Bee News 3

 

 

The European Commission has authorised our product VarroMed® as a new Varroa treatment
The European Commission has authorised our product VarroMed® as a new Varroa treatment
  • 1st EU wide registered veterinary medicine (VMP) for bees!
  • 1st treatment against Varroasis in honey bee colonies with and without brood.
  • 1st Varroa Treatment approved for Spring, Autumn and Winter treatment.
  • 1st product to have a zero day withdrawal period in this combination.
Full details of this product can bee downloaded ... here

 

Revealed: Which manuka honey is really good for you? And which, like the one from Harrods, fail a new scientific test of their health benefits
Revealed: Which manuka honey is really good for you? And which, like the one from Harrods, fail a new scientific test of their health benefits
  • Studies have found that manuka honey has antibacterial properties with fans including Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson and Katherine Jenkins
  • What many buyers don’t realise is there is no legal definition of manuka honey meaning it can be diluted with cheaper honey and still be a legal product
  • A new test by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) could be the key to working out if your manuka is worth the money
  • FEMAIL puts some of the most popular brands of manuka honey to the test

 

“It is said that smoke calms honeybees”
It is said that smoke calms honeybees The perception that honeybees can escape an approaching wildfire by absconding in advance of the fire is so well entrenched that no thought appears to have been given to see that it is an utter fallacy. Entire apiaries in the Western Cape have been utterly consumed by fire on a fairly regular basis over the years with not a single swarm issuing from them as the fire bears down on the apiary.

 

Are you one of the 80% who will quit ?
Are you one of the 80% who will quit? Rumour has it that 80% of new beekeepers will quit within the first two years. I don’t know how accurate that estimate is. Like other statistics related to beekeeping, it seems to survive with no one keeping score.
Beekeeping has a romantic aspect that attracts a wide following, but the day-to-day life of a beekeeper is anything but romantic.

 

How toxic pesticides in ‘insect-friendly’ plants sold in garden centres could be killing endangered bees
How toxic pesticides in ‘insect-friendly’ plants sold in garden centres could be killing endangered bees
  • More than 70% of 'pollinator-friendly' specimens tested positive for pesticides
  • Type of heather sold at Wyevale contained five insecticides and five fungicides
  • Experts have expressed concern at the effect the plant can have on insects
  • Full study text ... here

 

Where have all the insects gone ?
Where have all the insects gone ? Entomologists call it the windshield phenomenon. "If you talk to people, they have a gut feeling. They remember how insects used to smash on your windscreen," says Wolfgang Wägele, director of the Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity in Bonn, Germany. Today, drivers spend less time scraping and scrubbing. "I'm a very data-driven person," says Scott Black, executive director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation in Portland, Oregon. "But it is a visceral reaction when you realize you don't see that mess anymore."

 

Lyme disease sufferer claims bee stings help control her symptoms
Lyme disease sufferer claims bee stings help control her symptoms Ingrid Watt, 36, who grew up in Orkney and now lives in Inverness, believes she has had the disease, which be transmitted to humans by tick bites, since she was 18.
Underlying health problems became worse five years ago and included reoccurring shingles and neurological issues.
She believes properties in the bee venom help control her Lyme disease

 

Why has Labour included bees in its manifesto?
Why has Labour included bees in its manifesto? If you were wondering why bees popped up in the Labour party’s leaked manifesto this week, then here’s the answer.
Since 1900 about 20 bee species have become extinct in the UK and 35 more are now at risk.
According to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, between 1980 and 2010, 51% of pollinator species – including all bee species and wasps – became less widespread, with 36% showing a strong decrease.

 

Court Holds Bee-killing Pesticide Approvals Violated the Law
Court Holds Bee-killing Pesticide Approvals Violated the Law A Federal Court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) systematically violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) – a key wildlife protection law – when it approved bee-killing insecticides known as neonicotinoids. In a case ongoing for the last four years, brought by beekeepers, wildlife conservation groups, and food safety and consumer advocates, Judge Maxine Chesney of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that EPA had unlawfully issued 59 pesticide registrations between 2007 and 2012 for a wide variety of agricultural, landscaping and ornamental uses.

 

How Varroa mites take advantage of managed beekeeping practices
How Varroa mites take advantage of managed beekeeping practices In an article in the Entomological Society of America's Environmental Entomology, researchers argue that the Varroa mite has "co-opted" several honey bee behaviors to its own benefit, allowing it to disperse widely even though the mite itself is not a highly mobile insect. The mite's ability to hitchhike on wandering bees, the infections it transmits to bees, and the density of colonies in managed beekeeping settings make for a deadly combination.

 


Can Mushrooms Save the Honey Bee? | bioGraphic
Researchers at Washington State University have been fighting back by treating hives with mushroom spores and extracts that are toxic to varroa mites. As a bonus, the mushroom’s antiviral properties keep bees healthy and living longer..

 

Bumblebees: Pesticide 'reduces queen egg development'
Bumblebees: Pesticide 'reduces queen egg development' Use of a common pesticide in spring could have an impact on wild bumblebees by interfering with their life cycle, a UK study suggests.
The team, who looked at wild bumblebees caught in the English countryside, say the insecticide, thiamethoxam, reduces egg development in queen bees.
They say this is likely to reduce bee populations later in the year.
Thiamethoxam is one of three neonicotinoid insecticides currently restricted for use by the EU.

 

The Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
The Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services The objective of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services is to provide Governments, private sector, and civil society with scientifically credible and independent up-to-date assessments of available knowledge to make informed decisions at the local, national and international level.
Full report 556 pages !

 

First Time Nicotine-Based Pesticides Found in Tap Water While A Colorado Honey Beekeeper Loses 100% of His Colonies
First Time Nicotine-Based Pesticides Found in Tap Water While A Colorado Honey Beekeeper Loses 100% of His Colonies April 28, 2017 Niwot, Colorado - Earlier this month on April 5, 2017, The Washington Post headlined, “First Evidence Found of Popular Farm Pesticides in Drinking Water.” Over the past decade since the beginning of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD see websites below) was first reported in Pennsylvania in the winter of 2006-2007, honey bee keepers have pointed to nicotine-based pesticides as the bee killer.
In the past ten years, many honey beekeepers in North America have lost 80% to 100% of their colonies and have had to give up the business altogether or try to start over with all new insects. But what no beekeeper has been able to do is protect honey bees from the now-widespread assaults of nicotine-based insecticides that are everywhere in the corn, alfalfa, soybeans and other crop fields of the world. One of those honey beekeepers who has now lost 100% of his colony is Tom Theobald

Interview:

 

Healthy honey bees and sustainable maize production: why not ?
Healthy honey bees and sustainable maize production: why not ? In the early 2000s, Italian beekeepers began to report bee mortality events linked to maize sowing. Evidence pointed to three neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam) and a phenylpyrazole (fipronil) used for seed dressing that were dispersed in the environment during sowing.
Here we show that in Italy after the precautionary suspension, the number of bee mortality events linked to maize sowing drastically declined.

 

Are neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatments endangering wild bees ?
Are neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatments endangering wild bees ? “Federal protections may be the only thing standing between the bumble bee and extinction,” said Rebecca Riley, with the Natural Resources Defense Council, after the Trump administration released its hold in March and agreed to list the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as endangered.
Bee activists are now lobbying the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to list three other wild bumble bee species: the western bumble bee (Bombus occidentalis), the yellow-banded bumble bee (Bombus terricola) and Franklin’s bumblebee (Bombus franklini).

 

Common pesticide damages honey bee's ability to fly
Common pesticide damages honey bee's ability to fly Biologists at the University of California San Diego have demonstrated for the first time that a widely used pesticide can significantly impair the ability of otherwise healthy honey bees to fly, raising concerns about how pesticides affect their capacity to pollinate and the long-term effects on the health of honey bee colonies.

 

Wax Worms to the Rescue !
Wax Worms to the Rescue ! A research scientist at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Federica Bertocchini, has discovered that wax worms (Galleria mellonella), which usually feed on honey and wax from the honeycombs of bees, are capable of degrading plastic. This worm is capable of biodegrading polyethylene, one of the toughest plastic materials that exists, and which is used to make shopping bags and food packaging, amongst other things.

 


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Bees face heavy pesticide peril from drawn-out sources
Bees face heavy pesticide peril from drawn-out sources Honeybees - employed to pollinate crops during the blooming season - encounter danger due to lingering and wandering pesticides, according to an analysis of the bee’s own food.
Researchers used 120 pristine honeybee colonies that were placed near 30 apple orchards around New York state. After allowing the bees to forage for several days during the apple flowering period, the scientists examined each hive’s “beebread” – the bees’ food stores made from gathered pollen – to search for traces of pesticides.

 

Birds vs. bees: Study helps explain how flowers evolved to get pollinators to specialize
Birds vs. bees: Study helps explain how flowers evolved to get pollinators to specialize Ecologists who study flowering plants have long believed that flowers evolved with particular sets of characteristics to attract specific pollinators. But a recent article suggests that flowers visited almost exclusively by hummingbirds are designed not to lure birds, but to confuse bumblebees and cost them precious time. This extra cost leads most bees to seek nectar rewards elsewhere, thus enabling the plants to more effectively attract more efficient hummingbird pollinators.

 

Which body part hurts the most when stung by a bee?
Nicknamed 'cow killers', you don't want to be stung by a velvet ant When entomologist Justin Schmidt created the "Schmidt Pain Scale for Stinging Insects," he gave the world the first measure for comparing the pain of a yellow-jacket sting (he describes it as "hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W.C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue") to that of a tarantula hawk wasp ("blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair dryer has just been dropped into your bubble bath").

 

Pesticide maker tries to kill risk study
Pesticide maker tries to kill risk study Dow Chemical is pushing a Trump administration open to scrapping regulations to ignore the findings of federal scientists who point to a family of widely used pesticides as harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species.

 

Get to Know Tropilaelaps Mites, Another Serious Parasite of Honey Bees
Get to Know Tropilaelaps Mites, Another Serious Parasite of Honey Bees The plight of honey bees is well documented, as is the cause of much of their grief: parasitic mites. Varroa destructor gets the largest amount of attention as the most devastating parasite of European honey bees (Apis mellifera), but other serious parasitic mites exist as well. In a new review article published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, a group of entomologists profile Tropilaelaps, a genus of mites found in Asia that parasitizes honey bees and could pose a threat to global European honey bee populations if it is introduced into new areas.

 

The Same Pesticides Linked to Bee Declines Might Also Threaten Birds
The Same Pesticides Linked to Bee Declines Might Also Threaten Birds Neonicotinoids are washing off of their host seeds and into water bodies—threatening not just aquatic insects but the birds that rely on them.

 

Rare black bees worth £1,000 stolen in Western Isles
Rare black bees worth £1,000 stolen in Western Isles The two hives on Harris were part of efforts to save the threatened native European honeybee species, generally known as black bees due to their dark colouring.
Estimates put the loss around £1,000.
Beekeeper Gavin Jones believes his hives, kept in the remote village of Manish in eastern Harris, were deliberately targeted.
He was off the island caring for his dying father when the thieves struck.

 

Honey bees have sharper eyesight than we thought
Honey bees have sharper eyesight than we thought Research conducted at the University of Adelaide has discovered that bees have much better vision than was previously known, offering new insights into the lives of honey bees, and new opportunities for translating this knowledge into fields such as robot vision.
The findings come from "eye tests" given to western honey bees (also known as European honey bees, Apis mellifera) by postdoctoral researcher Dr Elisa Rigosi (Department of Biology, Lund University, Sweden) in the Adelaide Medical School, under the supervision of Dr Steven Wiederman (Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide) and Professor David O'Carroll (Department of Biology, Lund University, Sweden).

 

To save honey bees, human behavior must change
To save honey bees, human behavior must change In the search for answers to the complex health problems and colony losses experienced by honey bees in recent years, it may be time for professionals and hobbyists in the beekeeping industry to look in the mirror.
In a research essay to be published this week in the Entomological Society of America's Journal of Economic Entomology, Robert Owen argues that human activity is a key driver in the spread of pathogens afflicting the European honey bee (Apis mellifera)—the species primarily responsible for pollination and honey production around the world—and recommends a series of collective actions necessary to stem their spread.

 

Primary school children thought to be behind destruction of bee hives
Primary school children thought to be behind destruction of bee hives Youths have been blamed for the “shocking” destruction of two hives in an Inverness neighbourhood which has caused the deaths of hundreds of bees.
The incident happened in a field at Braes of Balvonie in Milton of Leys on Sunday evening.
A parent of another group of children, who were playing in an adjacent park, said their children told them they saw and heard “some boys complaining about getting stung” by the flying insects.

 

Neonicotinoids detected in drinking water in agricultural area
Neonicotinoids detected in drinking water in agricultural area Concern over the use of neonicotinoid pesticides is growing as studies find them in rivers and streams, and link them with declining bee populations and health effects in other animals. Now researchers report that in some areas, drinking water also contains the substances -- but they also have found that one treatment method can remove most of the pesticides.

 

Ornamental plants on sale to the public are a significant source of pesticide residues with implications for the health of pollinating insects
Ornamental plants on sale to the public are a significant source of pesticide residues with implications for the health of pollinating insects Analysis of Garden Plants, sold as 'Pollinator Friendly’ in shops and garden centres:
  • 23 out of 29 plants contained more than one pesticide.
  • Some species of garden flowers contained 7 to 10 different pesticides in a single plant.
  • Neonics were present at doses from 6.9 nng to 81 nng - levels which are known to harm bees.
Anyone wanting further info contact Prof.Dave Goulson at Sussex University

 

Native honey bees threatened by imports
Native honey bees threatened by imports A leading biologist says Scotland's native honey bees are being threatened by imports brought in because of the hobby's growing popularity.
A new group, the Scottish Native Honey Bee Society, has been formed to help protect the indigenous species.
It aims to convince more keepers to convert their colonies to native bees.
Experts say the Apis Mellifera Mellifera are hardier than other species which makes them more suitable to a Scottish climate.

 

Social bees have kept their gut microbes for 80 million years
Social bees have kept their gut microbes for 80 million years About 80 million years ago, a group of bees began exhibiting social behavior, which includes raising young together, sharing food resources and defending their colony. Today, their descendants—honey bees, stingless bees and bumble bees—carry stowaways from their ancient ancestors: five species of gut bacteria that have evolved along with the host bees.
These bacteria, living in the guts of social bees, have been passed from generation to generation for 80 million years, according to a new study published today in the journal Science Advances and led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin

 

Effects of clothianidin on aquatic communities: Evaluating the impacts of lethal and sublethal exposure to neonicotinoids
Effects of clothianidin on aquatic communities Neonicotinoids pose a risk to aquatic systems due to their low soil binding, high soil persistence, and high water solubility. Using controlled laboratory experiments, we documented that the neonicotinoid clothianidin has lethal and sublethal effects on wetland invertebrates at field relevant concentrations. Using a community-level mesocosm experiment, we found that clothianidin can reduce the abundance of predatory invertebrates, which indirectly benefits clothianidin-tolerant herbivores in the community. Additionally, we detected four neonicotinoids in the vast majority of soil and water samples at field sites in close proximity to agricultural lands.

 

Hair spacing keeps honeybees clean during pollination: Researchers quantify the cleaning process
Hair spacing keeps honeybees clean during pollination With honeybee colony health wavering and researchers trying to find technological ways of pollinating plants in the future, a new Georgia Tech study has looked at how the insects do their job and manage to stay clean.
According to the study, a honeybee can carry up to 30 percent of its body weight in pollen because of the strategic spacing of its nearly three million hairs. The hairs cover the insect's eyes and entire body in various densities that allow efficient cleaning and transport.

 

Honey bees navigate using magnetic abdomens
Honey bees navigate using magnetic abdomens Honey bees appear to sense magnetic fields using a magnetic structure in their abdomens, according to a team of physicists and biologists in Canada. The researchers came to this conclusion by carrying out a series of physics and behavioural experiments on the insects, which showed that this sensory ability can be disrupted using a strong permanent magnet.

 

Glyphosate: unsafe on any plate
Glyphosate: unsafe on any plate Credible independent, peer-reviewed scientific evidence now shows that the levels of harm to human health could begin at the ultra-low levels of 0.1 parts per billion (ppb) of glyphosate.
These groundbreaking new findings that one of the most iconic cereals in U.S. contains levels as high as 1,125.3 ppb should be a wake-up call for all Americans regarding unacceptable levels of pesticide residues in our nation’s food.

 

New European Report Shows Glyphosate Producers are “Buying Science”
New European Report Shows Glyphosate Producers are “Buying Science” Monsanto and other glyphosate manufacturers appear to have distorted scientific evidence on the public health impacts of glyphosate in order to keep the controversial substance on the market.
Between 2012 and 2016, the companies sponsored a series of review articles published in scientific journals, all of which conclude that glyphosate and its commercial formulations are not harmful to health. The new report, “Buying Science,” shows that these industry-sponsored reviews of glyphosate’s carcinogenicity and genotoxicity (ability to damage DNA) contain fundamental scientific flaws, spanning from apparently calculated omissions and the introduction of irrelevant data to the violation of OECD guidance for the evaluation of rodent cancer studies.

 

Europe poised for total ban on bee-harming pesticides
Europe poised for total ban on bee-harming pesticides The world’s most widely used insecticides would be banned from all fields across Europe under draft regulations from the European commission, seen by the Guardian.
The documents are the first indication that the powerful commission wants a complete ban and cite “high acute risks to bees”. A ban could be in place this year if the proposals are approved by a majority of EU member states.

 

Attack of the bee killers
Attack of the bee killers From Suffolk in the U.K. to Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, Europe’s honeybees are facing a new threat: a legal loophole in an EU moratorium on pesticides.
Environmentalists had hoped that a 2013 temporary EU ban on pesticides suspected of impacting bee health would offer some respite to the Continent’s collapsing colonies. But 13 European governments have provided farmers and pesticide producers with permission to sidestep the regulations.

 

Reliance on hazardous pesticides is a short-term solution that undermines the right to adequate food and health for present and future generations
Reliance on hazardous pesticides is a short-term solution that undermines the right to adequate food and health for present and future generations Pesticide manufacturers have long maintained that their products are essential to feeding the world. But a new report by United Nations human rights experts challenges this assumption, arguing that the opposite is true: “Reliance on hazardous pesticides is a short-term solution that undermines the right to adequate food and health for present and future generations.”

 

Bee deaths soar in this year’s pollination season, but why is proving to be a whodunit
Bee deaths soar in this year’s pollination season, but why is proving to be a whodunit As a beekeeper, Rafael Reynaga is used to losing a few bees during almond pollination. But he was unprepared for the death of tens of thousands of his bees in what Fresno County agriculture officials are calling a perfect storm of events.
“It was really bad,” said Reynaga of Reedley. “I picked up one of the boxes and there were at least 10 pounds of dead bees.”
Leoni estimates that as many as 8,000 hives may be affected.

 

Wounding Nature — and Ourselves
Wounding Nature — and Ourselves Judy Hoy has been rehabilitating injured and orphaned birds, deer, and other wild animals in the mountains of Western Montana for more than forty years. In an article she coauthored with other wildlife scientists in 2002, she hinted there might be a connection between endocrine-disrupting pesticides and birth defects in white-tailed deer. Sixty-seven percent of killed or injured white-tailed deer “showed varying degrees of apparent genital developmental anomalies.”

 

Stop Protecting the Criminality of the Global Pesticides Industry
Stop Protecting the Criminality of the Global Pesticides Industry The agrichemicals industry wallows like an overblown hog in a cesspool of corruption. With its snout firmly embedded in the trough of corporate profit to the detriment of all else, it is most likely responsible for more death and disease than the combined efforts of the tobacco companies ever were. It indulges in criminality that hides behind corporate public relations, - ,media misrepresentations and the subversion of respectable-sounding agencies which masquerade as public institutions

 

Would a neonicotinoid pesticide ban with aims of bee conservation withstand a WTO challenge ?
Would a neonicotinoid pesticide ban with aims of bee conservation withstand a WTO challenge ? A discussion of the applicability of the GATT and the SPS Agreement in light of relevant jurisprudence
“Bees have been around for what, millions of years? And here our highly sophisticated, technologically advanced, space age civilization seems to be doing nothing as they’re all destroyed.”
“Everything falls apart if you take pollinators out of the game. If we want to say we can feed the world in 2050, pollinators are going to be part of that.”

 

Are neonicotinoids killing birds ?
Are neonicotinoids killing birds ? Philip Lymbery, chief executive of Compassion in World Farming, has just launched his new book “Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were.” In it, he suggests that neonicotinoid insecticides may be contributing to bird declines. This claim has come under heavy fire from NFU and the agrochemical industry. In a recent online article NFU’s Dr Chris Hartfield is quoted as saying:
Evidence from real life field situations did not back up the claims, which are based on research by Dave Goulson, Professor of biology at Sussex University. Professor Goulson has published a paper which claimed a grey partridge would be killed by eating five treated seeds, and a sparrow after two. He also said birds which ate insects were ‘declining more rapidly in areas which use neonics’.

 

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