described life on Earth, and which includes numerous species of vital importance to humans such as pollinators,” the letter stated. “The balance of evidence strongly suggests that these chemicals are harming beneficial insects and contributing to the current massive loss of global biodiversity.”

 

Great British Bee Count 2018 - in pictures
Great British Bee Count 2018 - in pictures As the fifth annual Great British Bee Count gets under way, wildlife and gardening experts are calling on the public to grow weeds to help Britain’s bees. The count, which will provide the first national health check for wild bees and other pollinators, runs until 30 June

 

Neonicotinoids Ban Officially Registered in the EU
Neonicotinoids Ban Officially Registered in the EU The European Commission has officially adopted the approved regulations to completely ban all outdoor uses of three neonicotinoid substances (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam). The ban is now officially in the registries since May 29, ensuring an improved protection of pollinators and the environment. Besides, regulations can now be consulted and retrieved from the official website of the Commission. Available in all EU-28 languages, you may find the document here. The ban will come into effect starting December 19.

 

Letter: When the bees are gone, politicians can eat their money
Letter: When the bees are gone, politicians can eat their money Editor: I just heard on the news that the European Union has banned all pesticides that are harmful to honey bees and wild bees.
Also, New Brunswick at the same time announced that they have lost 80 per cent of their honey bees. What’s the matter with our politicians? When the bees are completely gone we will all suffer.
And then those same politicians can chew on their almighty dollars and I hope they don’t choke on them.

 

Mind your beeswax: global price surge leaves bearded Australians in a tangle
Mind your beeswax: global price surge leaves bearded Australians in a tangle The soaring price of Australian beeswax could be bad news for local beard owners – and good news for scammers – as demand for high-quality beeswax heats up. New uses for the wax – from cosmetics to food wraps – and the comparative health of Australia’s bees have driven the export price of Australian beeswax up in the global marketplace.

 

Bees adjust to seasons with nutrients in flowers and 'dirty water'
Bees adjust to seasons with nutrients in flowers and 'dirty water' Researchers at Tufts University have discovered that honey bees alter their diet of nutrients according to the season, particularly as winter approaches. A spike in calcium consumption in the fall, and high intake of potassium, help prepare the bees for colder months when they likely need those minerals to generate warmth through rapid muscle contractions. A careful inventory of the bees' nutrient intake revealed shifting sources (from flowers to mineral rich 'dirty water') and how limitations in nutrient availability from these sources can have implications for the health of both managed and wild colonies.

 

Wasps drum to alert one another of food nearby
Wasps drum to alert one another of food nearby New research shows wasps have their own way of communicating to each other about mealtimes -- drumming on their gaster (or abdomen) to let each other know that there's food nearby. For nearly five decades, researchers thought the gastral drumming was a signal of hunger. These findings are the first evidence that wasps have complex communication about food, just as ants, bees, termites, and other social insects.

 

Bumblebees confused by iridescent colours
Bumblebees confused by iridescent colours A new study published today by the University of Bristol shows for the first time that dazzling iridescent colours in animals can act as camouflage.
Iridescence is a form of structural colour which uses regular repeating nanostructures to reflect light at slightly different angles, causing a colour-change effect.

 

Making the Case for Better Coffee through Bees
Making the Case for Better Coffee through Bees Pollination by bees and other animals contributes five to eight percent of global crop production value, varying widely among crops — from 0 percent in wheat to 95 percent in squash and pumpkin, for example. And while coffee production isn’t as dependent on bees as other crops, research shows that pollinators do impact productivity and quality.
Because Arabica is self-fertilizing, it will still set fruit even without cross pollination. That doesn’t mean bees don’t help, however. Bee pollination increases fruit retention, seed mass, and finally the yield of mature fruits.

 

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