Beekeeping News winter time
 
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If you want to be happy for a day, get drunk.
If you want to be happy for a week, kill the fattened pig.
If you want to be happy for a month, get married.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime, keep bees.

 

Hive heists: why the next threat to bees is organized crime
Hive heists: why the next threat to bees is organized crime Mike Potts was aware he was at risk of being a victim of crime, he just didn’t think it would happen to him. But Potts is an owner of an increasingly valuable commodity that thieves are targeting with growing sophistication in the US: bees.
A booming demand for honeybees for pollination drew Potts, owner of Pottsy’s Pollination in Oregon, to load 400 hives of his bees on trucks and drive them down to California’s agricultural heartland last month. He unloaded them to a holding area just outside Yuba City and returned just a few days later to find 92 hives had been whisked away by thieves.

 

Bees may struggle in winds caused by global warming, study finds
Bees may struggle in winds caused by global warming, study finds A hardworking honey bee might feel aggrieved to be tricked into a garden shed to feed from a fake flower. Worse, she is blasted by a cheap household fan. And then timed to see how many fake flowers she can visit in 90 seconds.
But the honey bees’ tormentors are trying to help them: their ordeal is a controlled experiment that reveals how high wind speeds significantly reduce the efficiency of their foraging

 

Tiny Dancer: Scientists spy on booty-shaking bees to help conservation
Scientists spy on booty-shaking bees to help conservation We've long known honey bees shake their behinds to communicate the location of high-value flower patches to one another, a form of signaling that scientists refer to as "waggle dances."
A group of US biologists have now decoded the meaning of over 1,500 of these jigs, providing conservation groups trying to boost the imperiled species' population with new insights into their dietary preferences.
"The thing I think is the most interesting about bees is their communication," Morgan Carr-Markell, a PhD student at the University of Minnesota and the lead author of a new study published in the journal PLOS One, told AFP.

 

Life lessons from Europe's last wild beekeeper
Life lessons from Europe's last wild beekeeper One of the more unlikely films competing in this weekend's Oscars is a fascinating story about a wild beekeeper in the Balkans. Honeyland has a strong ecological message, but it's the life story of the woman at the centre of the film that has struck a chord around the world.
Honeyland is the first film to compete for both the best documentary award and best international feature film. The documentary's success is even more remarkable because it started almost accidentally.

 

Varroa Mites: New Guide Outlines Integrated Pest Management Options
Varroa Mites: New Guide Outlines Integrated Pest Management Options Imagine a pest that can invade honey bee hives, spread numerous diseases, deplete honey bee nutrition stores, ravage the honey bee immune system, and multiply rapidly: meet the Varroa destructor mite.
These destructive pests are responsible for heavy economic losses, caused by their infestation of beehives in almost every corner of the globe. But how did this problem start, what does this pest do, and what does the future look like for honey bees? These questions are answered in detail in a new article on the biology and management of Varroa mites, published in January in the open-access Journal of Integrated pest Management.

 

Bee Rebuild and Recovery Appeal - Bees for Development
Bee Rebuild and Recovery Appeal - Bees for Development  Large parts of South and East Australia have been ravaged by wildfires. The destruction of natural habitats has great impact for Australian beekeepers who produce 70-80% of their honey from forests. There is some positive news: hive losses were minimised by the fast work of beekeepers who moved ahead of the fires and shifted bees outside of harm’s way. People such as our friends at Beechworth Honey have helped beekeepers relocate hives to safe areas, away from fire risk. Beechworth are supporting Australia’s registered charity for bees, the Wheen Bee Foundation, and you can donate to their Bee Rebuild & Recovery Fund.

 

Bumblebees' decline points to mass extinction – study
Bumblebees' decline points to mass extinction Bumblebees are in drastic decline across Europe and North America owing to hotter and more frequent extremes in temperatures, scientists say.
A study suggests the likelihood of a bumblebee population surviving in any given place has declined by 30% in the course of a single human generation. The researchers say the rates of decline appear to be “consistent with a mass extinction”.

 

Oldest Cure that Never Spoils: Honey
Oldest Cure that Never Spoils: Honey With winter months come runny noses, scratchy throats and headaches. Maybe not a cure to all but honey can be used to relieve and prevent many of our little – and sometimes big – aches and illnesses.
There are many remedies made out of honey to ease the raspy throat, especially for children.
A very popular remedy is paring up the honey with another healthy ingredient: lemons! Putting a few lemon slices into a cup of honey not only helps with the throat but with other symptoms of the common cold as well.

 

APIMONDIA Statement on Honey Fraud
Apimondia  Statement  on  Honey  Fraud APIMONDIA Statement on Honey Fraud is the official position of APIMONDIA regarding honey purity, authenticity, fair modes of production, and the best available recommended methods to detect and prevent honey fraud.
This Statement aims to be a trusted source for authorities, traders, supermarkets, retailers, manufacturers, consumers, and other stakeholders of the honey trade chain to ensure they stay updated with the current concepts and new testing developments regarding honey purity and authenticity. It is also a guide to promote best practices for the prevention of honey fraud and all of its insidious negative side effects on bees, beekeepers, crop pollination, and food security.

 

Canberra bushfire that shut down airport and threatened homes was accidentally caused by beekeepers
Canberra bushfire that shut down airport and threatened homes was accidentally caused by beekeepers A fire that threatened homes and shut down the Canberra Airport was accidentally caused by beekeepers working on a biosecurity program.
Canberra Region Beekeepers president Dermot Asis Sha'Non said an apiarist was trying to complete necessary hive checks on Wednesday January 22 when they accidentally started the fire

 

Wasps' gut microbes help them—and their offspring—survive pesticides
Wasps' gut microbes help them—and their offspring—survive pesticides Exposure to the widely used pesticide atrazine leads to heritable changes in the gut microbiome of wasps, finds a study publishing February 4 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe. Additionally, the altered microbiome confers atrazine resistance, which is inherited across successive generations not exposed to the pesticide.
"After a single exposure to some chemicals—xenobiotics—the gut microbiome can be permanently affected," says senior study author Robert Brucker of Harvard University. "Exposure can have lasting changes to future generations even after an exposure risk is eliminated."

 

Honey in Winter: The Magic Ingredient
Honey in Winter: The Magic Ingredient We all love winter for different reasons, be it the snow or the chilly weather or the warmth of cuddles or just the delicious food. But winters also mean a lot of health problems from the most basic throat infection and cough to joint pains, we simply must deal with these ailments due to the drop in the temperature and the chilly air. Now, this is one reason why a lot of people dislike this cuddle season with a chilly breeze. If you’re one of those people who struggle with health issues due to this cold weather, you may want to take some extra care of your health.

 

Help bees by not mowing dandelions
Help bees by not mowing dandelions Gardeners should avoid mowing over dandelions on their lawn if they want to help bees, according to the new president of the British Ecological Society.
Dandelions – which will start flowering in the UK this month – provide a valuable food source for early pollinators coming out of hibernation, including solitary bees, honey bees and hoverflies.
Each dandelion head contains up to 100 individual flowers, known as florets, which contain nectar and pollen. There are 240 species of dandelion in the UK.

 

Tweaking honey bee bacteria to fight colony collapse disorder
Tweaking honey bee bacteria to fight colony collapse disorder Genetically altering strains of bacteria found in the gut of honey bees appears to protect the insects against two major causes of the colony collapse disorder – Varroa mites and deformed wing virus (DWV). The researchers at the University of Texas at Austin believe that they could eventually scale up production of the bacteria to help protect hives. ‘This is the first time anyone has improved the health of bees by genetically engineering their microbiome,’ explained Sean Leonard, the study’s first author.

 

10,000 Rare Bees Feared Dead After Attack at U.K. Castle
10,000 Rare Bees Feared Dead After Attack at U.K. Castle In July of last year, black bee hives were introduced to Wisbech Castle in England, as part of an effort to conserve the rare critters. Now, thousands of the castle’s bees are feared dead, following an inexplicable attack by two intruders.
According to the BBC, CCTV footage from the early morning hours of January 8 shows the suspects breaking onto the grounds of Wisbech Castle, which is believed to have first been built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century; the structure that stands today dates back to the late 1700s. The intruders lifted the lids off the hives, kicked them, and then attacked the bees inside with sticks.

 

Welsh beekeeper launches first ever bee suit that's just for women
Bee suit that's just for women A Welsh beekeeper is launching a “virtually sting proof” bee suit that’s specifically designed for women.
There are more than 40,000 registered beekeepers in Britain, including a growing number of female enthusiasts – but until now they’ve had to make do with unisex suits.
Following requests from women beekeepers, who wanted more tailored outfits, Neath farmer Ian Roberts created a female version of his Sentinel Pro bee suit.
His “Queen Bee” suit is available in sizes 10-24 and is a light lilac colour - dark colours can encourage bees to attack.

 

Pollination is better in cities than in the countryside
Pollination is better in cities than in the countryside Flowering plants are better pollinated in urban than in rural areas. This has now been demonstrated experimentally by a team of scientists led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ). Although the scientists found a greater diversity of flying insects in the countryside, more bees in cities resulted in more pollinated flowers of test plants. By far the most industrious pollinators were bumble bees, most likely benefitting from the abundant habitats available in the city. To promote pollination, the researchers recommend to take into greater account the needs of bees when landscape planning - both in cities and in the countryside. Their results have been published in the journal Nature Communications.

 

When Is a Pesticide Not a Pesticide ? When It Coats a Seed
When Is a Pesticide Not a Pesticide? When It Coats a Seed If you apply a chemical to a field of crops, either from a sprayer towed behind a tractor or from above, by an aerial crop duster, that is considered a pesticide.
However, if you take that same chemical and coat it on a seed, then plant that seed in the ground, it ceases to be pesticide—at least according to government regulators.
“That exemption has had devastating consequences for the environment, and pollinators in particular,” said Amy van Saun, a senior attorney with the Center for Food Safety.

 

Brandenburg beekeepers dump honey on ministry’s steps in protest of Germany’s agricultural policies
Brandenburg beekeepers dump honey on ministry’s steps in protest of Germany’s agricultural policies On Wednesday, two beekeepers from Brandenburg stood outside Germany’s Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture to tell their story.
Beside them were stacks of buckets labeled “Glyphosat Honig.” At one point, one of the beekeepers, Sebastian Seusing, picked up one of the buckets and dumped it out onto the steps of the ministry.

... In a press release from Aurelia Foundation in Berlin, Germany, regarding the contamination of honey with Glyphosate at levels which were massively above MRL (maximum residue limit ) up to 152 times above legal levels for the EU.
The apiary which detected the contaminatioin has been forced to destroy 4,200 kg honey, and has been forced to declare itself bankrupt.
The beekeepers have been denied any financial compensation.

 

Dance of the honey bee reveals fondness for strawberries
Dance of the honey bee reveals fondness for strawberries Bees are pollinators of many wild and crop plants, but in many places their diversity and density is declining. A research team from the Universities of Göttingen, Sussex and Würzburg has now investigated the foraging behaviour of bees in agricultural landscapes. To do this, the scientists analysed the bees' dances, which are called the "waggle dance". They found out that honey bees prefer strawberry fields, even if they flowered directly next to the oilseed rape fields. Only when oilseed rape was in full bloom were fewer honey bees observed in the strawberry field. Wild bees, on the other hand, consistently chose the strawberry field. The results have been published in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment.

 

Insecticides becoming more toxic to honey bees
Insecticides becoming more toxic to honey bees During the past 20 years, insecticides applied to U.S. agricultural landscapes have become significantly more toxic — over 120-fold in some midwestern states — to honey bees when ingested, according to a team of researchers, who identified rising neonicotinoid seed treatments in corn and soy as the primary driver of this change. The study is the first to characterize the geographic patterns of insecticide toxicity to bees and reveal specific areas of the country where mitigation and conservation efforts could be focused.

 

60 hours on burning Kangaroo Island
60 hours on burning Kangaroo Island The entomologist, the artist, and the reporter drive westward. We take two vehicles for safety. We pass a flock of dove-grey Cape Barren geese in a paddock. We pass charred beehives. Close to a thousand commercial beehives have been lost on Kangaroo Island. When a hive burns, the beeswax melts, and the honey streams out. One beekeeper found to his dismay that birds called New Holland honeyeaters had come to the river of sweetness, become stuck in the thickening honey, and died.

 

Brussels wants to stop unfettered growth in beehives
Brussels wants to stop unfettered growth in beehives Come springtime, the RTBF reports, the Brussels region’s environment agency Bruxelles Environnement will take up the beehives it manages at nature sites in Brussels, and remove them permanently.
The move forms part of a plan by the region to tackle the recent huge growth in members of the public keeping bees – a trend inspired by concerns about pollution, climate and biodiversity. Bees have become something of a mascot for this movement, in part because they are an excellent barometer of environmental conditions, and in part because of their crucial role in maintaining biodiversity.

 

The playbook for poisoning the Earth
The playbook for poisoning the Earth In September 2009, over 3,000 bee enthusiasts from around the world descended on the city of Montpellier in southern France for Apimondia — a festive beekeeper conference filled with scientific lectures, hobbyist demonstrations, and commercial beekeepers hawking honey. But that year, a cloud loomed over the event: bee colonies across the globe were collapsing, and billions of bees were dying.

 

Winnie The Pooh Day 2020
Winnie The Pooh Day 2020 One of the cuddliest holidays around has to be Winnie the Pooh Day, celebrated on the birthday of author A A Milne. It’s one special anniversary fans just can’t bear to miss! Every year, the occasion is marked with events such as teddy bears’ picnics, featuring plenty of honey on the menu.

 

EU to ban the insecticide thiacloprid
EU to ban the insecticide thiacloprid The European Commission decided on Monday (13 January) not to renew the approval of the neonicotinoid pesticide thiacloprid, following scientific advice by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that the substance presents health and environmental concerns.
The insecticide, produced by the pharmaceutical and life sciences company Bayer, has therefore been effectively banned in the EU.

 

The decline of insects and what it means
The decline of insects and what it means The news over the past few weeks has been riddled with headlines like “Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’,” “Monarch butterflies are going extinct,” and “The insect apocalypse is here.” If it sounds bad, that’s because it is.
You probably know that bees and other pollinators are in trouble for several reasons — including increased overall pathogen loads, poor nutrition, habitat loss and pesticide exposure.
But these alarm bells over the broader state of emergency that insects are facing underscore the fact that yes, bees and other pollinators are in trouble. But they aren’t the only insects crucial to keeping an ecological balance, nor are they the only insects at risk.

 

Factors affecting the reproductive health of honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones
Factors affecting the reproductive health of honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones In the honey bee, Apis mellifera, colonies are composed of one queen, thousands of female workers, and a few thousand seasonal males (drones) that are reared only during the reproductive season when colony resources are plentiful. Despite their transient presence in the hive, drones have the important function of mating with virgin queens, transferring their colony’s genes to their mates for the production of fertilized, worker-destined eggs. Therefore, factors affecting drone health and reproductive competency may directly affect queen fitness and longevity, having great implications at the colony level. Several environmental and in-hive conditions can affect the quality and viability of drones in general and their sperm in particular.

 

'Like sending bees to war': the deadly truth behind your almond-milk obsession
'Like sending bees to war': the deadly truth behind your almond-milk obsession Like most commercial beekeepers in the US, at least half of Arp’s revenue now comes from pollinating almonds. Selling honey is far less lucrative than renting out his colonies to mega-farms in California’s fertile Central Valley, home to 80% of the world’s almond supply.
But as winter approached, with Arp just months away from taking his hives to California, his bees started getting sick. By October, 150 of Arp’s hives had been wiped out by mites, 12% of his inventory in just a few months. “My yard is currently filled with stacks of empty bee boxes that used to contain healthy hives,” he says.

 

A dead-end system
Save Bees and Farmers European agriculture is reaching a dead end. Agricultural policies that were one-sidedly geared towards increasing yields by increasing the use of toxic agrochemicals have brought the ecosystem to the brink of collapse. Day by day, the biological diversity that underpins our food systems is disappearing – putting the future of our food, livelihoods, health and environment under severe threat.
The consequences for nature are disastrous: bees, butterflies and other insects are vanishing from our landscapes and previously widespread birds have stopped singing in our fields. Our streams and rivers are being polluted and we are exposed to a daily cocktail of synthetic pesticides through our food.     See also ... European Citizens’ Initiative “Save Bees and Farmers!”

 

Grooming behavior and gene expression of the Indiana “mite-biter” honey bee stock
Honey Bee Researchers Target Grooming Gene in the Indiana Mite-biter Strain This study was conducted to evaluate the Indiana “mite-biter” honey bee stock, which has been selected for increased mutilation of Varroa destructor mites (“mite biting” behavior). A comparison between colonies of the selected stock and colonies of unselected Italian bees showed that the proportion of mutilated mites, the severity of mutilations, and winter colony survival were higher in Indiana mite-biter colonies. Additionally, the number of fallen mites and the rate of mite population growth were lower in the colonies of the selected genotype than in those of the unselected genotype

 

Beekeepers traumatised and counselled after hearing animals screaming in pain after bushfires
Beekeepers traumatised and counselled after hearing animals screaming in pain after bushfires Beekeepers checking on hives are some of the first people into fire-ravaged forests, and are not prepared for the traumatic sights and sounds of wounded and suffering animals.
  • Some beekeepers say it will take three to 20 years to fully recover from hive and flora loss in north-east NSW
  • Checking on hives also causes trauma to beekeepers who come across burnt animals from bushfires
  • Some farmers are contacting the NSW Apiarists Association and offering their land for beehives

See also: Australia is on fire

 

Dave Goulson wonders whether allotments can save the Earth
Dave Goulson wonders whether allotments can save the Earth Is it impossible to grow food and support Nature at the same time? If we pursue intensive, industrial farming, we will ultimately wipe ourselves out, for our very survival depends upon a healthy environment. Some organic farms look pretty much like conventional farms: they are still trying to grow large monocultures of crops. Even on an organic farm, a large field of wheat does not have high biodiversity, so there are few natural enemies to control outbreaks of pests and diseases. I think there are better ways to grow food, and farming could learn something from allotments. Let me tell you a little more about them.

 

The Rarest Honey In The World Comes From This Near-Extinct Tree In Hawaii
The Rarest Honey In The World Comes From This Near-Extinct Tree In Hawaii The rarest honey in the world hails from the Big Island, more specifically a 1000-acre forest named Puako which doubles down as a natural bee habitat. The forest is home to Kiawe, a desert mesquite tree that is native to Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, which was introduced to the Big Island in 1828. These distinct wispy trees grow up to 60 feet tall and sprout bright yellow flowers from which honeybees collect nectar to produce Kiawe honey. The honeybees that produce this honey almost exclusively feed off this type of tree’s blossoms making the honey nearly 100% monofloral

 

Bee Vectoring Technologies Pt 1
Bee Vectoring Technologies Pt 1
Jan
3
2020
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. A Canadian company is taking a natural approach to protecting crops from pests and the diseases they carry … and it’s causing quite the “buzz.”
Greg Faust, with Bee Vectoring Technologies, says they’re using a, “since you’re already going that way” approach to spread biopesticides …
“We’re using bees, both honey bees and bumble bees, to essentially vector a biopesticide out to the flowering plants on their normal journey when they’re pollinating.”

 

As pesticide approvals soar, Brazil’s tapirs, bees, other wildlife suffer
As pesticide approvals soar, Brazil’s tapirs, bees, other wildlife suffer
Dec
25
2019
Exposure to pesticides containing neonicotinoids and fipronil caused the deaths of more than 500 million bees in four Brazilian states between December 2018 and February 2019, according to an investigation by Agência Pública and Repórter Brasil.

 

Greece's secret to perfect honey
Greece's secret to perfect honey Few countries love honey and revere beekeepers more than Greece, and perhaps no country has a deeper history in this craft. According to mythology, Greece's first keeper of bees was the demigod Aristaeus, who was said to have learned beekeeping as a child from the Nymphs who raised him and to later pass his knowledge to humans.

 

EPA Approves New Fungicide to be Delivered by the Bees Themselves
EPA Approves New Fungicide to be Delivered by the Bees Themselves EPA has been a hive of activity regarding the declining bee population. The agency recently approved an organic fungicide that is to be delivered to crops via “bee vectoring”—a process by which commercially-reared bees walk through trays of pesticide powder, collecting it on their legs and fur. The bees are then released into the wild, and when they land on flowers to collect pollen, the pesticide is distributed directly to the source

 

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