Bee News 2

 

 

Are lime trees killing our bees ?
Are lime trees killing our bees ? Is the nectar of lime-tree flowers toxic for bees? Plenty of people seem to think so. In his super book, A Sting in the Tale, Dave Goulson says: “Buff-tailed and white tailed bumblebees love the flowers of lime trees, although there is something in the nectar which seems to make them dopey and even sometimes kill them”.
The belief that lime trees can harm bees has been around since at least the 16th century, so a couple of Kew botanists decided that it was time to review the evidence. Their conclusions were published in the Journal Biology Letters.

 

Pollinator Strategy for Scotland 2017–2027
Pollinator Strategy for Scotland 2017–2027 The Pollinator Strategy for Scotland 2017-2027 sets out how Scotland can continue to be a place where pollinators thrive, along with actions that are needed to help achieve that objective.

 

America's beekeepers report 40 percent winter bee loss
America's beekeepers report 40 percent winter bee loss America's beekeepers lost 40 percent of their managed honey bee colonies in the past year, Auburn University researchers say, and that's a loss rate 7 percent above the previous year.
Greater colony mortality during the 2017-18 winter pushed the overall loss rate higher, researchers said. Survey respondents reported a loss rate of almost 31 percent, which is almost 3 percent above the 10-year average and a big jump from 2016-17's 21 percent death rate.

 

Raiding the rape field
Raiding the rape field Oilseed rape fields are home to a variety of insects that bother farmers. The pollen beetle is one of them. The beetle's larvae feed on the flower buds of oilseed rape causing damage and crop failure. The larvae of different species of weevils also have a preference for rape: They tunnel into the plants' stems making them wither and die.
Conventional farming practice generally relies on chemical pesticides to exterminate the hungry insects. But obviously their populations can also be kept at bay by promoting their natural enemies. These include ground beetles, spiders and other predatory insects that live on the ground.
Study can be found in : Journal of Applied Ecology

 

'Virtual safe space' to help bumblebees
'Virtual safe space' to help bumblebees The many threats facing bumblebees can be tested using a "virtual safe space" created by scientists at the University of Exeter. Bumble-BEEHAVE provides a computer simulation of how colonies will develop and react to multiple factors including pesticides, parasites and habitat loss.
The tool lets researchers, farmers, policymakers and other interested parties test different land management techniques to find out what will be most beneficial for bees. Field experiments can be very timely and costly, so resultsfrom Bumble-BEEHAVE can help refine and reduce the number of experiments needed.

 

Ontario Beekeepers Experience Overwhelming Losses
Ontario Beekeepers Experience Overwhelming Losses When Ontario’s beekeepers opened their hives this spring, they found nothing but bad news for beekeepers, as well as for the vegetable and fruit growers who depend on bees for pollination. The recent Ontario Beekeepers’ Association survey of almost 900 beekeepers indicated that 7 out of 10 Ontario beekeepers suffered unsustainable losses. Most worrisome, almost one in three (32%) beekeepers reported colony losses of 70% or more.

 

Court confirms neonicotinoid ban was legal
Court confirms neonicotinoid ban was legal Today the EU Court of Justice confirmed that the 2013 European Commission decision to protect bees by introducing a ban on the use of three neonicotinoid insecticides on flowering crops, was proper and legal. Bayer and Syngenta had challenged the decisions, throwing everything at the cases and claiming that: the EC exceeded its remit; the economic cost to the pesticide industry should have been a key factor in the decision; the bee pesticide risk assessment document should not have been used (because all member states had not endorsed it); the science showed neonicotinoids were safe to bees; and that there were several other grounds.

 

American Foulbrood Elimination – a Video Series by Plant and Food
American Foulbrood Elimination – a Video Series by Plant and Food We discovered this series of videos put out by Plant and Food in New Zealand.
Even though it came out in 2015, it’s the first time we have seen it, and thought it was worth telling you about. I can see these being useful for overseas beekeepers as well, as AFB is a worldwide issue for Bees and Beekeepers.
Its a great series of videos about Amercian Foul Brood (AFB) presented by Dr. Mark Goodwin and Byron Taylor, its history in New Zealand and what you can do if your hives become infected.

 

Glyphosate shown to disrupt microbiome 'at safe levels', study claims
Glyphosate shown to disrupt microbiome 'at safe levels' A chemical found in the world’s most widely used weedkiller can have disrupting effects on sexual development, genes and beneficial gut bacteria at doses considered safe, according to a wide-ranging pilot study in rats.
Glyphosate is the core ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and levels found in the human bloodstream have spiked by more than a 1,000% in the last two decades.

 

A Plea for Use of Honey Bees’ Natural Resilience in Beekeeping
A Plea for Use of Honey Bees’ Natural Resilience in Beekeeping This plea is about leaving room for nature in ordinary daily beekeeping, but also about leaving room for nature in the reproduction of the bee colonies, i.e. beekeeping without queen breeding and without cultivation of breeds. Our European honey bees (Apis mellifera) naturally possess numerous traits including behaviours that make them less vulnerable to diseases and other threats in their environment.
This means that it may occasionally be better to follow the bees’ nature rather than to force the bees to meet our requirements.

 

New Cover Lets in Only Red Light, and Keeps Small Hive Beetles Out
New Cover Lets in Only Red Light, and Keeps Small Hive Beetles Out At their worst, honey bees are known for delivering painful stings, ripping apart their own tiny bodies in the process, just to protect their own hive. At their best, however, honey bees are much more impressive — not to mention, way less gruesome.
“For about 22 years, we’ve had a problem with small hive beetles,”
A transparent, red piece of acrylic shaped like a lid. It fits over a honey bee box hive. As sunlight shines through the acrylic, it creates red light inside the hive that disturbs small hive beetles and deters them away. He calls the product the Beetle Banisher.

 

Conservationists put out feelers to save Scotland's bees
Conservationists put out feelers to save Scotland's bees For centuries, they have clashed with and repelled repeated foreign invaders from Vikings to the mighty Roman Empire.
Now Scotland’s native honeybee is the latest species to come under threat from a foreign invasion as the country’s growing number of beekeepers bring non-native bees to fill their hives.
Experts say a gradual “diluting” of the DNA of the native bee fear it could become as rare as pure native wildcats through breeding with non-native species.

 


A new honey bee infection transmitted by Varroa mites ?
Jim Burritt, University of Wisconsin-Stout. The research, with student co-authors Anna Winfield, of Bloomer, and Jake Hildebrand, of Menomonie, was published Dec. 21 in PLOS One, a peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication for science and medicine research. The study, “Sepsis and Hemocyte Loss in Honey Bees,” can be found online.

 

Parasitic Mite Syndrome (PMS)
PMS or Parasitic Mite Syndrome is a condition that causes a honey bee colony to deteriorate and eventually dwindle away and die. There has not yet been a pathogen detected which causes the brood symptoms that appear with this syndrome. However there are always varroa mites present with this syndrome. The brood symptoms look similar to other diseases but the larvae don’t rope. Colonies with PMS will show symptoms of white larvae that are chewed or pecked down by workers. Larvae may appear sunken to the side of the cell and may show symptoms of white with some debris at the posterior end. Pupa will be chewed down/removed or the pupa face chewed part of the way down as seen in the photo. Most of the symptoms shown are from hygienic bees trying to remove varroa mite infested cells and or larvae/pupa from cells. There is sometimes color to the larvae and this is attributed to age, decomposition or secondary bacteria.

 

What gives bees their sweet tooth ?
What gives bees their sweet tooth ? Scientists have discovered bees linger on a flower, emptying it of nectar, because they have sugar-sensing taste neurons which work together to prolong the pleasure of the sweetness.
Newcastle University researchers report that the bees' taste neurons found on their proboscis -- their mouthparts -- fire intense signals for up to 10 seconds -- much longer than the taste neurons found in other insects.

 

World Bee Day May 20th! Celebrate !
World Bee Day May 20th! Celebrate ! World Bee Day? Yes, it’s official.
On the 20th December 2017 the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring 20th May World Bee Day. Every year on this day the global public will have their attention focussed on the importance of preserving honey bees and all other pollinators, and people will be reminded of the significance of bees in providing for the needs of humanity. They will also be invited to take positive action to preserve and protect pollinators.
By: Ann Chilcott

 

Say 'No' to the mow
Say 'No' to the mow One of the best - and easiest - ways to encourage wildlife in your garden is to create a "mini meadow" on your lawn. That's why Plantlife is calling for all lawn-owners to join the "Say No to the Mow" Summer Challenge.

 

‘Sting’ operation to find Nairn beehive bandit
‘Sting’ operation to find Nairn beehive bandit Two double beehives were placed at Easter Delnies over the weekend to assist with the yield from neighbouring fields.
However, by around 9pm on Saturday, it was found one of the hives had been extensively damaged causing a buzz amongst local farmland owners.
The hives were in use and as a result of the damage the beekeeper and land owner have suffered significant financial loss.

 

Bee disease confirmed near Perth and Dumfries
Bee disease confirmed near Perth and Dumfries AN OUTBREAK of European Foulbrood (EFB), a disease affecting honey bees, has been found in two colonies of honey bees in two apiaries near Perth and Dumfries.
The disease was confirmed following laboratory diagnosis by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture.

 

Europe Just Banned the Chemicals That Lay Waste to Honeybees. But they’re still everywhere in the US
Europe Just Banned the Chemicals That Lay Waste to Honeybees. But They’re Still Everywhere in the US In late April, the European Union banned a blockbuster trio of neonicotinoid insecticides, marketed by chemical giants Syngenta and Bayer. The decision, motivated by mounting evidence of harm to bees exposed to the chemicals, entrenches a temporary moratorium the EU placed on them back in 2013.
In the United States, use of neonicotinoids continues unabated. They’re widely applied to corn, soybean, and cotton seeds before planting. The chemicals suffuse the resulting plants, including their pollen and nectar, poisoning crop-chomping insects.

 

The Great Bug Hunt 2018
The Great Bug Hunt 2018

A Great Competition for Primary Schools

An opportunity for pupils to get outside to learn more about living things and their habitats and to use the outdoor classroom.
Simply identify a local habitat, get the pupils to explore and discover the minibeasts (bugs) that live there, draw them and record their findings – it’s that easy !

 

Neonicotinoid ban: how meta-analysis helped show pesticides do harm bees
Neonicotinoid ban: how meta-analysis helped show pesticides do harm bees The EU has announced a near-total ban on three insecticides that we now know are harmful to bees and other pollinators. And yet for years, scientists weren’t sure whether these neonicotinoid insecticides had any significant effect on bees, thanks to numerous studies that appeared to contradict each other.
Luckily, scientists have a tool that can not only help sort through large amounts of confusing data but also reveal conclusions that were statistically invisible when the information was first collected. This practice of “meta-analysis” is what helped researchers see there was a problem with neonicotinoids, paving the way for the risk assessment that ultimately led to the ban. In fact, meta-analysis is now so widespread that it affects our lives on a daily basis

 

The Great British Wildflower Hunt – To Pick, or Not To Pick. That is the Question.
The Great British Wildflower Hunt – To Pick, or Not To Pick. That is the Question. The British wild flower conservation group has a new policy that is leaving beekeepers more than a little riled.
Plantlife launched its annual Great British Wildflower Hunt with a new code of conduct that says it’s okay to pick some of them.
The hunt, in its second year, sees participants finding wild flower varieties and checking them off a list.

 

EU agrees total ban on bee-harming pesticides
EU agrees total ban on bee-harming pesticides The European Union will ban the world’s most widely used insecticides from all fields due to the serious danger they pose to bees.
The ban on neonicotinoids, approved by member nations on Friday, is expected to come into force by the end of 2018 and will mean they can only be used in closed greenhouses.

 

Neonicotinoids may alter estrogen production in humans
Neonicotinoids may alter estrogen production in humans Neonicotinoids are currently the most widely used pesticides in the world and frequently make headlines because of their harmful effects on honeybees and other insect pollinators. Now, a study published in the prestigious journal Environmental Health Perspectives, indicates they may also have an impact on human health by disrupting our hormonal systems. This study by INRS professor Thomas Sanderson indicates that more work must be done on the potential endocrine-disrupting effects of neonicotinoids.

 

Chemical Madness !
Chemical Madness ! All of humanity currently risks exposure to toxic chemicals all over creation in a similar vein to the Mad Hatter of Alice in Wonderland fame. And, maybe, as a result, goin’ kinda looney and getting horribly, dreadfully sick !
As soon as the Spring of 2018, the EPA will decide whether to risk the slaughter of birds and bees and pollinators that serve critical functions in crop production, as well as goosing-up the likelihood of chronic illnesses of citizens. The issue behind this flirtation with disease, sickness, pain, and death is regulation, or lack thereof, of chemical pesticides.

 

12 Must See Ted Talks for Beekeepers

TED is a media organization which posts talks online for free distribution, under the slogan “ideas worth spreading”. TED was founded in February 1984 as a conference, which has been held annually since 1990.
We sat down on rainy afternoon in the Waitakere ranges, and watched loads of Ted Talks about bees here are our top twelve.
We have added all of these to a Youtube Playlist on our channel. You will find the playlist HERE

 

Honeybees make a cute 'whoop' when they're surprised
Honeybees make a cute 'whoop' when they're surprised And I thought the squeaks of a baby sloth were cute ? Well, they are ... but they've got some tough competition from a very surprising source: Whooping honeybees.
So it isn't new news that honeybees make a vibrational pulse to communicate. Sam Wong writes in New Scientist that while scientists have known about this signaling since the 1950s, they first speculated that it indicated a request for food. "Later, it was shown that the signal was produced when one bee tried to inhibit another from performing a waggle dance," Wong writes, "a behaviour that tells other bees where to forage." It was later interpreted as a warning signal.

 

Agrichemical Political Power in America and Europe
Agrichemical Political Power in America and Europe In November 2014, an open letter signed by about 57 million Americans reached European politicians urging them not to follow America’s genetic engineering path in food and agriculture. Don’t use genetic engineering to modify your crops, the letter said, because GM crops have served us pretty badly here in America. We are convinced the genetic modification of crops is a hazardous and failing technology.

 

Honeybees are struggling to get enough good bacteria
Honeybees are struggling to get enough good bacteria Modern monoculture farming, commercial forestry and even well-intentioned gardeners could be making it harder for honeybees to store food and fight off diseases, a new study suggests.
Human changes to the landscape, such as large areas of monoculture grassland for livestock grazing, and coniferous forests for timber production, is affecting the diversity of the 'microbiome' associated with honeybees' long-term food supply
Ecology and Evolution (2018). DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3999

 

EU unanimously backs UN World Bee Day
EU unanimously backs UN World Bee Day The United Nations declared 20 May to become World Bee Day, adopting a resolution proposed by Slovenia and supported by all EU member states, which aims to raise awareness of the insects’ importance and warn about their dwindling numbers.
The resolution’s 155 co-sponsors, which include the EU, the US, China and Russia, agreed to observe World Bee Day “through education and activities aimed at raising awareness of the importance of bees and other pollinators, the threats that they face and their contribution to sustainable development”.

 

Newly identified bacteria may help bees nourish their young
Newly identified bacteria may help bees nourish their young A team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside have isolated three previously unknown bacterial species from wild bees and flowers. The bacteria, which belong to the genus Lactobacillus, may play a role in preserving the nectar and pollen that female bees store in their nests as food for their larvae.
The results were published Thursday in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. The study was led by Quinn McFrederick, an assistant professor of entomology in UCR's College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences.

 

The National Bee Unit confirms Asian hornet in the Bury area of Lancashire
The National Bee Unit confirms Asian hornet in the Bury area of Lancashire The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet in the Bury area of Lancashire. It was spotted by a member of the public in an item of food, which has since been traced back to Boston.
The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees and work is already underway to identify any nests, which includes setting up a surveillance zone and traps in the two identified locations and deploying bee inspectors to visit local beekeepers.

 

Young Hive-Bound Bees Befuddled by Common Chemicals
Young Hive-Bound Bees Befuddled by Common Chemicals Hive-bound young honey bees (Apis mellifera) are being poisoned by insecticide and weed killer gathered by their foraging hive mates, according to new research published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. The chemicals cause brain damage in young worker bees, affecting both their ability to taste and to learn, placing the future of the colony at risk.

 

When enemies come to help
When enemies come to help Crab spiders are predators that lie in wait for their prey on the flowers. It used to be assumed that these spiders harm the plant, because they catch pollinating insects or discourage them from visiting the flowers. The ecologists at UZH have now been able to reveal a surprising phenomenon: "Crab spiders find the plant by following the scent of its flowers. They do so using β-ocimene, the floral volatile that also attracts bees,"

 

The trouble with beekeeping gloves
The trouble with beekeeping gloves Many experienced beekeepers go without gloves and for good reason— they are cumbersome! These beekeepers trade comfort and dexterity for the occasional sting. But, if you are a new beekeeper or in an Africanized Honey Bee zone, you are probably in for more than just an occasional sting. Personally, I rarely work without gloves. So, if you are going to wear gloves, what kind of gloves are best ?

 

How Bees See And Why It Matters
How Bees See And Why It Matters The remarkable eyesight of bees has long been a source of fascination in the scientific community. A hundred years ago, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Karl von Frisch proved that bees can see color. The color we see is based upon how a pigment absorbs and reflects light. When light hits an object, some is absorbed and some is reflected. Our eyes perceive the reflected portion as color. The brilliant color in flowers is a way of attracting pollinators, such as bees. The colors of flowers help target the areas of nectar. That’s the reason why petals are usually a different color than leaves.

 

Lizards, mice, bats and other vertebrates are important pollinators, too
Lizards, mice, bats and other vertebrates are important pollinators, too Bees are not the only animals that carry pollen from flower to flower. Species with backbones, among them bats, birds, mice, and even lizards, also serve as pollinators. Although less familiar as flower visitors than insect pollinators, vertebrate pollinators are more likely to have co-evolved tight relationships of high value to the plants they service, supplying essential reproductive aid for which few or no other species may substitute.
In plants known to receive flower visitations from vertebrates, fruit and seed production drops 63%, on average, when the larger animals, but not insects, are experimentally blocked from accessing the plants, ecologists report in the March cover study for the Ecological Society of America's journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

 

Pesticides give bees a hard time
Pesticides give bees a hard time Scientists from the University of Würzburg have investigated the impact of a new pesticide on the honeybee. In high doses, it has a negative impact on the insects' taste and cognition ability.
In February 2018, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirmed that the pesticide group of neonicotinoids is harmful to bees. A novel pesticide manufactured by Bayer AG is therefore being discussed as an alternative; it contains flupyradifurone from the class of butenolides. The product goes by the brand name of Sivanto.

 

Campaigners accuse farming lobby of misleading public over pesticides
Campaigners accuse farming lobby of misleading public over pesticides Pesticide use in the UK is rising, according to an analysis of government data - and contrary to the claims of pro-pesticide lobby groups such as the National Farmers Union (NFU) and Crop Protection Association (CPA).
These organisations frequently claim that the amount of pesticides used in the UK has halved since 1990 when defending pesticide use, Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN UK) has claimed.
But the statistic is meaningless, since it refers to the weight of the pesticides used and ignores the strength of toxicity, which is significantly higher than that used in the 1990s.

 

Another Voice: An insecticide threatens the next silent spring
Another Voice: An insecticide threatens the next silent spring A groundbreaking new study exposes a huge threat to the Great Lakes. Neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics) have been found year-round in major tributaries to the Great Lakes. Of great concern in New York is the Genesee River.
Neonics came on the market with great expectation that it caused less toxicity than previously used classes of insecticides. Unfortunately, there’s a dark side.
Neonics have already been been linked with bee die-offs and bird population decline. Why should we care? Losing these pollinators can have a tremendous impact on our food supply. Birds are natural predators of insects carrying disease. The entire ecosystem may be at risk.

 

Death And Thievery In The Colony
Death And Thievery In The Colony The tiny bee flits about, just above the ground. Clothed in a tightly pressed suit of gray hairs, it is scarcely visible—a ghost bee. Of course, given that the bee is maybe half the size of an uncooked piece of rice, it could be bright red and still go unnoticed. The little bee may rest in the heat of the afternoon, head down on the shady side of a stem. At some point, if the bee is female, she stops flitting, having found what she’s been looking for. She dives into the hole of another minuscule bee, one of the large genus Perdita. The goal of the ghost bee is theft and ultimately death. Her plan is to hide her egg in the cell of the host bee. Her offspring will hatch, kill the host bee’s young, and consume all the provisions laid down by the hard-working host mother. North America may have a dozen or more species of Neolarra. All are cleptoparasites, those who thieve and kill rather than gather and provision.

 

Insects Flew Before Anything Else Did. So How Did They Get Their Wings ?
Insects Flew Before Anything Else Did. So How Did They Get Their Wings ? In research recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Tomoyasu and co-author David Linz genetically engineered beetle larvae with wings on their abdomens, part of an ongoing attempt to unpack one of evolution’s greatest mysteries: how insects gained the ability to fly.
Insects took to the empty skies sometime between 300 and 360 million years ago, long before birds, bats or pterosaurs. Wings allowed them to conquer new habitats and ecological niches, and Insecta quickly established themselves as one of the most diverse and successful animal classes, a position they still hold today

 

Blissfully unaware
Blissfully unaware Several naturalists and environmental writers believe the massive loss of insects has everything to do with three generations of industrialized farming and the vast tide of poisons pouring over the landscape year-after-year, especially since the end of WWII. Ours is the first-ever pesticide-based agricultural society. Dreadfully, it’s an experiment that is going dead wrong… all of a sudden !

 

Britain has lost half its wildlife. Now’s the time to shout about it
Britain has lost half its wildlife. Now’s the time to shout about it Most notable is the case of farmland birds, which by the government’s own admission declined by 56% between 1970 and 2015; it is estimated this represents a loss of at least 44 million individuals. Over huge swaths of the land, once beloved species such as the lapwing, the spotted flycatcher, the cuckoo and the turtle dove, as well as many once common butterflies such as the pearl-bordered fritillary and once familiar blooms such as cornflowers, have simply vanished. The fields may still look green in spring, but it is mostly lifeless scenery, apart from the pesticide-saturated crops: it is green concrete.

 


Nicotine Bees, the film, gets to the truth about why the honey bees of the world are in big trouble, and why our food supply is in trouble with them.
We think the answers are clear - and have been for several years - Systemic Neonicotinoid Insecticide
We filmed on 3 continents to find out the real reasons why bees are in catastrophic decline - and why many people don't want the real story to be told.
Although the bees have been in a slow decline for years, something else happened between 2005 and 2006 that changed everything: a sharp and catastrophic collapse of bee colonies in dozens of countries simultaneously.

 

Europe Is Facing An Ecological Disaster As Wildlife Numbers Plummet
Europe Is Facing An Ecological Disaster As Wildlife Numbers Plummet The natural environment in Europe is on the brink of collapse.
Two new studies published this week show how the number of farm birds in France has crashed, falling by an average of a third in the last 15 years alone, prompting scientists to warn that biodiversity in Europe faces “oblivion”.

 

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