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'Bee friendly' pesticide cuts colonies by half, study finds
'Bee friendly' pesticide cuts colonies by half, study finds Pesticides developed to replace banned bee-killing insecticides have been found to reduce colonies by half.
It was hoped that sulfoxaflor would provide an alternative to neonicotinoids, which have been shown to drastically reduce bee numbers, and is currently under review for licencing in Britain.
But researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London found exposure to the new pesticide reduced both the size of bumblebee colonies and the number of offspring produced by 54 per cent.

 

Worker bees select royal (sub)family members, not their own supersisters, to be new queens
Worker bees select royal (sub)family members, not their own supersisters, to be new queens When honey bees need a new emergency queen, they forego the chance to promote members of their own worker subfamilies, opting instead to nurture larvae of "royal" subfamilies, according to a study published July 11 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by James Withrow and David Tarpy of North Carolina State University in Raleigh
When a queen suddenly dies, workers must select a group of larvae to raise as emergency queens, so the question arises whether workers tend to select larvae of their own subfamily over those of others, thus promoting their own genes at the expense of those from other subfamilies.

 

Unique pollen signatures in Australian honey could help tackle a counterfeit industry
Unique pollen signatures in Australian honey could help tackle a counterfeit industry Australian honey, produced from domesticated European honey bees mostly foraging in native vegetation, is unique. Under the microscope, most Australian honey samples can be distinguished from honey produced in other countries.
That’s the conclusion of our study, the first systematic examination of pollen contained within Australian honey.
We collaborated with two major honey retailers to survey the pollen content of a large number of unprocessed honey samples. We found that a unique mix of native flora gives Australian honey a distinctive pollen signature.

 

National Honey Bee Day 2018: What’s being done to save the species in Britain
National Honey Bee Day 2018: What’s being done to save the species in Britain “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.” Whether or not Einstein did actually say this, it’s still a serious cause for concern.
Despite a world population of between 80 million and 100 million domesticated hives, each containing 10,000 to 60,000 bees, numbers are dwindling dramatically: one-third of the UK’s bee population has disappeared over the past decade and 24 per cent of Europe’s bumblebees are now threatened with extinction.

 

Monsanto Loses Landmark Roundup Cancer Trial, Set to Pay USD 289 Million in Damages
Monsanto Loses Landmark Roundup Cancer Trial, Set to Pay USD 289 Million in Damages Monsanto has lost a landmark cancer trial in San Francisco and has been ordered by the Judge to pay over USD 289 Million in total damages to the former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, a California father who has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which was caused by Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weedkiller Roundup.

 

Invasive Plants Adapt to New Environments, and Better Survive Than Newcomers
Invasive Plants Adapt to New Environments, and Better Survive Than Newcomers Invasive plants have the ability to adapt to new environments – and even behave like a native species, according to University of Stirling research.
A study has found that the behaviour of invasive plants changes over time – meaning plants of the same species act differently if they arrive in their new environment at separate times.
Scientists studied the characteristics of monkeyflowers (Mimulus guttatus), which first arrived in the UK from North America 200 years ago. They compared the behaviour of monkeyflowers long-established in Scotland with those introduced recently for the purposes of the experiment.

 

Bee in the City Manchester - map, locations and everything you need to know
Bee in the City Manchester - map, locations and everything you need to know An astronaut, a robot, a rock star - take a look at Manchester's iconic worker bee as you've never seen it before.
The city's proud emblem has had a colourful makeover - 101 of them to be exact - as part of the Bee in the City trail.
The public art spectacle will see brightly painted honeybee sculptures pop up all over the city and surrounding suburbs this summer for visitors to admire, each featuring a unique design created by local artists and community groups.

 

Honeybee hive-mates influenced to fan wings to keep hive cool
Honeybee hive-mates influenced to fan wings to keep hive cool Rachael Kaspar used to be scared of bees. That was before she studied their behavior as an undergraduate at CU Boulder. Since learning their secret lives and social behaviors, she has developed an appreciation for the complex, hard-working bees.
Honeybees fan their wings to cool down their hives when temperatures rise, but a new study shows that an individual honeybee's fanning behavior influences individual and group fanning behavior in hive-mates.

 

Trump Administration Reverses Ban on GMOs and Neonics in US Wildlife Refuges
Trump Administration Reverses Ban on GMOs and Neonics in US Wildlife Refuges The Trump administration has reversed an Obama administration ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides and genetically modified crops on national wildlife refuges where farming is permitted, threatening pollinators like bees and butterflies along with a suite of other wildlife species that depend on healthy, natural refuge habitats.
This abrupt change in policy, announced via a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service internal memorandum, revokes the agency’s 2014 policy prohibiting the use of toxic “neonic” insecticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on refuges. The 2014 ban was promulgated in response to a series of lawsuits challenging the use of genetically modified seed and broad-scale application of toxic pesticides on refuges for violating environmental laws.

 

Queen bees and the microbial fountain of youth
Queen bees and the microbial fountain of youth To the untrained eye beholding a beehive, all animals seem equal, but new research reveals that some are more equal than others.
A team of researchers including three graduate students at the University of Arizona discovered that while worker bees and queens can be genetically identical, their vastly different lifespans appear to be connected to different microbes living in their guts.

 

A flower that deceives and entraps!
A flower that deceives and entraps ! We have all heard of carnivorous plants like the Venus Flytrap, that trap and devour insects. But less known is the fact that some plants of the Ceropegia species, actually deceive and entrap insects, for pollination!
Here’s how the Ceropegia flowers work, and it’s quite complicated.
Spiders and other insect predators often trap and eat honeybees, and there are some flies that love to eat these honeybees, too. The flies are able to smell the scent of the dying honeybees, and congregate to feed off the bees even as the predators are eating them. Since they are, in this sense, robbing the predators, they are called “kleptoparasites”, that is, those that live off other creatures by stealing their food.

 

Suburban Bees Still Vulnerable to Neonicotinoids Despite EU Ban
Suburban Bees Still Vulnerable to Neonicotinoids Despite EU Ban According to new research from the University of Sussex, bees living in suburban habitats are still being exposed to high levels of neonicotinoid pesticides. Even though there is a European Union (EU) ban on these chemicals, the ban focuses on agricultural and not residential applications. The study’s authors are urging gardeners to forgo the use of these pesticides in favor of more holistic, pesticide-free approaches.
The authors of the study say it is the first of its kind to highlight the risk to bees in urban areas posed by garden use of pesticides. The study sampled pollen and nectar from bumblebee colonies in rural and peri-urban habitats in three UK regions–Stirlingshire, Hertfordshire, and Sussex over three years.

 

Thieves steal crates of beer brewed to raise cash for beekeepers
Thieves steal crates of beer brewed to raise cash for beekeepers Heartless thieves have stolen crates of a special Manchester honey beer which was brewed to raise money for bee keepers in the region.
The Manchester Park Ale was the brainchild of the Brew Wild Manchester project, which aims to connect bee keepers, brewers and gardeners.
Profits from sales of the beer are donated to the Manchester and District Beekeepers Association, with the aim to raise awareness of bee-keeping in the region.

 

A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings by Helen Jukes
A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings by Helen Jukes The brilliance of Jukes’s memoir is the way that it uses the image of the hive as a metaphor for so much else going on in the book. It’s rare to find an author who demonstrates such respect for her readers’ intelligence – the parallels and affinities are allowed to accrete gradually, subliminally, so that it’s only at the end that we recognise that a book that seemed to be about beekeeping (and we certainly learn a lot about Apis mellifera over the course of it) is actually a meditation on solitude and friendship, on urban existence, on the condition of a generation. The hive, perfectly tessellated, comes to represent for Jukes the act of writing itself, the arrangement of words into a shape that conforms as closely as possible to her particular experience of the world.

 

Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow
Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow A book about a bee that dons a disguise in order to try and save a meadow from being built over with housing. It is a story with some educational and environmental aspects within the text.
This is the download version of Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow available as a pdf file. The story has a series of line drawings ideal to be coloured in. It can be read on a PC/MAC or tablet, or partially or fully printed.
The suggested age range is 4-8 years.

 

Queen Cell Cups and Laying Workers
Queen Cell Cups and Laying Workers Queen cell cups are small cup-like structures that form the base of queen cells built for swarming or queen supersedure (replacement).
Beekeeping slang can be confusing for new beekeepers so here it is for queen cell cups versus queen cells. When empty, a queen cell cup is called just that. When containing an egg, mostly I hear beekeepers still call the structure a queen cell cup (not a queen cell). The discussion occurs mostly with swarming, a situation when the bees may remove the eggs from the queen cell cups, which would delay swarming. When a larva is in the structure, then it is called a queen cell

 

Nation’s Largest Solar Bee Farm in Oregon. Creating Buzz
Nation’s Largest Solar Bee Farm in Oregon. Creating Buzz Bees are enjoying their days in the sun on a clean-energy farm in southern Oregon.
The Eagle Point solar farm outside Medford is the largest “solar apiary” in the country, incorporating designs that benefit pollinators. It’s home to 48 bee colonies interspersed among solar panels, which are generating enough energy to power more than 2,100 homes annually.

 

There’s A Lot More Bad to Fungicide Exposure to Honey Bees Than You Thought. A Lot
There’s A Lot More Bad to Fungicide Exposure to Honey Bees Than You Thought. A Lot Studies have linked fungicides to honey bee decline, and fungicides are the most commonly found pesticide in honey beehives. Because they stay in the hive for so long, exposure is complex. Honey bees are exposed to incoming crop protectants at the same time as they experience chronic exposure in the hive. Fungicide exposure alone can lead to a variety of sublethal health effects, but exposure to different combinations of chemicals can be more dangerous, as some of these combinations cause synergistic reactions, causing each chemical to become more toxic.

 

Pesticides used by farmers are damaging wildlife, TV presenter Chris Packham warns ahead of Suffolk visit
Pesticides used by farmers are damaging wildlife, TV presenter Chris Packham warns ahead of Suffolk visit An “enormous volume of pesticides” used by farmers is damaging wildlife, leading television presenter and naturalist Chris Packham has warned ahead of a visit to Suffolk.
Mr Packham is visiting Lakenheath Fen this weekend as part of a “bioblitz” campaign to assess wildlife found in 50 spots around the country.
He said farmland birds, butterflies and bees have all suffered significant declines in numbers due to pesticides, while wildflower meadows have largely vanished from the countryside.

 

'Hemp Is A Godsend For Bees,' Says This Colorado Insect Expert
'Hemp Is A Godsend For Bees,' Says This Colorado Insect Expert That's right, growing cannabis and hemp plants could help save the bees.
A researcher from Colorado who specializes in insect interactions with hemp plants says in places where there are few other flowing pants, hemp cultivation could be a real boon for bee populations.
"I mean, it's just shocking how valuable hemp is as a pollen resource for all kinds of bees," Dr. Whitney Cranshaw, an entomologist with the Colorado State University College of Agricultural Studies told Civilized. But some plants are more useful than others for bee populations.

 

Man-Made Disturbances to Habitats are Creating Problems for Pollinator Communities, Including Significant Biodiversity Loss
Man-Made Disturbances to Habitats are Creating Problems for Pollinator Communities, Including Significant Biodiversity Loss If you’re moving pollen from one plant to another, you might be a pollinator.
Pollinators come in all shapes and sizes: butterflies, beetles, birds, bats and even humans. The only job requirement is that they transfer pollen from stamen to pistil (a flowering plant’s male and female organs). As pollinators visit flowers to drink nectar or feed on pollen, they move pollen from flower to flower and help plants reproduce. Pollination is an ecological service — a role an organism plays in its ecosystem that is essential to human life

 

Environmentalists clash with EFSA over neonicotinoids ban ‘exceptions’
Environmentalists clash with EFSA over neonicotinoids ban ‘exceptions’ Environmental NGOs have questioned the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) scientific capacity to grant EU member states emergency authorisations for neonicotinoids, whose usage was recently banned.
They say that some member states are using the “emergency” claim to bypass the ban, while EFSA contends that it is “misleading” to mix emergency authorisations with the decision for a complete ban.

 

Rapid rise in toxic load for bees revealed by analysis of pesticide use in Great Britain
Rapid rise in toxic load for bees revealed by analysis of pesticide use in Great Britain New paper shows
  • Average number of pesticide applications per field in Great Britain rose from 9.8 in 1990 to 17.4 in 2015.
  • Number of potential honeybee kills rose six fold in same period

This is based on official government statistics.

 

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

 

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