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Massive Loss Of Thousands Of Hives Afflicts Orchard Growers And Beekeepers
Massive Loss Of Thousands Of Hives Afflicts Orchard Growers And Beekeepers Adee lost more than half of his hives over the winter — 50,000. And he's not alone.
"You know, in September, I thought we had the most awesome bees ever," Adee says. "The bees looked incredibly good."
Like Adee, many beekeepers across the U.S. have lost half their hives — they call one with no live bees inside a "deadout." Some beekeepers lost as many as 80 percent. That's unusual. And many of the hives that did survive aren't strong in numbers.

 

You Can Now Buy Organic Vegan Honey Made From Sweet Potatoes, And Yes, It’s As Dumb As It Sounds
You Can Now Buy Organic Vegan Honey Made From Sweet Potatoes, And Yes, It’s As Dumb As It Sounds Bee-free, vegan honey made from organic sweet potatoes is now a thing. Lovers of sweet-and-spicy combos can also buy cayenne pepper-infused date nectar.
Both of the better-for-you sweeteners are made by LA-based D’vash Organics, a brand that specializes in date nectar, an alternative to honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar. According to the company, its new Sweet Potato Nectar is made from 100 percent organic Carolina sweet potatoes.

 

Bee A Great Gardener With These Bee-Attracting Tips
Bee A Great Gardener With These Bee-Attracting Tips Although bees sometimes get a bad rap, they are essential to our survival and the future of the Earth. 1 in 3 bites of your food is directly or indirectly derived from a honey bee. This is because they provide food to other animals and assist in the reproduction of some plants. However, despite the bee’s beneficial roles, their population is dwindling

 

Prairie Strips Transform Farmland Conservation Converting Low-Profit Land Brings Big Returns
Prairie Strips Transform Farmland Conservation Converting Low-Profit Land Brings Big Returns A prairie strip is much what it sounds like: a strip of diverse herbaceous vegetation running through a farm’s rowcrops. In the American Midwest, chances are the soil that now supports crops was once covered in prairie before cultivation. Prairie plants are a mixture of native grasses, wildflowers, and other stiff-stemmed plants. They have deep roots that draw water and nutrients from far below the surface. They are perennials, returning to grow each spring.

 

Bavarians vote to save bugs and birds—and change farming
Bavarians vote to save bugs and birds—and change farmin In the face of plummeting insect and bird populations, citizens in the south German state are trying to make farmers preserve habitat.
For the past 11 days Bavarians have been standing in lines, sometimes quite long ones, to sign a petition designed to save bees, other bugs, and the birds that eat them.
The petition itself is not light-hearted, however. Nor is it simply a high-minded statement of principle. It consists of four pages of detailed amendments to Bavaria’s nature protection law which, taken together, would fundamentally change how farming is done in the state, with the overall goal of creating a connected web of wildlife-friendly habitat.

 

Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'
Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature' The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.
More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.

 

Study shows dangerous bee virus might be 'innocent bystander'
Study shows dangerous bee virus might be 'innocent bystander' Researchers at the University of Sydney have found that the relationship between the tissue-sucking Varroa mite and virulence of a virus of honey bees, has most likely been misunderstood.
The study challenges the long-held belief that the parasitic Varroa mite – a mite that sucks the tissue of honey bees – transmits the Deformed Wing Virus of honey bees and in doing so changes the virus to make it more virulent and deadly.

 

Bees have brains for basic math, study finds
Bees have brains for basic math, study finds Researchers have found bees can do basic mathematics, in a discovery that expands our understanding of the relationship between brain size and brain power.
Building on their finding that honeybees can understand the concept of zero, Australian and French researchers set out to test whether bees could perform arithmetic operations like addition and subtraction.
Solving maths problems requires a sophisticated level of cognition, involving the complex mental management of numbers, long-term rules and short term working memory.

 

Hot Bees and Hard Work Make Honey, But Can Insulation Help ?
Hot Bees and Hard Work Make Honey, But Can Insulation Help ? Honey bees collect flower nectar to make honey, but that is only the beginning. This new study, by a researcher at the University of Leeds published by the Royal Society, shows that they can need more than 50% of the energy in the nectar they have collected to evaporate the nectar into honey.
In the wild, honey bees have thick walled (150mm) tree nests , man made hives on the other hand have thin walls (19mm) and heat losses up to seven times greater. The difference is shown to impact how far they can fly to forage and what flowers they can collect from and still make a “profitable” journey back with the nectar.

 

Culprit found for honeybee deaths in California almond groves
Culprit found for honeybee deaths in California almond groves Almond growers rent upwards of 1.5 million colonies of honeybees a year, at a cost of around $300 million. Without the bees, there would be no almonds, and there are nowhere near enough native bees to take up the task of pollinating the trees responsible for more than 80 percent of the world's almonds. The trouble was, bees and larvae were dying while in California, and nobody was sure exactly why. The problem started in adults only, and beekeepers were most worried about loss of queens.
Then in 2014, about 80,000 colonies—about 5 percent of bees brought in for pollination—experienced adult bee deaths or a dead and deformed brood. Some entire colonies died.
Study can bee found at: https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/10/1/20

 

Neonic Pesticide May Become More Toxic in Tap Water
Neonic Pesticide May Become More Toxic in Tap Water Yet again, our government scientists—the oft neglected but so important brain trust of our Nation—bring the public some very important new data. Pesticide water monitoring experts at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) paired up with scientists from the University of Iowa in a federally-funded collaboration to track neonicotinoid pesticides or “neonics” in tap water, including the potential to form chlorinated disinfection byproducts (DBPs) from the pesticides and their metabolites that may be more toxic than the original compounds. And, the news isn’t good.

 

Hackney beekeeper warns ‘wash out your honey jars’ or risk spreading fatal Foulbrood bee disease
Hackney bee keeper warns ‘wash out your honey jars’ or risk spreading fatal Foulbrood bee disease An apiarist has warned restaurateurs and recyclers to thoroughly wash out all honey containers, or risk outbreaks of a disease that can kill off whole colonies of bees.
Amanda Hayes is also urging people never to feed spoonfuls of honey to bees on their last legs, because that could also spark an outbreak of the highly infectious and destructive American Foulbrood.
Its spores are extremely resistant and contagious and can last for more than 40 years in honey and beekeeping equipment. Once identified, all bees in the affected colony and all equipment must be incinerated under supervision of Defra’s National Bee Unit (NBU) inspectors.

 

What the U.S. Could Learn From Slovenia About Protecting Bees
What the U.S. Could Learn From Slovenia About Protecting Bees Bee colonies have faced massive declines around the globe, prompting doomsday scenarios of a world without these vital pollinators, but in Slovenia, such worries are almost unheard of. Colonies are thriving here, exemplified not only by the healthy hives the country’s top politician keeps, and the jars of honey he gifts foreign dignitaries.

 

Worldwide decline of the entomofauna
Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers
  • Over 40% of insect species are threatened with extinction.
  • Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera and dung beetles (Coleoptera) are the taxa most affected.
  • Four aquatic taxa are imperiled and have already lost a large proportion of species.
  • Habitat loss by conversion to intensive agriculture is the main driver of the declines.
  • Agro-chemical pollutants, invasive species and climate change are additional causes.

 

New Zealand brings first 'fake mānuka honey' prosecution
New Zealand brings first 'fake mānuka honey' prosecution A manuka honey company is being prosecuted by New Zealand’s food safety agency over claims it added artificial chemicals to its product.
In the first case of its kind, the company is accused of adding synthetic chemicals – including one commonly used in tanning lotion – to honey it sold as “mānuka”.

 

Leak: European governments pave way for bee-killing pesticides
Leak: European governments pave way for bee-killing pesticides Under pressure from pesticide producers and governments, the European Commission is planning to scrap bee-safety standards that led to a ban of three bee-killing pesticides, according to a leaked plan.

 

Viruses Associated with Varroa Mites Have Spilled Over Into the Western Yellow Jacket
Viruses Associated with Varroa Mites Have Spilled Over Into the Western Yellow Jacket A team led by entomologists at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), performed a study on the Big Island and found viruses associated with the mite have spilled over into the western yellowjacket, a honey bee predator and honey raider.
The result is a hidden, yet remarkable, change in the genetic diversity of viruses associated with the larger pathogen community of the mite and wasp, with repercussions yet to be understood.

 

35,000 Hit Streets of Berlin to Demand Agricultural Revolution
35,000 Hit Streets of Berlin to Demand Agricultural Revolution “35,000 people marched through the streets of the German capital on Saturday to say they’re “fed up” with pesticide-based industrial agriculture and called instead for a system that supports the welfare of: the environment, animals, and small-scale rural farmers.”
See the PHOTO-RECORD OF GERMANY'S HUGE MARCH AGAINST PESTICIDE-BASED AGRICULTURE at these two LINKS: here and here

 

The Legalities of Keeping Bees
The Legalities of Keeping Bees With the number of bees in the world on the decline, you may be interested in trying to revive the population with a hive of your own. That’s great ! However, before you don your bee suit and veil, think carefully about where you want to set up your hive. The care and keeping of bees is a somewhat complicated endeavour, and if you live in a home that you rent or on property that you do not own, you may have to negotiate some legal loopholes in order to establish your hive.

 

Alleged criminals in the million dollar baby formula syndicate are also stealing honey: here’s why
Alleged criminals in the million dollar baby formula syndicate are also stealing honey: here’s why In August last year police investigators searched two homes in greater Sydney, seizing 4000 tins of baby formula, large quantities of vitamins, and Manuka honey.
The police arrested a sixth individual on Saturday as part of what they have called an “expansive” network involved in the theft of these non luxury items, which they allege are being onsold in China for enormous profits.

 

How arable farmers can help prevent ‘mass extinction’ of pollinators
How arable farmers can help prevent ‘mass extinction’ of pollinators Arable farming needs to change in order to halt declines in biodiversity and prevent one of the worst mass extinction events in history, a leading US entomologist has warned.
Bold action is required by farmers to stop habitat loss and the unintended consequences of pesticide use having a devastating effect on insect communities, says Jonathan Lundgren of the Ecdysis Foundation and Blue Dasher Farm.

 


A third of Britain’s native bee population has disappeared in the past 10 years, leading to drastic measures being taken to repopulate the endangered species. The £27.50 bricks, used to house 90 percent of solitary bees who have lost their nesting habitat, will be included in 50 percent of the properties in Nansledan, situated in Charles' Duchy of Cornwall. Many of the new infrastructures being built in the Nansledan region will contain the nesting bricks in order to combat the plight of the honey bees.

 

Honey bee parasites feed on fatty organs, not blood
Honey bee parasites feed on fatty organs, not blood For decades, researchers have assumed that varroa mites feed on blood, like many of their mite and tick cousins. But new University of Maryland-led research suggests that varroa mites instead have a voracious appetite for a honey bee organ called the fat body, which serves many of the same vital functions carried out by the human liver, while also storing food and contributing to bees' immune systems.

 

Research Offers Insights of Honey Bee Chromosomes
Research Offers Insights of Honey Bee Chromosomes Newly published research by a team of Germany-based honey bee geneticists, collaborating with Robert Page Jr. of Arizona State University/UC Davis, offers new insights in the ability to modify and study the chromosomes of honey bees.
The significance of this paper lies in the ability to modify the chromosomes of honey bees and study the effects of individual genes.”
The ability to transform, change, genes, or add or delete genes from chromosomes of bees, has been exceptionally challenging and the effort spans decades.

 

City bees: allotments and gardens can help arrest decline – study
City bees: allotments and gardens can help arrest decline – study Allotments, weedy corners and fancy gardens are all urban havens for bees and other pollinators, a study has found.
The widespread decline of bees resulting from the loss of wild areas and pesticide use has caused great concern in recent years, but towns and cities have been suggested as potential sanctuaries.
The first research to examine all types of land use in cities has identified pollinators’ favourite places and flowers, many of which are often considered weeds. A team of more than 50 people spent two years examining pollinators and plants in Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds and Reading.

 

Bolivian bees under threat from coca pesticides
Bolivian bees under threat from coca pesticides High up in the Bolivian cloud forest, a woman tends to her bees, smoker in hand, working from hive to hive under a canopy of leaves to delicately gather panels of honeycomb. It’s a bucolic scene that experts say won’t last, for the bees are dying.
The culprit — as in so many other cases across the world — is pesticide. The difference in Bolivia is that pesticide use, along with the coca plantations it is being used to protect, is on the rise.

 

Pakistan's disappearing bees
Pakistan's disappearing bees Honey became a profitable business in Pakistan's north-west tribal areas, introduced in the 1980s to help Afghan refugees fleeing the Soviet invasion make a living. But today bee populations are falling, driven away by new wars, pesticides and climate change. BBC Urdu’s Azizullah Khan is from the north-west, and shares his bee knowledge.

 

Finding an elusive mutation that turns altruism into selfish behavior among honeybees
Finding an elusive mutation that turns altruism into selfish behavior among honeybees Among the social insects, bees have developed a strong and rich social network, where busy worker bees tend to the queen, who in turn, controls reproduction for the benefit of the hive.
But the South African Cape honey bee (Apis mellifera capensis) can flaunt these rules. In a process of genetic trickery called thelytoky syndrome, worker bee females ignore the queen's orders and begin to reproduce on their own.

 

What is a bee brick ? How can it help ?
What is a bee brick ? How can it help ? Adam Cormack fitted his house with a special brick in which bees can live - and he is pleased to report that some bees have moved in !
In a post on Twitter, he said: "6 months ago a bee brick was fitted to the side of our house. Today I went up a ladder to check on it and - yes ! - we have some bees. A feature for all new build houses ?
"Bees are ace and need our help."

 

Georgia Scientists Show That More Propolis Means Healthier Bees, and Here’s How to Make That Happen
Georgia Scientists Show That More Propolis Means Healthier Bees, and Here’s How to Make That Happen Propolis is a pliable, resinous mixture that honey bees (Apis mellifera) create by mixing a variety of plant resins, saliva, and beeswax and which they apply to interior surfaces of their hives, namely at points of comb attachment and to seal up cracks and crevices on the interior side of hive walls. Greater propolis production is connected with improved hive health, and a new study finds a few simple methods beekeepers can employ to stimulate increased propolis production.

 

Why Argentina loses 30% of its bee population every year
Why Argentina loses 30% of its bee population every year Argentina is the second largest producer of honey in the world, but its bees are dying at a rate of 30% every year, according to the Centre of Investigation on Social Bees (CIAS).
Investigator Walter Farina told EcoPortal that this was likely to be due to the use of agricultural chemicals and fertilisers, which disorientate the bees.
“Some herbicides – like glyphosate – have a negative effect on the bees,” he said. “It makes it difficult for them to learn a floral scent and then link it to a determined food, or to learn how to navigate in a new environment, or to develop themselves in the initial stages.”

 

Arkansas honey seller faults dicamba in closing
Arkansas honey seller faults dicamba in closing Crooked Creek Bee Co., the retail sales and processing side of Arkansas' largest commercial beekeeper, closed this week, a casualty of dicamba.
The herbicide has been damaging or killing vegetation essential to pollination by bees the past three years. Redvine, a flowering plant native to Arkansas, and button willow, a tree or shrub common in wetlands, are key to the flavor of his honey and have been particularly hit hard over the past year, he said.
Dicamba is a weedkiller linked to crop and vegetation damage in Arkansas and other states in the past three years, as farmers planted soybeans and cotton genetically modified to be tolerant of the chemical.

 

Giant British bugs take over intu Braehead to reconnect Scots with nature
Giant British bugs take over intu Braehead to reconnect Scots with nature A RENFREWSHIRE shopping centre is become home to a group of Big bugs as part of a nationwide initiative to re-connect shoppers with nature.
One in five children living in Scotland were unable to correctly identify a bee while one in four children have not seen a caterpillar in over a year. One in ten kids did not know honey came from bees.
Scottish adults were also lacking in their bug knowledge, with over one in four unable to tell the difference between a bee and a wasp and a third unable to correctly identify a grasshopper.

 

'Liquid gold' manuka honey that costs £100 a jar could have lost its healing powers before you get it home
'Liquid gold' manuka honey that costs £100 a jar could have lost its healing powers before you get it home Expensive manuka honey may have lost its healing powers before customers even get it home, a scientist has warned.
The honey, known as ‘liquid gold’ because it costs up to £100 per jar, is sought after for antibacterial properties that come from its naturally-occurring bug-fighting chemical.
But this chemical can be destroyed by prolonged exposure to heat – such as during shipping or even sitting in shop windows – according to Professor Merilyn Manley-Harris.

 

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