Bee News 4

 

 

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’.

 

Bees Need Dandelions. People Need Bees.
Bees Need Dandelions. People Need Bees. PAN UK is urging everybody to learn to love their dandelions and to leave them for the bees this spring.
  • We are asking that councils do not mow or spray roadside verges, roundabouts or other areas where dandelions are growing until after the spring;
  • Asking gardeners to leave the dandelions in their gardens, or at least a small patch of them for the bees to feed on;
  • Asking that the public not pick dandelions but leave them for the bees instead.

 

Flies and bees act like plant cultivators
Flies and bees act like plant cultivators Pollinator insects accelerate plant evolution, but a plant changes in different ways depending on the pollinator. After only nine generations, the same plant is larger and more fragrant if pollinated by bumblebees rather than flies, as a study conducted by evolutionary biologists from the University of Zurich reveals.

 

Flowering times shift with loss of species from a grassland ecosystem
Flowering times shift with loss of species from a grassland ecosystem Scientists have documented many cases in which the timing of seasonal events, such as the flowering of plants or the emergence of insects, is changing as a result of climate change. Now researchers studying a grassland ecosystem in California have discovered that reducing the number of species in the system can also cause a significant shift in when the remaining species flower.

 

Open Letter to the Global Pesticide Regulatory Authorities and the UK and US Media
Open Letter to the Global Pesticide Regulatory Authorities and the UK and US Media Summary of recent important documents related to pesticides that went largely unreported by the UK Media but were reported in the French media
The experts say the use of neonicotinoid pesticides is particularly worrying because they are accused of being responsible for a systematic collapse in the number of bees around the world. For example, heavy use of these insecticides has been blamed for the 50 per cent decline over 25 years in honeybee populations in both the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Such a collapse, they say, threatens the very basis of agriculture as 71% of crop species are bee-pollinated.

 

Why Honeybees Don’t Have A Chance In The Midst Of Pesticides
Why Honeybees Don’t Have A Chance In The Midst Of Pesticides I keep writing about honeybees because in my long experience at the US Environmental Protection Agency, nothing affected me more than my discovery, that the plight of the honeybees is the result of industry malfeasance and corruption managed by the EPA. Suddenly, I could read the hidden script of modern archaeology excavating the complex codes of federal regulation, risk assessment, and environmental protection. Honeybees became the mirror of self-delusion and destruction.

 

UN experts denounce 'myth' pesticides are necessary to feed the world
UN experts denounce 'myth' pesticides are necessary to feed the world The idea that pesticides are essential to feed a fast-growing global population is a myth, according to UN food and pollution experts.
A new report, being presented to the UN human rights council on Wednesday, is severely critical of the global corporations that manufacture pesticides, accusing them of the “systematic denial of harms”, “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and heavy lobbying of governments which has “obstructed reforms and paralysed global pesticide restrictions”.
The report says pesticides have “catastrophic impacts on the environment, human health and society as a whole”, including an estimated 200,000 deaths a year from acute poisoning. Its authors said: “It is time to create a global process to transition toward safer and healthier food and agricultural production.”

 

Pesticides are “global human rights concern”, say UN experts urging new treaty
Pesticides are “global human rights concern”, say UN experts urging new treaty GENEVA (7 March 2017) – Two United Nations experts are calling for a comprehensive new global treaty to regulate and phase out the use of dangerous pesticides in farming, and move towards sustainable agricultural practices. They say: “excessive use of pesticides are very dangerous to human health, to the environment and it is misleading to claim they are vital to ensuring food security.”
The Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, and the Special Rapporteur on Toxics, Baskut Tuncak, told the Human Rights Council in Geneva that widely divergent standards of production, use and protection from hazardous pesticides in different countries are creating double standards, which are having a serious impact on human rights.

 

Australia's bee industry calls for biosecurity risk status of large scarab beetle from Africa to be upgraded to 'high'
Australia's bee industry calls for biosecurity risk status of large scarab beetle from Africa to be upgraded to 'high' Australia should step up its biosecurity to protect local beehives from a scarab beetle native to Africa, that could threaten Australia's honey production and agriculture industries.
That is the finding of the Honey Bee and Pollination Program Advisory Panel's (HBPPAP) study into the threat of the large African hive beetle (LAHB).
The research, led by Professor Ben Oldroyd from the University of Sydney, found the risk status of the beetle should be upgraded from 'low' to ' high' to stop it from become invasive.

 

Landmark Report: Hundreds of Native Bee Species Sliding Toward Extinction
Landmark Report: Hundreds of Native Bee Species Sliding Toward Extinction In the first comprehensive review of the more than 4,000 native bee species in North America and Hawaii, the Center for Biological Diversity has found that more than half the species with sufficient data to assess are declining. Nearly 1 in 4 is imperiled and at increasing risk of extinction.
The new analysis, Pollinators in Peril: A systematic status review of North American and Hawaiian native bees, revealed that more than 700 species are in trouble from a range of serious threats, including severe habitat loss and escalating pesticide use.
“The evidence is overwhelming that hundreds of the native bees we depend on for ecosystem stability, as well as pollination services worth billions of dollars, are spiraling toward extinction,” said Kelsey Kopec, a native pollinator researcher at the Center and author of the study. “It’s a quiet but staggering crisis unfolding right under our noses that illuminates the unacceptably high cost of our careless addiction to pesticides and monoculture farming.”

 

Bees learn to play golf and show off how clever they really are
Bees learn to play golf and show off how clever they really are It’s a hole in one! Bumblebees have learned to push a ball into a hole to get a reward, stretching what was thought possible for small-brained creatures. Plenty of previous studies have shown that bees are no bumbling fools, but these have generally involved activities that are somewhat similar to their natural foraging behaviour. For example, bees were able to learn to pull a string to reach an artificial flower containing sugar solution. Bees sometimes have to pull parts of flowers to access nectar, so this isn’t too alien to them.

 

Apiarists create buzz around campaign to save Scotland’s honey bee
Apiarists create buzz around campaign to save Scotland’s honey bee The species is under threat from disease and imported honey bees but the Scottish Native Honey Bee Society, which launches in April, aims to redress the balance in favour of the locals.
The first meeting of the new organisation will be held in Perth on April 1.
Gavin Ramsay, owner of Tay Bees and Honey and the bee health and science officer at the Scottish Beekeepers’ Association, has been one of the driving forces behind the formation of the society.
He said: “We have reached a crucial juncture for the survival of our own Scottish honey bees.

 

Highlights From Reddit Science’s Honey Bee AMA
Highlights From Reddit Science’s Honey Bee AMA Last week, the Reddit Science community welcomed University of Illinois entomologists May Berenbaum, Ph.D., immediate past president of the Entomological Society of America, and Gene Robinson, Ph.D., an ESA Fellow, for an “Ask Me Anything” discussion about honey bees...
"The coolest thing I've learned recently about bees is that nurse bees who are infected by a fungal parasite (Nosema) selectively choose honey that has greater antibiotic properties (Gherman et al. 2014). So they self-medicate! That's more than I can do and I can read labels!"

 

Experts urge revision to pesticide guidelines following toxicity study
Experts urge revision to pesticide guidelines following toxicity study Scientists at the University of York have discovered for the first time that the sequence of exposure to pesticides and pollutants – not just the dosage - significantly affects the levels of toxicity for surrounding wildlife.
Previously, it was always assumed that ‘the dose makes the poison’, in terms of chemicals causing detrimental health effects on organisms. Yet it has now been found that when organisms are exposed to two toxicants in sequence, the toxicity can differ if their order is reversed.

 

10 Brilliant Home Remedies for Bee Sting
10 Brilliant Home Remedies for Bee Sting Have you always tried to shoo away that nasty honey bee who wouldn’t stop chasing you, once you caught the critter’s fancy? What if we were to tell you that you didn’t have to do anything at all, and hold still. The truth is that if you don’t send life threatening or aggressive signals to the bee, it will meander across and fly away. Honey bees sting only when they feel threatened, as once it loses its stinger, it dies.

 

What's the buzz on bee parasites ?
What's the buzz on bee parasites? Published today in the open-access journal GigaScience is an article that presents the genome of a parasitic mite, Tropilaelaps mercedesae, that infects bee colonies, which are facing wide-spread devastation across the entire world. The research was carried out by an international team of researchers at Jiaotong-Liverpool University and Liverpool University and focused on mites as they are one of the major threats to honey bee colonies. The work revealed that there were specific features in the T. mercedesae mite genome that had been shaped by their interaction with honey bees, and that current mechanisms to control mites are unlikely to be useful for T. mercedesae. The genome sequence and findings provide excellent resources for identifying gene-based mite control strategies and understanding mite biology

 

Monarchs from as far away as Idaho, Utah, and Arizona converge to spend the winter in parts of California. And get counted
Monarchs from as far away as Idaho, Utah, and Arizona converge to spend the winter in parts of California. And get counted In the fall of 1997, a small group of dedicated monarch scientists and volunteers set out to count how many monarch butterflies were overwintering in California, an essential step in understanding and conserving this remarkable insect and its migration. Twenty years later, the Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count (WMTC) is established as one of the longest running insect conservation projects in the country and is the most comprehensive effort to monitor overwintering monarchs in California. The dedication is undiminished and the counting effort has swelled: The WMTC marked its 20th anniversary with more than a hundred enthusiasts spreading out along the California coast to find and count monarchs.

 

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.”

 

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