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"You have enemies ? .... Good.
That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life”

~ Winston Churchill ~

 

EU has failed to halt decline of bees and butterflies, auditors say
EU has failed to halt decline of bees and butterflies, auditors say European measures taken to protect bees and butterflies and prevent their decline across the bloc have been largely ineffective, auditors said on Thursday.
The European Court of Auditors looked at the effectiveness of the European Commission’s framework of measures aimed at protecting species also including wasps and beetles - such as its 2018 pollinators and biodiversity to 2020 initiatives.
Beekeepers in western Europe have reported a fall in the number of bees and colony losses over the last 15 years

 

European ancestry plays role in 'killer' honey bees' aggressiveness
European ancestry plays role in 'killer' honey bees' aggressiveness What causes African hybrid honey bees (AHB), also known as killer bees, to be highly defensive and aggressive? York University researchers have found it was the mixing of African and European genetics that led to hyper-aggression in this invasive strain of honey bees.
AHBs are a genetics experiment gone wrong. Researchers in Brazil imported a honey bee subspecies from South Africa and bred them with European-derived honey bees in the 1950s. The idea was to develop a better subtropical honey bee, but bees escaped and mated with the local bees.

 


Made by The National Film Board 1947. Directed by Shan Benson. Migratory beekeepers move their hives around the country, following the blossom. This film follows two apiarists from the Bega region of New South Wales, who take their bees to a stand where the trees are flowering. They set up their hives and the bees are released to take their store of honey from the surrounding bush. The keepers themselves go bush while the bees are on the job. The honey is then extracted from the combs on the spot by means of a portable extractor. After a few weeks, when the stand has been worked out, the beekeepers and their hives move on.

 

High prevalence of the neonicotinoid clothianidin in liver and plasma samples collected from gamebirds during autumn sowing
High prevalence of the neonicotinoid clothianidin in liver and plasma samples collected from gamebirds during autumn sowing
  • Gamebird carcasses analysed for clothianidin in plasma/liver and health parameters
  • Detectable residues of clothianidin rose from 6% pre-sowing, to 89% post-sowing
  • Detection frequency decreased over 30 days for plasma but not for liver.
  • Faecal parasite load positively associated with clothianidin residue in livers only.
  • Implications for future biomonitoring studies and agrochemical risk assessments

 

NI beekeepers line street in full gear in tribute to their "mentor"
NI beekeepers line street in full gear in tribute to their 'mentor' A keen beekeeper was laid to rest yesterday - by dozens of mourners in sting-proof suits.
About a hundred people gave a guard of honour at apiarist Billy Chambers' funeral at St Columba’s long Tower Church in Derry.
The 64-year-old's fellow beekeepers lined up in full protective gear to pay tribute to a man known for being generous with his expertise.

 

Horned-Face Bees Sublet in a Honey Bee Colony
Horned-Face Bees Sublet in a Honey Bee Colony When Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists played detective to identify an unknown invader that had set up a nursery in a honey bee colony, they solved a small mystery and expanded ideas about housing for solitary bees.
A state apiary inspector was stumped by the identity of insect cocoons that she had found inside the hexagonal cells of a beekeeper's honey bee colony. The cocoons were nothing she had ever seen inside a honey bee colony before.

 

Here's What Would Happen If All The Insects Disappeared
Here's What Would Happen If All The Insects Disappeared
  • Insects contribute about $57 billion to the US economy.
  • Many animals rely on insects as a primary food source, and if insects disappeared, the whole food web would be in disarray.
  • Insect populations have already declined by more than 75% in Germany.

  • A world without insects. Imagine camping without bugs. Or picnics without the ants. Or late-night summer strolls without the mosquitoes. For many, this sounds like the ultimate utopia. But what they may not know is that without insects, we may not be able to participate in those activities.

     

    Exotic Bee ID
    Exotic Bee ID LOGAN, UTAH, June 25, 2020—Exotic Bee ID, a website created through a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Utah State University (USU) to help identify non-native bees in the United States, has been expanded to include more information and species.

     

    Bayer Settles Glyphosate Cancer Lawsuits for $10.9 Billion
    
Bayer Settles Glyphosate Cancer Lawsuits for $10.9 Billion Bayer-Monsanto have announced that the company will make a total payment of $10.1 billion to $10.9 billion (€9.1 billion to €9.8 billion) to settle the non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Roundup litigation in the U.S.. Roundup is the most sold glyphosate-based herbicide in the world.
    The settlement covers approximately 75% of the current Roundup litigation involving approximately 125,000 filed and unfiled claims overall.
    Bayer also settled Wednesday the recent dicamba drift litigation for payment of up to $400 million and a portion of the PCB water litigation exposure for payment of approximately $820 million.

     

    Odd Year for U.S. Beekeepers Who Reported Lower Winter Losses but Abnormally High Summer Losses
    Odd Year for U.S. Beekeepers Who Reported Lower Winter Losses but Abnormally High Summer Losses Beekeepers across the United States lost 43.7% of their managed honey bee colonies from April 2019 to April 2020, according to preliminary results of the 14th annual nationwide survey conducted by the nonprofit Bee Informed Partnership (BIP). These losses mark the second highest loss rate the survey has recorded since it began in 2006 (4.7 percentage points higher than the average annual loss rate of 39.0%). The survey results highlight the cyclical nature of honey bee colony turnover. Although the high loss rate was driven by the highest summer losses ever reported by the survey, winter losses were markedly lower than in most years.

     

    Honeybee lives shortened after exposure to two widely used pesticides
    Honeybee lives shortened after exposure to two widely used pesticides The lives of honeybees are shortened—with evidence of physiological stress—when they are exposed to the suggested application rates of two commercially available and widely used pesticides, according to new Oregon State University research.
    In a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, honeybee researchers in OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences found detrimental effects in bees exposed to Transform and Sivanto, which are both registered for use in the United States and were developed to be more compatible with bee health.

     

    Pollinator Week: Pollinators, Plants, People, Planet
    Pollinator Week: Pollinators, Plants, People, Planet Pollinator Partnership is proud to announce that June 22-28, 2020 has been designated National Pollinator Week!
    National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them.
    Thirteen years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.

     

    Webster Honey expands beehive placement all over Perthshire with an additional 120 new hives
    Webster Honey expands beehive placement all over Perthshire with an additional 120 new hives Kinross based Webster Honey is taking advantage of the many weeks of warm, settled Spring weather to dramatically increase its beehive placement across Perthshire, with some 120 new hives set to be positioned in many new parts of the county, including Madderty, Crieff, Dunning, and the Strathallan Estate.
    To be used for a mix of beekeeping workshops in schools & nurseries, including workshops at Webster Honey’s own beekeeping school at Scotlandwell, the hives will also be used for sponsorship opportunities with businesses, and for general honey production of Webster Honey’s own label honey.

     

    Report: 41 percent of insect species 'in decline'
    Report: 41 percent of insect species 'in decline' The new Insect Atlas published on Tuesday revealed that insects are in decline across the world because of industrial farming and heavy pesticide use. While 41 percent of insect species are in decline worldwide, at least one-in-ten bee and butterfly species in Europe is threatened with extinction. Two-thirds of the pesticides global market is dominated by four companies: BASF, Bayer, Syngenta and Corteva.

     

    How a website could stop billions of bees from dying
    How a website could stop billions of bees from dying MOSCOW : For Ivan Gusak, bees are his retirement plan. For years he has been keeping them in Rostov, about a 15 hour drive south from Moscow, and had planned to live off the money he makes from selling the honey they produce.
    But last month, his apiary was wiped out. He found out through the grapevine that a nearby farm had been applying pyrethroids to crops overnight. The chemical is legal for use in Russia, but can have devastating consequences if it’s misapplied.
    Had the farmers given Gusak a warning, he could have taken action to shield his hives from the pesticide. But this didn’t happen.

     

    Bees grooming each other can boost colony immunity
    Bees grooming each other can boost colony immunity Honeybees that specialize in grooming their nestmates (allogroomers) to ward off pests play a central role in the colony, finds a new UCL and University of Florence study.
    Allogroomer bees also appear to have stronger immune systems, possibly enabling them to withstand their higher risk of infection, according to the findings published in Scientific Reports.
    Ectoparasites (parasites that live on the outside of a host's body, such as mites) are a growing threat to honeybees worldwide, so the researchers say that supporting allogrooming behavior might be an effective pest control strategy.

     

    Honeybees: Pesticides disrupt nursing behavior and larval development
    Honeybees: Pesticides disrupt nursing behavior and larval development A newly developed video technique has allowed scientists at Goethe University Frankfurt at the Bee Research Institute of the Polytechnical Society to record the complete development of a honey bee in its hive for the first time. It also led to the discovery that certain pesticides -- neonicotinoids -- changed the behaviour of the nurse bees: researchers determined that they fed the larvae less often. Larval development took up to 10 hours longer. A longer development period in the hive can foster infestation by parasites such as the Varroa mite.

     

    Environmental contaminants alter gut microbiome, health
    Environmental contaminants alter gut microbiome, health The microbes that inhabit our bodies are influenced by what we eat, drink, breathe and absorb through our skin, and most of us are chronically exposed to natural and human-made environmental contaminants. In a new paper, scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign review the research linking dozens of environmental chemicals to changes in the gut microbiome and associated health challenges.
    The review is published in the journal Toxicological Sciences.

     

    Bumble bees damage plant leaves and accelerate flower production when pollen is scarce
    Bumble bees damage plant leaves and accelerate flower production when pollen is scarce Bumble bees rely heavily on pollen resources for essential nutrients as they build their summer colonies. Therefore, we might expect that annual differences in the availability of these resources must simply be tolerated, but Pashalidou et al. made observations suggesting that bees may have strategies to cope with irregular seasonal flowering (see the Perspective by Chittka). When faced with a shortage of pollen, bumble bees actively damaged plant leaves in a characteristic way, and this behavior resulted in earlier flowering by as much as 30 days. Experimenters were not able to fully replicate the results with their own damage, suggesting that there is a distinct method that the bees use to stimulate earlier flowering.

     

    World Bee Day: Are we ignoring biodiversity risks in the same way we ignored the pandemic ?
    World Bee Day: Are we ignoring biodiversity risks in the same way we ignored the pandemic ? According to a report by World Wide Fund in 2019, 17 species of bees had become regionally extinct in the UK, with 25 other types marked as threatened and another 31 of conservation concern.
    Further afield, twelve wild bee species within Europe are classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as critically endangered. A further 52 are listed as endangered
    Their populations are threatened by a number of factors including habitat loss due to agriculture and farming, urban and suburban development, pesticides, climate change, and disease.

     

    Planting honey plants - Let us take a walk along a bee-friendly path
    Planting honey plants - Let us take a walk along a bee-friendly path We are not mindful enough of the consequences of our actions in nature all around us. Our ancestors knew that everything you take from nature you must someday return. If you give back, the balance is maintained and nature fills you with positive energy.
    However, in modern times intensive agriculture and monocultures are becoming widespread. More and more agricultural land is planted with monocultures, which are constantly under attack by pests and diseases. Our ancestors fought against this with natural methods, using crop rotation to avoid such troubles.
    World Bee Day

     

    EU to halve pesticides by 2030 to protect bees, biodiversity – draft
    EU to halve pesticides by 2030 to protect bees, biodiversity BRUSSELS - The European Commission is seeking to halve the use of chemical pesticides by 2030 to halt the decline of pollinators, in a plan likely to draw criticism both from those urging a phase-out of the substances and from farmers who say crop yields will suffer.
    The Commission, the EU executive, wants to commit the European Union to a halving of the use of chemical and “high-risk” pesticides by 2030, a draft document seen by Reuters and set to be published on May 20 showed.

     

    Moths Work the Pollination Night Shift, Visiting Some Flowers Bees Skip
    Moths Work the Pollination Night Shift, Visiting Some Flowers Bees Skip Moths are more important than we think. Bees get most of the credit when it comes to pollination, but new research in the United Kingdom highlights moths’ key role as nighttime pollinators.
    Shrinking wilderness and the proliferation of pesticides have caused many to justifiably worry about the plight of bees, which are conspicuous and rightly appreciated daytime pollinators. But because most moths sip nectar under the cover of darkness, their contributions mostly fly under the radar, and as a result they’re studied less and offered fewer protections.

     

    Microalgae food for honey bees
    Microalgae food for honey bees A microscopic algae ("microalgae") could provide a complete and sustainably sourced supplemental diet to boost the robustness of managed honey bees, according to research just published by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in the journal Apidologie.

     

    Sussex beekeeper loses 'his whole livelihood' after 630,000 bees killed by vandals
    Sussex beekeeper loses 'his whole livelihood' after 630,000 bees killed by vandals Doug Pearce has owned South Downs Honey for more than three years, with millions of bees in hives across the South Downs.
    Like many other businesses Doug's trade was already decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, reducing his takings by at least half according to his calculations.
    But the father-of-one received another cruel blow when 18 of his hives, on the South Downs behind Lyons Farm Retail Park in Worthing, were mindlessly destroyed, costing him thousands of pounds in lost products, equipment and the lives of around 630,000 bees.

     

    Alarm over deaths of bees from rapidly spreading viral disease
    Alarm over deaths of bees from rapidly spreading viral disease A viral disease that causes honey bees to suffer severe trembling, flightlessness and death within a week is spreading exponentially in Britain.
    Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) was only recorded in Lincolnshire in 2007. A decade later, it was found in 39 of 47 English counties and six of eight Welsh counties, according to data collected from visits to more than 24,000 beekeepers.
    As well as struggling to fly, the afflicted bees develop shiny, hairless abdomens. Piles of dead individuals are found outside hives with whole colonies frequently wiped out by the disease.

     

    Honey bees could help monitor fertility loss in insects due to climate change
    Honey bees could help monitor fertility loss in insects due to climate change New research from the University of British Columbia and North Carolina State University could help scientists track how climate change is impacting the birds and the bees... of honey bees.
    Heat can kill sperm cells across the animal kingdom, yet there are few ways to monitor the impact of heat on pollinators like honey bees, who are vital to ecosystems and agriculture around the world.

     

    A new study has found a Scottish Honey to have more nutrients than its rivals making it as good as Manuka
    A new study has found a Scottish Honey to have more nutrients than its rivals making it as good as Manuka A SCOTTISH honey has been found to have more nutrients than its global rivals according to a new study.
    The Scottish Bee Company’s heather honey is said to contain up to 10 times more of the essential micro-nutrients, manganese, compared to 200 of its global rivals making it among the world’s top food products containing manganese.
    Researchers from Fera Science Limited teamed up with the Edinburgh-based Scottish Bee Company earlier this month to investigate the nutritional content of its honey, which is produced in the Lothians, Dumfriesshire, Stirlingshire, Fife and Aberdeenshire.

     

    We are losing 9% of insects per decade
    We are losing 9% of insects per decade Van Klink et al. 2020 have examined trends in insect abundance around the world and have shown that terrestrial insects are in desperate long-term decline, but that insect populations in rivers in countries with strong water pollution laws have been recovering in recent years.This is the first study to show that, on balance, insect abundance is in steep decline worldwide – 0.92% per year which translates to an average loss of 8.81% per decade. Studies using other methods (including direct measurement) have produced insect population decline figures of between 2.2 and 2.7% per year.

     

    Occurrence of Neonicotinoids in Chinese Apiculture and a Corresponding Risk Exposure Assessment
    Occurrence of Neonicotinoids in Chinese Apiculture and a Corresponding Risk Exposure Assessment Neonicotinoids are the most widely used insecticides worldwide, but there is mounting evidence demonstrating that they have adverse effects on nontarget organisms. However, little is known about the extent of environmental neonicotinoids contamination in China. In this study, a total of 693 honey samples from across China, from both Apis melifera and Apis cerana, were analyzed to examine neonicotinoid concentrations and their geographical distribution, and correlation with the primary plant species from which the honey was obtained.

     

    Scientist explores the colorful intricacies of pollen
    Scientist explores the colorful intricacies of pollen Unless it happens to be allergy season, most people don't give a lot of thought to pollen. But new research might change the way we look at a field of flowers.
    A collaborative study by Clemson scientist Matthew Koski suggests that pollen color can evolve independently from flower traits, and that plant species maintain both light and dark pollen because each offers distinct survival advantages.
    Koski's research is featured as the cover story of the April issue of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology and is titled "Pollen colour morphs take different paths to fitness." Andrea Berardi of the University of Bern in Switzerland and Laura Galloway of the University of Virginia were Koski's co-authors.

     

    Climate change, deforestation, cripple Pakistan’s honey exports
    Climate change, deforestation, cripple Pakistan’s honey exports Zarine Khan, a resident of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) Haripur district, has been involved in beri honey farming for the last two decades. But what he has witnessed in recent years has left him devastated. “Last year was especially destructive,” he said. “My income is at a dead end and the loss is irreparable.”
    Erratic rainfall and mass deforestation have severely affected the bloom of the Ziziphus mauritiana or beri tree — the main food source for the honey bee population — resulting in a decline in honey production.

     

    A Bee with Half of its Body Male and Half Female Found
    A Bee with Half of its Body Male and Half Female Found Jinandromorphism is the name given to the case that half of a living being is male and half is female. Although jinandromorphic creatures are very rare, this bee stands out as one of the creatures with this feature.
    There are some incredible facts in nature. One of them seems to be Jinandromorphism. Jinandromorphic creatures are not bisexual. These creatures are known for having a different situation than accommodating the genitals of both sexes. In other words, both halves of their bodies have different genders.

     

    How ‘undertaker’ bees recognize dead comrades
    How ‘undertaker’ bees recognize dead comrades They’re the undertakers of the bee world: a class of workers that scours hives for dead comrades, finding them in the dark in as little as 30 minutes, despite the fact that the deceased haven’t begun to give off the typical odors of decay. A new study may reveal how they do it.
    “The task of undertaking is fascinating” and the new work is “pretty cool,” says Jenny Jandt, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Otago, Dunedin, who was not involved with the study.

     

    Beekeeper's hives and research set-up 'vandalised'
    Beekeeper's hives and research set-up 'vandalised' An 89-year-old beekeeper, who has been breeding honey bees able to cope with a parasitic mite, has had his hives kicked over and his sheds destroyed.
    Ron Hoskins has spent the past 24 years researching the varroa mite, which has killed millions of bees worldwide.
    He said he was "devastated" to find his research set-up near Swindon had been burned to the ground.
    "Whoever did this must have stunk of smoke and been stung by bees so I hope someone will report them," he said.

     

    Remembering Graham White
    Remembering Graham White Sadly, I have to be the bearer of sad news. We have all lost a great warrior in the battle against neonicotinoids and on a personal level I have lost a wonderful, inspiring friend. On Tuesday, March 3, 2020, Graham White of Cold Stream, Scotland lost his 2 year struggle with cancer and passed away peacefully in a Palliative Care Facility in Edinburgh.

     

    As coronavirus epidemic eases in China, life is slowly returning to normal
    As coronavirus epidemic eases in China, life is slowly returning to normal Every year, the 36-year-old beekeeper travels to Yunnan at the end of November to breed honey bees, returning in early March when the countryside surrounding his hometown is carpeted with yellow fields of rapeseed flowers.
    But this year was different, as the province of nearly 60 million people was locked down at the end of January because of the new coronavirus.
    Wu and his friends, who were also stuck in Yunnan, started calling the local authorities, asking to be allowed to return to Hubei from March 1.

     

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