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"Make today better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today"

 

One in five Australian honey samples adulterated
One in five Australian honey samples adulterated Following the recent high-profile fake honey scandal, new and independent research from Macquarie University in collaboration with the National Measurement Institute has unveiled, for the first time, the scale of the adulteration problem—almost one in five Australian honey samples were found to be adulterated with cheaper sugar products such as corn syrup or sugar cane

 

Asian hornet spotted in Dungeness - first sighting in Kent
Asian hornet spotted in Dungeness - first sighting in Kent An Asian hornet sighting has been confirmed in Kent, prompting an investigation into the whereabouts of the predatory insects’ nests.
Nicola Spence, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) chief plant health officer urged people to report potential sightings.
She said: “By ensuring we are alerted to possible sightings as early as possible, we can take swift and effective action to stamp out the threat posed by Asian hornets.

 

Invasion of the ‘frankenbees’: the danger of building a better bee
Invasion of the ‘frankenbees’: the danger of building a better bee The spring of 2008 was brutal for Europe’s honeybees. In late April and early May, during the corn-planting season, dismayed beekeepers in Germany’s upper Rhine valley looked on as whole colonies perished. Millions of bees died. France, the Netherlands and Italy reported big losses, but in Germany the incident took on the urgency of a national crisis. “It was a disaster,” recalled Walter Haefeker, German president of the European Professional Beekeepers Association. “The government had to set up containers along the autobahn where beekeepers could dump their hives.”

 

Sunflower pollen has medicinal, protective effects on bees
Sunflower pollen has medicinal, protective effects on bees With bee populations in decline, a new study offers hope for a relatively simple mechanism to promote bee health and well-being: providing bees access to sunflowers.
The study, conducted by researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, showed that two different species of bees fed a diet of sunflower pollen had dramatically lower rates of infection by specific pathogens. Bumble bees on the sunflower diet also had generally better colony health than bees fed on diets of other flower pollens.

 

Roundup exposure speeds up antibiotic resistance
Roundup exposure speeds up antibiotic resistance Bacteria can develop antibiotic resistance up to 100,000 times faster when exposed to Roundup and another widely-used herbicide, a study co-authored by a New Zealand scientist has found.
The findings add to a growing body of evidence that herbicides used on a mass industrial scale, but not intended to be antibiotics, can have profound effects on bacteria, the University of Canterbury's Professor Jack Heinemann said.

 

Engaging Children In Beekeeping Lasts A Lifetime
Engaging Children In Beekeeping Lasts A Lifetime Recent research reports children ages 8-18 spend 6 hours or more with electronics. Getting children outdoors and away from technology, and participate in beekeeping is winning combination. It's important to keep future generations informed about the importance of bees in the ecosystem. If we can get kids engaged and motivated, we can see the rise of more conservation, and learning about beekeeping will give them the changes to understand how nature works. Later on in adulthood, there's a greater chance they might take up beekeeping as a hobby.

 

Changes in hypopharyngeal glands of nurse bees (Apis mellifera) induced by pollen-containing sublethal doses of the herbicide Roundup®
Changes in hypopharyngeal glands of nurse bees induced by pollen-containing sublethal doses of the herbicide Roundup Decreasing pollinator populations worldwide has generated great concern and stimulated countless studies to understand the origin of colony losses. One main cause is the indiscriminate use of different pesticides, producing subtle negative effects on bee physiology and behavior. Royal jelly synthesized in the hypopharyngeal glands is an essential protein for feeding all individuals of the hive, especially the queen.

 

Shockingly high levels of weedkiller found in popular breakfast cereals marketed for British children
Shockingly high levels of weedkiller found in popular breakfast cereals marketed for British children The UK Guardian reported: “There was no indication that the claims related to products sold outside the US.”
In view of this statement by the Guardian, we sent samples of four oat-based breakfast cereals marketed for children in the UK to the Health Research Institute, Fairfield, Iowa, an accredited laboratory for glyphosate testing.
Dr Fagan the Director says: “These results are consistently concerning. The levels consumed in a single daily helping of any one of these cereals, even the one with the lowest level of contamination, is sufficient to put the person’s glyphosate levels above the levels that cause fatty liver disease in rats (and likely in people).

 

The Creator of GMO Potatoes Reveals The Dangerous Truth
The Creator of GMO Potatoes Reveals The Dangerous Truth Is it possible for GM potatoes to cause gene-silencing in other potatoes or pollinating insects such as bees ?
The problem with certain insects, including bees, is that they cannot degrade the small double-stranded RNAs that cause gene silencing. These double-stranded RNAs were intended to silence several potato genes in tubers, but they are likely to be expressed in pollen as well. So, when the pollen is consumed by bees, the double stranded RNAs in this pollen may silence bee genes that share inadvertent homology.

 

How wasp and bee stinger designs help deliver the pain
How wasp and bee stinger designs help deliver the pain Next time you're stung by a wasp or a honeybee, consider the elegantly designed stinger that caused you so much pain. Researchers found that the stingers of the two species are about five times softer at the tip than at the base to make it easier to pierce skin. The stingers are harder closer to the insect's body so they don't bend too much, or break, as you yelp in agony.

 

How do bees get a balanced diet if they only eat pollen and nectar ?
How do bees get a balanced diet if they only eat pollen and nectar? Bees rank highly in the affections of gardeners, right up there with birds, butterflies and hedgehogs. Bees are also unique among insects in their dependence on flowers –more or less everything needed to fuel adult bees and to grow new, young bees comes from pollen and nectar. So, not surprisingly, the quantities and qualities of food for bees provided by different flowers have been the subject of exhaustive research. So much so that you could be forgiven for thinking that there’s nothing left to discover.

 

Hampshire and Surrey record first Asian hornet finds
Hampshire and Surrey record first Asian hornet finds Bee-killing Asian hornets have been found for the first time in Hampshire and Surrey, the government has said.
The invasive predators, thought to have come from continental Europe, were found in September in Guildford, New Alresford and Brockenhurst.
The two Hampshire nests have been destroyed.

 

Magic mushrooms? How fungi could help bees fight disease
Magic mushrooms ? How fungi could help bees fight disease They're far from floral, but fungi could be just what the doctor ordered for bees, according to a study that shows mushroom extracts could protect against viruses decimating bee populations.
"Colony collapse disorder" -- or massive die-offs of bees -- has caused international alarm in recent years, with experts blaming mites, viruses and pesticides for the phenomenon.

 

News stories about Asian hornets leading to ‘persecution’ of home-grown species
News stories about Asian hornets leading to ‘persecution’ of home-grown species A wildlife charity has warned that news stories about the invasive Asian hornet are leading to the persecution of home-grown species.
Devon Wildlife Trust said it had received messages from people who had destroyed nests they believed belonged to the Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) but which investigations showed actually belonged to the native European hornet (Vespa crabro), a “vital part” of the UK environment

 

BeeLife at the Complementary Hearing on Pesticides - An overview of the risk posed by neonicotinoids and others economic and variable alternatives
An overview of the risk posed by neonicotinoids and others economic and variable alternatives The main findings are:
  • The clear evidence of harm - sufficient to trigger regulatory action
  • Neonics persist for months/years, counting that they are systemic and water soluble
  • Toxicity is increased by the duration of exposure
  • Effects of exposure range from acute to chronic
  • Environmental Impacts of Pesticides, including Mitigation Measures at Member State Level.

 

Why Are Beneficial Bugs Disappearing ?
Why Are Beneficial Bugs Disappearing ? A staple of summer — swarms of bugs — seems to be a thing of the past. And that’s got scientists worried.
Pesky mosquitoes, disease-carrying ticks, crop-munching aphids and cockroaches are doing just fine. But the more beneficial flying insects of summer — native bees, moths, butterflies, ladybugs, lovebugs, mayflies and fireflies — appear to be less abundant.

 

Common weed killer—believed harmless to animals—may be harming bees worldwide
Common weed killer—believed harmless to animals—may be harming bees worldwide Glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide and one long touted as harmless to animals, might be taking a toll on honey bees. The chemical appears to disrupt the microbial community in the bees’ digestive system, making them more vulnerable to infection. The discovery adds another potential reason for the alarming decline of honey bees in parts of the world, as well as that of other pollinators that live in colonies, such as bumble bees

 

Beetle Adapts Chemical Mimicry To Parasitize Different Bee Species
Beetle Adapts Chemical Mimicry To Parasitize Different Bee Species A beetle that tricks bees into carrying it into their nests where it can live off their pollen, nectar and eggs adapts its deceptions to local hosts, according to research by Leslie Saul-Gershenz, a graduate student in entomology at UC Davis.
Aggregations of the larvae of Meloe franciscanus beetles lure male digger bees (genus Habropoda) with chemical signals that mimic female sex pheromones. The larvae, also known as triungulins, attach themselves to males, transfer to female bees during copulation and hitch a ride back to the nest, where they feed on bee eggs and provisions and emerge as adult beetles the following winter.

 

Thousands march on Whitehall to call for end to 'war on wildlife'
Thousands march on Whitehall to call for end to 'war on wildlife' Thousands of people marched to Whitehall on Saturday to demand the government invests in wildlife-friendly policies and swiftly reverses the decline of British ecosystems.
Protesters including Billy Bragg delivered a radical manifesto, co-edited by the broadcaster Chris Packham, to Downing Street. The manifesto called for an end to the “war on wildlife” following the decline of more than half of British species in recent decades.

 

EU Parliament Report Demands Reform of Approval Procedure for Toxic Pesticides in Europe
EU Parliament Report Demands Reform of Approval Procedure for Toxic Pesticides in Europe The European pesticide regulation and its implementation need to be improved, says a draft report from a committee of the European Parliament, published Thursday. The report calls for more transparency, stating that the public must have access to the full studies that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) relies upon to form its opinions. It also emphasises that studies from the scientific peer-reviewed open literature should be given the same weight as industry studies.

 

Transcript - Interview with Dave Goulson
Transcript - Interview with Dave Goulson "I always feel if I could persuade people to stop for five minutes and get on their hands and knees to look at insects, they would realise that they are cool, beautiful, amazing things".
Dave Goulson is a British biologist actively working for the protection of the environment. He is a professor of Biology at the University of Sussex and has been widely recognised as one of the leading experts in subjects relating the decline of bees and the opportunities to overcome this circumstances.
You can listen to the original audio here ...

 

Choosing The Best Beehive Depending On Your Purpose For Beekeeping
Choosing The Best Beehive Depending On Your Purpose For Beekeeping The Langstroth hive, invented in 1851, was the first beehive to contain removable frames, which facilitated better bee inspection by allowing easier access. Though it is considered the most popular among beekeepers, according to Hobby Farms, there are various beehive plans to choose from as you indulge in beekeeping. Sometimes it is unclear which type of hive would work best for you and the final decision depends on different factors that vary among beekeepers.

 

60,000 bees stolen in north-east robbery
60,000 bees stolen in north-east robbery A beekeeper has been left distraught after thieves stole four of his five hives – containing around 60,000 bees.
Erling Watt kept his colony on a farm just outside Peterhead, and was hoping to start making honey to fund his upcoming retirement.
But when he went to check on the apiaries earlier this week, he discovered they were gone.

 

Most People Hate Wasps—but They're Just as Important as Bees
Most People Hate Wasps—but They're Just as Important as Bees Why are bees held in such high-regard, while their wasp cousins seem to be almost universally disliked ?
This apparent hate for wasps most likely stems from a lack of understanding among the public of the numerous ecological and economic benefits that they provide, according to researchers from University College London (UCL).

 

Honeybee swarms act like superorganisms to stay together in high winds
Honeybee swarms act like superorganisms to stay together in high winds A swarm of honeybees acts like a superorganism that responds to physical stress by changing shape – even though doing so comes at a physical cost to some individuals.
Colonies of European honeybees reproduce by releasing a queen from the nest accompanied by an entourage of colony workers. This swarm often attaches itself to the underside of a tree branch – taking on the shape of an inverted cone with the queen safely at the centre – while scout bees search for a good place to build a new nest.
Journal reference: Nature Physics, Collective mechanical adaptation of honeybee swarms

 

Pitcher plant in France eats bee-killing Asian hornets
Pitcher plant in France eats bee-killing Asian hornets Bee-killing Asian hornets spreading across Europe now face a natural enemy that lures them to destruction - a carnivorous North American plant, French experts say.
The head of a botanical garden in Nantes, western France, says the pitcher plant Sarracenia devours Asian hornets - but not European hornets. Nor does it eat bees or wasps.

 

Our wildlife is being starved, poisoned and concreted over but it is not too late for YOU to stop it: Environmental campaigner CHRIS PACKHAM reveals how to make a difference
Our wildlife is being starved, poisoned and concreted over but it is not too late for YOU to stop it. I listen to his gentle wheezing and smile. I love him, and his contentment makes me happy. But then I love life, all life – animals have always brought me joy and have fuelled a lifetime’s curiosity and interest. And concern.
I sit down and look over a wildflower patch I’ve sown. It is pretty colourful – plenty of flowers, plenty of nectar – but I realise there is not much buzzing going on. There are no bees, no hoverflies, no butterflies flitting – in fact I haven’t seen a butterfly all morning. I get up and go searching but I find nothing. Not a tortoiseshell, peacock, or even a cabbage white.

 

How Humans Are Messing Up Bee Sex
How Humans Are Messing Up Bee Sex Fly fast and die young: That’s a male honeybee’s lot in life. With less than a one percent chance of successful reproduction, and a 100 percent chance of dying after mating, male honeybees have it tough.
But recent evidence suggests that human activity—including land development, electromagnetic pollution, and use of neonicotinoid pesticides—is making it even harder for honeybees to reproduce, to the peril of the species.
Drones exposed to field-realistic concentrations of neonicotinoids produced 39 percent less living sperm—and more often deliver “dead sperm” to virgin queens.

 

Asian hornet: Fowey nest destroyed as two new sightings confirmed in Liskeard and Hull
Asian hornet: Fowey nest destroyed as two new sightings confirmed in Liskeard and Hull Two more sightings of Asian hornets have been confirmed and surveillance activity is underway.
The National Bee Unit has called for the public to report any suspected Asian hornets after two further confirmed sightings in Liskeard, Cornwall and Hull, east Yorkshire. At this stage, there is no evidence to suggest the Cornwall and Hull sightings are linked.

 

Alarm over toxic pesticide sprayed on Scotland’s woodlands
Alarm over toxic pesticide sprayed on Scotland’s woodlands Scotland’s forests are treated and sprayed every year with hundreds of kilograms of a toxic pesticide blamed for killing bees and butterflies.
Our investigation has uncovered widespread use of the nicotine-based insecticide, acetamiprid, by the forestry industry, provoking concerns from experts and alarm from environmentalists who fear “creeping degradation” of nature.

 

Scottish expert Beemaster Ann Chilcott shares how she started beekeeping
Scottish expert Beemaster Ann Chilcott shares how she started beekeeping Imagine a hot sunny day in June and a cotoneaster hedge, its tiny pink flowers barely open, vibrating with honey bees almost completely covering the shrub. That’s how it was for me in 2004, but the warmth, colour, scent, and the lulling hum were all real. It was then that I thought, “Hey, little bees, you could be living in my garden and working for me.” I had no idea then that I would end up working just as hard for them

 

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