Bee News 2


To save honey bees we need to design them new hives
Honey bees are under extreme pressure. The number of honey bee colonies in the US has been declining at an average rate of almost 40% since 2010. The biggest contributor to this decline is viruses spread by a parasite, Varroa Destructor. But this isn’t a natural situation. The parasite is spread by beekeeping practices, including keeping the bees in conditions that are very different from their natural abode of tree hollows.
A few years ago, I demonstrated that the heat losses in man-made honey bee hives are many times greater than those in natural nests.


US Beekeepers File Suit Against EPA Charging “Illegal” Approval of Insecticide
A group of beekeepers joined forces on Friday against Trump’s EPA by filing a lawsuit over the agency’s move to put a powerful insecticide—one that scientists warn is part of the massive pollinator die-off across the U.S.—back on the market.
The lawsuit charges that the EPA’s approval of sulfoxaflor—touted by its manufacturer, agro-chemical giant Corteva, as a “next generation neonicotinoid”—was illegally rendered as it put industry interests ahead of the hetitleh of pollinators and ignored the available science.


Asian hornet: UK sightings
Current situation . . .
An Asian hornet sighting was confirmed in the Tamworth area of Staffordshire on 2 September 2019. This is the first report since July, when a single hornet was confirmed in New Milton, Hampshire. In each case they were spotted and reported by a member of the public.
Since 2016, there have been a total of 15 confirmed sightings of the Asian hornet in England and six nests have been destroyed.
Nine of these sightings occurred in 2018; an individual hornet in Lancashire (April) and Hull, three in Cornwall, two in Hampshire, one in Surrey (all September) and one in Kent (October).


Incredible lost story of beekeeping Scottish prisoner of war unearthed by researchers
Despite refusing to “slave” for Hitler and being forced to endure a bitter march across Europe after his capture, Company Sergeant Major James Hamilton Savage persuaded the Nazi guards in Stalag 383 to allow him to set up beehives behind the barbed wire fences.
His incredible story came to light after librarians discovered a record of the former head of beekeeping at the West of Scotland Agricultural College, now the SRUC.
CSM Savage was captured and taken Prisoner of War in St Valery en Caux in northern France in 1940 after the 51st Highland Division were left behind following the Dunkirk evacuation.


Rare Bee Confirmed In Wisconsin For First Time In More Than A Century
Scientists with the U.S. Forest Service recently discovered one of the most rare bees in North America in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The Epeoloides pilosulus bee was discovered in mid-July by scientists who were surveying the pollinators as part of an inventory of native bees in the Great Lakes region. There are only two known species of Epeoloides in the world.
The rare bee is often referred to as a cuckoo bee because it’s a pollen thief.
The bee is a cleptoparasite that mooches off the oil and pollen collected by the Macropis bee for its young, according to Joan Milam, an adjunct research fellow in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.


Flowers can hear buzzing bees—and it makes their nectar sweeter
Sound is so elemental to life and survival that it prompted Tel Aviv University researcher Lilach Hadany to ask: What if it wasn’t just animals that could sense sound—what if plants could, too? The first experiments to test this hypothesis, published recently on the pre-print server bioRxiv, suggest that in at least one case, plants can hear, and it confers a real evolutionary advantage.
Hadany’s team looked at evening primroses (Oenothera drummondii) and found that within minutes of sensing vibrations from pollinators’ wings, the plants temporarily increased the concentration of sugar in their flowers’ nectar. In effect, the flowers themselves served as ears, picking up the specific frequencies of bees’ wings while tuning out irrelevant sounds like wind.


How bees live with bacteria
More than 90 percent of all bee species are not organized in colonies, but fight their way through life alone. They are also threatened. Scientists demand more research on the ecology of these insects.
An apple plantation in spring. The trees are in full bloom. But to ensure that they also yield in autumn, workers have to do a real fluff job for weeks: each individual flower is manually pollinated with brushes -- because there are no bees left to do the job. Not a nice vision of the future. But in some regions of China this is already reality. And the disappearance of the bees is reported all over the world.


Tanging works well with a little seed
Okay, fine, call me nutbag-crazy. But I’m here to tell you that tanging does, indeed work. It’s not just for breakfast (or laughing at) any more.
I believe that the legendary use of tanging, which is to make a loud clanging or ringing noise (done in the olden times with a pot or pan) works. Now, I’ve been called crazy before and have no problem with that. I also believe in UFO’s, Bigfoot and ghosts. I think there are things seen just as well as unseen.
'Tanging' the bees


Winter Losses of British Honey Bees Were 8.5% – the Lowest Rate Since the BBA Started Counting.
Winter losses of British honey bees were 8.5% – the lowest rate since the British Beekeepers Association started the current survey program in 2007/08.
The survey covers the period from Oct. 1, 2018 to April 1, 2019 and was carried out online for the first time. Some 5,581 members completed the survey.
The association has members from the whole of the British Isles and the Channel Isles, including England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Isles.


The world's insects are rapidly declining and the consequences can be catastrophic if that decline is not htitleed and quickly reversed. Paulo Mesquitela on Vimeo.


Movement of Pesticides into Flowers, Nectar and Pollen
  • Movement of Pesticides into Flowers, Nectar and Pollen
  • Patterns of Pesticide Use Affect Pollinators
  • Beekeeping Business Uses Every Bit of the Bees, the Land and the USDA
University of California, Riverside researchers have developed a new type of solid-phase microextraction (SPME) probe that inserted into plants through a needle, allows repeated sampling of seven neonicotinoids in plant sap.
SPME probes use a fiber coated with a liquid or solid to quickly extract analytes from a sample.


Half a billion dead honey bees in Brazil show what happens when you roll back pesticide regulations
It should be no surprise, then, that in Brazil, which has seen a 27% increase in pesticide sales since last year, roughly 500 million honey bees were found dead in piles across four states in early spring. The country’s pesticide use has grown by 770% between 1990 to 2016, as reported by Bloomberg. Insecticides like sulfoxaflor and neonicotinoids have been shown to harm bees, impairing their reproductive hetitleh and even killing them outright. Combined, these stresses contribute to an event known as a colony collapse, where many thousands of bees suddenly die. The cause of these mysterious deaths eluded entomologists for a decade; now, study after study has pinned them on the chemicals.
“These [pesticides] are meant to kill insects,” says John Tooker, an applied insect ecologist at Penn State. “The realization that bees are insects, and that insecticides kill bees, is mind-boggling to entomologists. I mean, no shit.”


Microbes on the menu for bee larvae
Bees only feast on nectar and pollen, right?
Wrong. Turns out, Nature's famously busy insect isn't strictly vegan, after all.
Reporting online in this month's American Naturalist, a team of Agricultural Research Service ARS and university scientists has shown that bee larvae (brood) have a taste for "microbial meat."


Welsh bees threatened by deadly disease American Foulbrood
Concern has been growing over the spread of a deadly disease among the Welsh bee population.
American Foulbrood (AFB) is a highly-infectious disease which is caused by a spore-forming bacteria transferred to the bees through infected food.
According to the UK government's BeeBase database there have been 14 new cases in Wales so far this year compared to three in 2018 and 26 the year before.


Chemical-Intensive Agriculture Is Increasingly Toxic to Insects
(Beyond Pesticides, August 15, 2019) An article in the journal Plos One, “An assessment of acute insecticide toxicity loading (AITL) of chemical pesticides used on agricultural land in the United States,” shows that recent shifts in insecticide use—from organophosphates and carbamates to synthetic pyrethroids and neonicotinoids—have made a large contribution to the ongoing insect apocalypse. This shift to insecticides that target insects based on both selective toxicity and delivery method occurs within a context of shrinking habitat and biodiversity.


Bee disease confirmed in Perthshire
American Foulbrood found near Pitlochry.
An outbreak of American Foulbrood (AFB) has been found in an apiary near Pitlochry.
AFB is a notifiable disease that affects colonies of honeybees. The infected hives will be destroyed as there is no permitted treatment for the disease in the UK.
The disease was confirmed on 12 August following laboratory diagnosis by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA).


National Honey Bee Day
Join HoneyLove on Aug 17, 2019 as we celebrate National Honey Bee Day to honor the insect responsible for more than 1/3 of the food we eat with beekeepers, beekeeping clubs and associations, and honey bee enthusiasts from all across the country. We take this opportunity to celebrate honey bees and recognize their contribution to our everyday lives as a means of protecting this critical species for future generations. We also pay homage to beekeepers, whose labors ensure we have bees to pollinate our crops


A rugged old bee whisperer takes us to Honeyland
There's not much milk, a smattering of human kindness, and a whole lot of sticky stuff in Honeyland, a fablelike look at life in a remote region of the world.
This brief, sometimes gruelling movie is labelled a documentary, and the nonprofessionals in front of the expansive, probing camera here pretty much play themselves.


Insect 'apocalypse' in U.S. driven by 50x increase in toxic pesticides
America’s agricultural landscape is now 48 times more toxic to honeybees, and likely other insects, than it was 25 years ago, almost entirely due to widespread use of so-called neonicotinoid pesticides, according to a new study published today in the journal PLOS One .
This enormous rise in toxicity matches the sharp declines in bees, butterflies, and other pollinators as well as birds, says co-author Kendra Klein, senior staff scientist at Friends of the Earth US.
“This is the second Silent Spring. Neonics are like a new DDT, except they are a thousand times more toxic to bees than DDT was,” Klein says in an interview.


Pesticides deliver a one-two punch to honey bees
Adjuvants are chemicals that are commonly added to plant protection products, such as pesticides, to help them spread, adhere to targets, disperse appropriately, or prevent drift, among other things. There was a widespread assumption that these additives would not cause a biological reaction after exposure, but a number of recent studies show that adjuvants can be toxic to ecosystems, and specific to this study, honey bees.


Neonicotinoids may have an unexplored harmful exposure route to beneficial insects
A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Spain has found neonicotinoids represent an unexplored harmful exposure route to beneficial insects via honeydew. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of beneficial insect exposure to neonicotinoids and what they learned


A New Vaccine For Bee Sting Is Successfully Tested
Recently, a trial of anti-vaccine against bee sting has been completed, which contains Advax which is stated helpful in curbing fatal allergic reactions, a few people suffer due to bee venom. Initially, scientists designed the vaccine so that they can easily neutralize venom secreted by honey bees found in Europe.
Some people, when get stung by a bee have to suffer with great deal of allergic reactions which are termed as anaphylaxis. This severe reaction also claims lives of victims of bee stings, if they don’t get efficient medical assistance in time.


The Moscow Times says climate change may be playing a greater role in killing Russia’s honeybees than officials care to admit.
Dave Goulsen, a bee specialist at the University of Sussex in Britain, says scientists haven’t found what killed the bees.
“These big die-offs are an unfortunate combination of a variety of factors,” he tells the newspaper.
“It’s common sense that if we start getting big fluctuations in weather – droughts, floods, frosts – these things are going to be challenging, particularly if bee populations are already stressed,” Goulsen says. “If bees are already hungry and poisoned, they are going to have a tough time dealing with these things.”


Trump Administration Detitle Multiple Blows to Honey Bees this Month
Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a decision to register new uses for the bee-toxic pesticide sulfoxaflor. The decision closely followed a USDA announcement htitleing the Honey Bee Colonies Survey, combining blows to already suffering beekeepers. According to the nonprofit Bee Informed, this past winter tallied the most colonies lost in a decade—an estimated 37% between October 1, 2018 and April 1, 2019.


Russia alarmed by large fall in bee populations
Large areas of central and southern Russia have seen a major decline in their bee populations in recent months.
The head of the Russian beekeepers' union, Arnold Butov, said 20 regions had reported mass bee deaths.
The affected regions include Bryansk and Kursk, south of Moscow, and Saratov and Ulyanovsk on the Volga River.
Mr Butov, quoted by Russian media, said the crisis might mean 20% less honey being harvested. Some officials blamed poorly regulated pesticide use.


Spraying insecticides on fields causes death of 80,000 bee colonies in 25 Russian regions
VORONEZH, July 19. /TASS/. Spraying insecticides on agricultural fields caused the death of about 80,000 bee colonies in 25 regions of Russia, the damage of beekeepers exceeded 2 bln rubles ($31.7 mln), acting director of the Federal Scientific Center of Beekeeping, Anna Brandorf told TASS.
"In 25 regions of Russia, about 80,000 bee colonies were killed. This happened at apiaries, which are located near the [agricultural] fields treated with insecticides. Another 20% of bee colonies will add to these losses in the spring, as toxic substances fell into the nests, and the bee families that survived are very weak now, and it is possible that they will also die later. They also brought nectar from the fields to the nests, which can also contain insecticides, so the queen bee may not survive on such food," the expert said.


Junior Who Has Never Cried Had Tear-Eating Bees Behind His Eyes All Along
College Junior Sam Washington had gone two whole years at Penn without shedding a single tear — a feat unheard of since Elon Musk went all four years at the school without crying or smiling.
While Washington thought perhaps he was able to resist the intense pressure of Penn and the mental toll it takes on its students, in fact he just had bees behind his eyes eating all his tears. It’s unclear how these innovative bees got inside of Washington’s eyes, but by the time they were removed, they were double the size of a typical honey bee. It turns out Washington had been crying far more than the typical Penn student.


'Intensive' beekeeping not to blame for common bee diseases
More "intensive" beekeeping does not raise the risk of diseases that harm or kill the insects, new research suggests.
Intensive agriculture - where animals or plants are kept crowded together in very high densities - is thought to result in higher rates of disease spreading.
But researchers from the University of Exeter and the University of California, Berkeley found this is not the case for honeybees.


Plant probe could help estimate bee exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides
Bee populations are declining, and neonicotinoid pesticides continue to be investigated -- and in some cases banned -- because of their suspected role as a contributing factor. However, limitations in sampling and analytical techniques have prevented a full understanding of the connection. Now, researchers describe in the ACS journal Environmental Science and Technology a new approach to sample neonicotinoids and other pesticides in plants, which could explain how bees are exposed to the substances.


This Dutch City Has Transformed Its Bus Stops Into Bee Stops
From Bus Stops to Bee Stops
In the Dutch city Utrecht 316 bus stops now have a green roof. They do not only look great, they also help capture fine dust, storage of rainwater and provide cooling in the summertime.
It is one of many measures that could improve Utrecht's air quality. Did you know that after smoking, an unhetitlehy environment (including bad air quality) is the second cause of diseases in the Netherlands?


The Bee Is Declared The Most Important Living Being On The Planet
Its sting hurts a lot, but if they were to disappear, it would hurt much more.
The Earthwatch Institute concluded in the last debate of the Royal Geographical Society of London, that bees are the most important living being on the planet, however, scientists have also made an announcement: Bees have already entered into extinction risk.
See also an article in the Guardian ... Why bees are the most invaluable species


The Roles of Drifting and Robbing in Varroa Destructor Mite Infested Colonies
Mite bombs or Robber lures ?
When honey bee colonies collapse from high infestations of Varroa mites, neighboring colonies often experience surges in their mite populations. Collapsing colonies, often called “mite bombs”, seem to pass their mites to neighboring colonies. This can happen by mite infested workers from the collapsing colonies drifting into the neighboring colonies, or by mite-free workers from the neighboring colonies robbing out the collapsing colonies, or both.


Asian hornet identified in south Hampshire
The National Bee Unit has today (Wednesday 3 July 2019) confirmed a sighting of an individual, female Asian hornet in New Milton, Hampshire, after it was reported by a member of the public. Based upon visual examination, the hornet is likely to be a queen.
Monitoring is underway to detect any other Asian hornets in the vicinity and local beekeepers are asked to be vigilant.


Why are England's roadsides blooming ?
A long-running campaign encouraging councils to let neatly-mown grass verges become mini meadows where wildflowers and wildlife can flourish appears to be building up a head of steam.
Since 2013, Plantlife has been telling authorities the move could help them save money and boost their green credentials.
Several have taken the message on board. An eight-mile "river of flowers" alongside a major route in Rotherham was widely praised on social media recently and roadside meadows have also popped up in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Birmingham, Newcastle and Sheffield.


Bees kept for honey are killing wild species by spreading disease, study suggests
Nineteen per cent of flowers sampled near domestic beehives had viruses on them.
Beekeepers could be fuelling the worrying decline of wild bees, new research suggests.
Wild bumblebees can contract diseases from domestic honeybees if they share the same flowers, according to new US research which suggests domestic beehives should be kept out of areas home to particularly vulnerable pollinators.


Bees 'risk dying from hunger', say French beekeepers
Alarmed French beekeepers and farming groups warned Tuesday of a “catastrophic” honey harvest this year due to adverse weather.
“For honey producers the season risks being catastrophic. Bees are collecting nothing!” French farming union MODEF said in a statement.
“In the hives, there is nothing to eat, beekeepers are having to feed them with syrup because they risk dying from hunger,” added the union, which represents many small farms in honey-producing regions.


Study Finds Synergism between Neonicotinoids and Parasites Leads to 70% Declines in Honey Bee Survival
A study finds that the interaction of a common honey bee parasite with neonicotinoid insecticides causes 70% reductions in overwintering honey bee survival. These results help to explain the unsustainable honey bee colony losses observed in recent decades.
Neonicotinoids (neonics) are a class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects. Studies show that neonicotinic residues accumulate in pollen and nectar of treated plants, and, given their widespread use and known toxic effects, there is major concern that neonics play a major contributing role in pollinator declines


Five-year-old becomes Britain's youngest certified beekeeper
A five-year-old who keeps an impressive colony of 60,000 bees has become Britain's youngest certified beekeeper.
Little Archie Cridland, from Guildford, Surrey, was stung by a bee aged two, but was not put off.
After submitting a portfolio of three months' work, and a diary, to an external examiner, Archie picked up his British Beekeeping Association's Junior Certificate in Apiculture qualification last month.


Disrupting one gene could be first step toward treating honey bee parasite nosema ceranae
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have taken the first step towards a weapon against the major honey bee parasite Nosema ceranae.
There is currently no treatment for this parasite.
The scientists found that feeding honey bees a small amount of an interfering RNA compound (RNAi) could disrupt the reproduction of N. cerana by as much as 90 percent in the laborator study according to a study recently published in Insect Molecular Biology.


Bee colony death continues to rise. According to the Bee Informed Partnership's latest survey, released this week, U.S. beekeepers lost nearly 40% of their honeybee colonies last winter — the greatest reported winter hive loss since the partnership started its surveys 13 years ago. The total annual loss was slightly above average.


Half a billion hoverflies migrate to the United Kingdom each year. The benefits to farmers are huge
Each year, hundreds of millions of hoverflies cross the English Channel from continental Europe, according to a new radar-based study. Most migratory insects around the world are pests, such as locusts, but luckily for U.K. farmers, the hoverflies are friends.
The benefits to farmers are huge. Combined, the populations of the two most common species of hoverfly, Episyrphus btitleeatus and Eupeodes corollae, transport about the same amount of pollen as do all the honey bees in the United Kingdom, Chapman and colleagues report today in Current Biology.
Perhaps more importantly, the larvae of hoverflies eat about 20% of the aphids in an average wheat field - a total of 6 trillion aphids, the researchers estimate. “The numbers really blew my mind,” Chapman says.


EFSA’s 2013 Bee Guidance in the UK
We are writing to you on behalf of 226,845 petition signatories as well as members of the above organisations to ask you to support the complete implementation of the European Food Safety Authority’s bee guidance for the assessment of risks posed to honeybees and wild bees from pesticides.
226,845 members of the public have signed a petition calling on you and other European ministers to support higher standards for assessing how pesticides harm bees. You can view the petition here:


Beewolves use a gas to preserve food
Scientists from the Universities of Regensburg and Mainz and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology discovered that the eggs of the European beewolf produce nitric oxide. The gas prevents the larvae's food from getting moldy in the warm and humid brood cells.
Food stored in warm and humid conditions gets moldy very quickly and thus becomes inedible or even toxic. To prevent this, we use refrigerators and freezers as well as various other methods of preservation. Animals do not have such technical appliances and therefore need to find other ways to preserve food. The European beewolf Philanthus triangulum, a solitary wasp species whose females hunt honey bees, has evolved a successful method of food preservation. A female takes up to five honey bees into its brood cells where they serve as food for a young beewolf.
The results were published in the journal eLife


American Foulbrood found in Perthshire honeybees
AN OUTBREAK of American Foulbrood (AFB) has been found in an apiary near Blairgowrie in Perthshire.
AFB is a notifiable disease that affects colonies of honeybees. The infected hive will be destroyed as there is no permitted treatment for the disease in the UK.
The disease was confirmed following laboratory diagnosis by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture. Scotland's Chief Veterinary Officer,Sheila Voas, said: “The confirmation that AFB has been found in a colony of honeybees in Perthshire is disappointing and a timely reminder that beekeepers should remain vigilant for signs of the disease at all times.


Honey Hunting on the Cliffs of China’s Yunnan Province
The “cliff honey” is coveted in China, and can sell for up to US$50 per kilogram. “Honey hunters face swarms of bees and get stung repeatedly while suspended from rope ladders. Lower hives can often be reached with wooden ladders or poles. Hunters suit up in protective gear and use smoke to scatter the giant Himalayan honeybees from their hives to reduce the risk of confrontation, but there are literally thousands of them in each hive. An adult Himalayan honeybee, the world’s largest honeybee species, can measure three centimeters in size.”


Bees the victims of irresponsible pesticide use
Over the past decade, honeybee populations in many countries in the Northern Hemisphere have plummeted due to colony collapse disorder (CCD).
The debate about the causes of CCD is ongoing: climate change, pesticides, food scarcity, monoculture crops, Varroa mites, strains of foul brood and loss of habitat, amongst others, have all been blamed.
However, these are only some of the potential threats that bees face, and no undisputed single reason for the decline in bee populations in the Northern Hemisphere has yet been identified.


Honey bee colonies down by 16%
The study, led by a University of Strathclyde academic, found that out of 544,879 colonies being managed at the start of winter, 89,124 were lost through a combination of circumstances including the effects of weather conditions, unsolvable problems with a colony's queen and natural disaster.
The study surveyed 25,363 beekeepers across 33 countries in Europe - including the four nations of the UK - along with Algeria, Israel and Mexico.
Portugal, Italy and England experienced losses above 25%, as well as Northern Ireland, where losses were 29.9%. Belarus, Israel and Serbia were among those with loss rates below 10%.


Science institute that advised EU and UN 'actually industry lobby group'
An institute whose experts have occupied key positions on EU and UN regulatory panels is, in reality, an industry lobby group that masquerades as a scientific hetitleh charity, according to a peer-reviewed study.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge, Bocconi University in Milan, and the US Right to Know campaign assessed over 17,000 pages of documents under US freedom of information laws to present evidence of influence-peddling.


A devastating bee disease outbreak has been confirmed in West Lothian
An outbreak of European Foulbrood (EFB) has been found in a colony of honey bees in an apiary in West Lothian .
The disease spreads between hives, mainly by beekeepers, their tools and contaminated equipment. The spores that cause the bacterial disease are very resistant to extremes of hot and cold and to many disinfectants so the spread can only be prevented by good hygiene and beekeeping.


A combination of agrochemicals shortens the life of bees
A new study by Brazilian biologists suggests that the effect of pesticides on bees could be worse than previously thought. Even when used at a level considered nonlethal, an insecticide curtailed the lives of bees by up to 50%. The researchers also found that a fungicide deemed safe for bees titleered the behavior of workers and made them lethargic, potentially jeopardizing the survival of the entire colony.


Seedless Watermelons Are A Different Challenge When Pollinating
A female watermelon flower will need around 500-1000 pollen grains to be fertilized effectively. This will require a minimum of 8 visits by a honey bee for seeded watermelons. In seedless watermelon more visits will be required. The pollen produced by seedless watermelons is not viable. To fertilize seedless watermelon, pollen must be transferred from viable male flowers in standard or special pollinizer seeded types to triploid seedless female flowers.


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