Bee News 2

 

Bees the victims of irresponsible pesticide use
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%
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'
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 health 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
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 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 altered the behavior of workers and made them lethargic, potentially jeopardizing the survival of the entire colony.

 

Seedless Watermelons Are A Different Challenge When Pollinating
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.

 

Giant bee thought to be EXTINCT makes miraculous comeback
Giant bee thought to be EXTINCT makes miraculous comeback A large bee not seen in Poland for 70 years has made an incredible comeback after ecologists turned to the internet for help in finding the insects.
The Violet Carpenter Bee, otherwise known as a Black Bee because of the distinctive dark violet, almost black colour of its wings and body, was declared officially extinct in 2002.

 

Pollinators in Peril - Climate Change Threat to UK Bees
Pollinators in Peril - Climate Change Threat to UK Bees New Report on World Bee Day Paints Bleak Picture of Extinction and Decline
The 'Bees Under Siege' report analysed data recorded for 228 species of bees and concluded that:
  • 17 species are extinct from the area
  • 25 species are threatened
  • Another 31 are of conservation concern
Matt Shardlow, Chief Executive at Buglife, said:
“Our bees and other pollinators have suffered badly over the last fifty or so years, due to habitat fragmentation, climate change, and intensive farming methods, especially pesticides. Imagine living on a tiny oasis in an increasingly fiery desert with barely any food, water or shelter - that is what much of the modern British countryside is like for our wild pollinators.

 

Scientists: Why we should appreciate wasps
Scientists: Why we should appreciate wasps The researchers say wasps are a much maligned insect, which deserve more attention.
Rather than being "bothersome and pointless", they are in fact beneficial insects, keeping other pests in check.
Dr Seirian Sumner of University College London said wasps are nature's pest controllers and a world without wasps would mean that we would have to use a lot more pesticides to control the other insects that we dislike and find annoying.

 

World Bee Day

The value of bees
Bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, are increasingly under threat from human activities.
Pollinators allow many plants, including many food crops, to reproduce. Not only do pollinators contribute directly to food security, but they are key to conserving biodiversity - a cornerstone of the Sustainable Development Goals. They also serve as sentinels for emergent environmental risks, signaling the health of local ecosystems.
Invasive insects, pesticides, land-use change and monocropping practices may reduce available nutrients and pose threats to bee colonies.
To raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the UN designated 20 May as World Bee Day

 

The selfish case for saving bees: it’s how to save ourselves
The selfish case for saving bees: it’s how to save ourselves These crucial pollinators keep our world alive. Yes, they are under threat – but all is not lost.
When I see a bee buzzing around my garden or in the park in early spring, I get a real thrill from being able to identify her. If she is black and darting among small, white tubular flowers with her long tongue protruding and her legs tucked under her furry, round body, I know she is a hairy-footed flower bee.

 

Beeswax Filling Found in 6,500-Year-Old Human Tooth
Beeswax Filling Found in 6,500-Year-Old Human Tooth Evidence that stone-age dentists were at work nearly seven millennia ago was discovered in Eastern Europe.
A team of mostly Italian researchers studied a human jawbone, found in Slovenia near the Italian border, that contains a cracked canine tooth with a beeswax filling inside.
“This finding is perhaps the most ancient evidence of pre-historic dentistry in Europe and the earliest known direct example of therapeutic-palliative dental filling so far,” said research leader Federico Bernardini at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in a press release.

 

'Bee corridor' planted in London to boost insect numbers
'Bee corridor' planted in London to boost insect numbers A seven-mile long "bee corridor" is being planted in a bid to boost the number of pollinating insects.
The wildflower meadows will be put in place in 22 of Brent Council's parks in north London.
A recent study blamed the decline of wildflowers as a factor behind the drop in pollinating insect numbers in the UK since the 1980s.

 

Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’ Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’
Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’ Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’ Most comprehensive assessment of its kind; 1,000,000 species threatened with extinction.
Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history — and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely, warns a landmark new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the summary of which was approved at the 7th session of the IPBES Plenary, meeting last week (29 April – 4 May) in Paris.

 

Managing road verges for pollinators
Managing road verges for pollinators Road verges are a common sight across the UK landscape, with 238,000 ha of road verges along our almost 400,000 kilometres of roads. These habitats can support a wide range of wildlife, in particular providing sources of food and shelter for insect species. This report reviews the scientific literature on the benefits road verges can provide to pollinators, as well as the costs caused by their proximity to roads and road traffic

 

Bees Exposed to Neonicotinoid Pesticide Become Hyperactive Before Crashing Out, Reducing Their Ability to Forage
Bees Exposed to Neonicotinoid Pesticide Become Hyperactive Before Crashing Out, Reducing Their Ability to Forage The use of neonicotinoids—a common class of pesticides—has increasingly been linked to negative effects on bees by a number of scientific studies in recent times.
Now, a team of researchers from Imperial College London has found that bees which are exposed to neonicotinoids—or “neonics” for short—are only capable of flying a third of the distance that unexposed bees could manage, according to a study published in the journal Ecology and Evolution.

 

Premium New Zealand honey producer admits adding chemicals: media
Premium New Zealand honey producer admits adding chemicals: media MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A New Zealand company pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges of adding artificial chemicals to its premium manuka honey, media reported, in a flagship prosecution over a product that is high-value export for the country.
New Zealand Food Safety filed the case against Auckland-based Evergreen Life Ltd whose products were pulled from shelves in 2016 by the Ministry for Primary Industries, which said they might contain “non-approved substances”.

 

RSPB resigns from government’s pesticides forum after chemical use soars
RSPB resigns from government’s pesticides forum after chemical use soars The RSPB and dozens of environmental groups have resigned from the government’s pesticides forum after two decades claiming the use of dangerous chemicals is now far worse than when they joined.
The charity alongside Wildlife and Countryside Link which represents bodies like The Wildlife Trusts and Butterfly Conservation have written to Michael Gove, the environment secretary, warning they can ‘no longer stand by’ while the situation deteriorates.
Two groups, the Pesticides Forum and Voluntary Initiative, were set up by the government in the 1990s to reduce environmental damage from pesticides.
However figures show that since their founding the area of British land treated by pesticides has risen from 45 million hectares to more than 70 million hectares today.

 

Bees living on Notre-Dame cathedral roof survive blaze
Notre-Dame's smallest residents have survived the devastating fire which destroyed most of the cathedral's roof and toppled its famous spire.
Some 200,000 bees living in hives on the roof were initially thought to have perished in the blaze.
However Nicolas Géant, the cathedral's beekeeper, has confirmed that the bees are alive and buzzing.

 

An organic lawn
An organic lawn It’s all too tempting to think of your lawn as a plain green area. Think instead of a wonderful, natural carpet, composed of thousands of separate plants, with colour, texture and wildlife. The organic lawn can feed birds, insects and soil life, as well as hosting flowers. And you can still sit or play on it – and mow it – without using unnecessary and expensive chemicals.

 

Propolis Power-Up: How Beekeepers Can Encourage Resin Deposits for Better Hive Health
Propolis Power-Up: How Beekeepers Can Encourage Resin Deposits for Better Hive Health 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.

 

Cuba's worker bees boost thriving honey business
Cuba's worker bees boost thriving honey business In the floral valleys of Cuba's Matanzas province, old fashioned farming means bees can swarm without the threat of pesticides that have decimated populations across the world.
Shrinking bee populations around the world have caused scientists and conservationists to sound the alarm over the effects of intensive agriculture, disease and pesticides.
But not in Cuba, a Communist-run island nation that has become a kind of apicultural paradise, thanks to the purity of its countryside.

 

New ‘safe’ pesticides to replace banned chemicals still hurt bees, scientists say
New ‘safe’ pesticides to replace banned chemicals still hurt bees, scientists say New pesticides regarded as “bee safe” could actually be causing harm to these vital pollinators when combined with other chemicals being applied to crops, according to a new study.
However, experts have voiced concerns that some of these pesticides may come with dangerous side effects of their own.
While flupyradifurone has been marketed as a safer insecticide, it has the same mode of action and properties as neonicotinoids, the chemicals banned due to their link with global bee declines.

 

Taiwan doctor finds four sweat bees living inside woman's eye
Taiwan doctor finds four sweat bees living inside woman's eye A Taiwanese woman was found by doctors to have four small sweat bees living inside her eye, the first such incident on the island.
The 28-year-old woman, identified only as Ms He, was pulling out weeds when the insects flew into her eyes.
Dr Hong Chi Ting of the Fooyin University Hospital told the BBC he was "shocked" when he pulled the 4mm insects out by their legs

 

Pesticides and antibiotics polluting streams across Europe
Pesticides and antibiotics polluting streams across Europe Pesticides and antibiotics are polluting streams across Europe, a study has found. Scientists say the contamination is dangerous for wildlife and may increase the development of drug-resistant microbes.
More than 100 pesticides and 21 drugs were detected in the 29 waterways analysed in 10 European nations, including the UK. A quarter of the chemicals identified are banned, while half of the streams analysed had at least one pesticide above permitted levels.

 

How golf courses can save Scotland's bees
How golf courses can save Scotland's bees The putting greens are perfectly smooth, every blade of grass is polished and preened to perfection. No stray clumps of moss or random dandelion leaf to cause even the slightest bump.
At St Andrews' famous links courses, wildflowers nod in the breeze in fairway buffer zones to help attract pollinating insects, and bee hives have been introduced. Bird boxes and bird feeders are dotted around, and there are sheep grazing on the fringes of the Castle Course.
Last summer, a "bug hotel" for beetles, centipedes and spiders popped up near the seventh hole of the Old Course and at the Jubilee greenkeeping sheds.

 

Bee Removal To Be Illegal In Texas
Bee Removal To Be Illegal In Texas Bee removal is a common practice for many bee owners. Well, it’s about to become illegal in Texas if an Irving lawmaker has her way.
When a local bee keeper gets a call concerning a swarm or hive in a nearby residence or tree, they load up and ride to the rescue. They arrive and set up their equipment and carefully bring the bees home to a new location where they can grow and thrive.

 

Butterfly numbers fall by 84% in Netherlands over 130 years
Butterfly numbers fall by 84% in Netherlands over 130 years Butterflies have declined by at least 84% in the Netherlands over the last 130 years, according to a study, confirming the crisis affecting insect populations in western Europe.
Researchers analysed 120,000 butterflies caught by collectors between 1890 and 1980 as well as more recent scientific data from more than 2 million sightings to identify dramatic declines in the country’s 71 native butterfly species, 15 of which have become extinct over the last century.

 

Adhesive formed from bee spit and flower oil could form basis of new glues
Adhesive formed from bee spit and flower oil could form basis of new glues Researchers are looking to a bee 'glue' as a model for a bioinspired adhesive because of its unique properties and ability to remain sticky through a range of conditions.
Honey bees spend hours each day collecting pollen and packing it into tidy bundles attached to their hind legs.
But all of that hard work could instantly be undone during a sudden rainstorm were it not for two substances the insect uses to keep the pollen firmly stuck in place: bee spit and flower oil.

 

Researchers decipher and codify the universal language of honey bees
Researchers decipher and codify the universal language of honey bees The two assistant professors and their teams have decoded the language of honey bees in such a way that will allow other scientists across the globe to interpret the insects' highly sophisticated and complex communications.
In a paper appearing in April's issue of Animal Behaviour, the researchers present an extraordinary foundational advance—a universal calibration, or for science fiction aficionados, a "babel fish," that translates honey bee communications across sub-species and landscapes.

 

Widespread losses of pollinating insects revealed across Britain
Widespread losses of pollinating insects revealed across Britain A widespread loss of pollinating insects in recent decades has been revealed by the first national survey in Britain, which scientists say “highlights a fundamental deterioration” in nature.
The analysis of 353 wild bee and hoverfly species found the insects have been lost from a quarter of the places they were found in 1980. A third of the species now occupy smaller ranges, with just one in 10 expanding their extent, and the average number of species found in a square kilometre fell by 11.

 

Ancient Irish Law: Collective Responsibility Sometimes Had a Sting in its Tail
Ancient Irish Law: Collective Responsibility Sometimes Had a Sting in its Tail The Brehon Law’s attention to detail when dealing with domestic animals is evident in the fact that there were even rules concerning bees, which were kept primarily for their honey. If bees were found to be collecting nectar from flowers on a neighbor’s land, they could be accused of trespassing. To get around this issue, the Brehon Law allowed a beekeeper three years of freedom, during which the bees were free to collect nectar from anywhere they pleased. On the fourth year, however, the first swarm to issue from the hive had to be given to the neighbor as payment

 

Weed killer residues found in 98 percent of Canadian honey samples
Weed killer residues found in 98 percent of Canadian honey samples Study is the latest evidence that glyphosate herbicides are so pervasive that residues can be found in foods not produced by farmers using glyphosate.
As U.S. regulators continue to dance around the issue of testing foods for residues of glyphosate weed killers, government scientists in Canada have found the pesticide in 197 of 200 samples of honey they examined.

 

Honey bees can help monitor pollution in cities: UBC study
Honey bees can help monitor pollution in cities: UBC study Scientists from the university’s Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research analyzed honey from urban beehives in six Metro Vancouver neighbourhoods where they tested for lead, zinc, copper and other elements.
“They fly through the air and drink water and land on surfaces in addition to foraging the way we think they forge for pollen and nectar,” said Kate E. Smith, lead author of the study and a PhD student at the university. “So while they are interacting with all parts of the environment they are also passively collecting dust and particulates.”

 

Pesticides influence ground-nesting bee development and longevity
Pesticides influence ground-nesting bee development and longevity Results from a new study suggest that bees might be exposed to pesticides in more ways than we thought, and it could impact their development significantly.
The study, published in Nature's Scientific Reports, looks at the non-target effects of pesticides on ground-nesting bees, a group that actually makes up the majority of bee species. Non-target effects refer to the effects on organisms other than the ones intended. Much of the research currently available on non-target effects of pesticides has been limited to honey and bumble bees and their exposure to pesticides when collecting pollen and nectar.

 

TSU has found the cause of Siberian bees’ disease resistance
TSU has found the cause of Siberian bees’ disease resistance One of the most acute problems for beekeepers around the world is nosematosis, a parasitic disease that can lead to the mass death of honeybees. TSU biologists searched for genetic markers that determine the susceptibility or resistance of bees to various diseases, with the main emphasis on nosematosis. According to the study, the scientists were able to identify potential DNA loci of the dangerous infection.

 

New Research Demonstrates a Highly Sensitive Approach that Will Improve Pesticide Evaluation BEFORE it Gets Released
New Research Demonstrates a Highly Sensitive Approach that Will Improve Pesticide Evaluation BEFORE it Gets Released British scientists are urgently calling for stricter regulations on pesticides after finding that they are affecting genes in bumblebees.
Research led by Queen Mary University of London with Imperial College London for the first time, applied a biomedically inspired approach to examine changes in the 12,000 genes that make up bumblebee workers and queens after pesticide exposure.
It found genes that may be involved in a broad range of biological processes are affected.

 

Overwhelming Evidence Linking Neonicotinoid Insecticides To Massive Die-off Of Bees And Songbirds
Overwhelming Evidence Linking Neonicotinoid Insecticides To Massive Die-off Of Bees And Songbirds The manufacturers of the Neonicotinoid insecticides continue to pull the wool over the eyes of both politicians and an uneducated public – stating that there is no scientific consensus linking the correct use of the pesticides with the decline in pollinator populations.
I initially set out to list all the studies showing evidence of the damage to bees and birds by these pesticides, but the sheer volume of evidence was too great.

 

Insects in decline—on farmland, latecomers lose out
Insects in decline—on farmland, latecomers lose out Over half of the more than 500 wild bee species found in Germany are either at risk of extinction, or have already died out in certain areas. On the basis of an analysis of changes in the Red List status of threatened species, researchers led by Ludwig-Maximilian-Universitaet (LMU)biologist Susanne Renner (Professor of Systematic Biology and Mycology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet and Director of Munich's Botanic Garden) have now investigated the factors responsible for this disturbing development. In a study that appears in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, they identify a relative lack of food for late-emerging wild bees on land under intensive agricultural use as a major driver of species loss.

 

“There is a Protein in Royal Jelly that Causes Bee Stem Cells to Renew Themselves, So Queen Bees are Bigger and Contain More Cells Than Worker Bees”
“There is a Protein in Royal Jelly that Causes Bee Stem Cells to Renew Themselves, So Queen Bees are Bigger and Contain More Cells Than Worker Bees” Inside a hive, all females are the same when they are larval bees. Then, one female is selected as the queen bee, and she is fed a special diet of royal bee jelly. The jelly nurtures her into becoming the queen bee. The other females get a non-royal diet. Royal bee jelly is made by worker bees, for the sole purpose of developing a queen. As a result, adult queens are larger than the other bees, live longer and are the only fertile ones in the hive.

 

Earning a Bee’s Wings. In Hives, Graduating to Forager a Requirement for Social Membership it is a Classic Coming-of-Age Story, in Many Ways
Earning a Bee’s Wings. In Hives, Graduating to Forager a Requirement for Social Membership it is a Classic Coming-of-Age Story, in Many Ways A 3-week-old foraging bee also has a very different job to support the hive than a younger bee — one who spends her time as a nurse caring for bee larvae and building the waxy honeycomb structures in the hive
A honey bee hatches and grows up deep inside a hive. Surrounded by 40,000 of her closest relatives, this dark and constantly buzzing place is all that she knows. Only after she turns 21 days old does she leave the nest to look for pollen and nectar. For her, this is a moment of great risk, and great reward

 

UN Report Underscores Crisis in Biodiversity
UN Report Underscores Crisis in Biodiversity Tallying up the harm from overexploited resources, climate change, and mass species extinction among insects and plants, the United Nations urged international leaders in a report Friday to do their part to protect the global food chain.
The 576-page doorstopper by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization is the product of more than 175 authors, compiling data from 91 countries and 27 international organizations.

 

Honeybees' waggle dance no longer useful in some cultivated landscapes
Honeybees' waggle dance no longer useful in some cultivated landscapes In recent years people have begun to study the actual benefits of this dance language. Biologists at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany have now shed some new light on the benefits and disadvantages of the bee dance. "To our surprise, we found that bee colonies are more successful at collecting food if they are deprived of their dance language

 

Worrying long-term stability of pesticides in honey
Worrying long-term stability of pesticides in honey Researchers from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland have developed an ultra-sensitive method to quantify extremely low concentrations of neonicotinoid pesticides in honey. This is a follow up to their study on the global contamination of honey by these pesticides published in the Journal Science in October 2017. The authors, which also include colleagues from the Botanical Garden of Neuchâtel, found that these pesticides did not degrade in honey over a period of 40 months. These results were published in the journal Environmental Pollution

 

World's largest bee, missing for 38 years, found in Indonesia
World's largest bee, missing for 38 years, found in Indonesia As long as an adult thumb, with jaws like a stag beetle and four times larger than a honeybee, Wallace’s giant bee is not exactly inconspicuous.
But after going missing, feared extinct, for 38 years, the world’s largest bee has been rediscovered on the Indonesian islands of the North Moluccas.
A search team of North American and Australian biologists found a single female Wallace’s giant bee (Megachile pluto) living inside a termites’ nest in a tree, more than two metres off the ground.

 

Almond Pollination Colonies Being Stolen, Again. Know Your Beekeeper, Mark Your Hives, Hide Your Hives
Almond Pollination Colonies Being Stolen, Again. Know Your Beekeeper, Mark Your Hives, Hide Your Hives For some commercial beekeepers, California’s almond bloom ended before it officially started, the California Farm Bureau Federation says.
The federation’s Ag Alert magazine reports Tulare County beekeeper Steve Godlin of Visalia learned that about 100 honeybee colonies he was managing for a beekeeper from North Dakota. had disappeared from an almond orchard west of Visalia.
“It’s a nightmare,” Godlin says. “It’s very discouraging, obviously, to get the bees this far to a payday and then have them stolen.” Deputies from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department Agricultural Crimes Unit also took a report of a likely related theft the next day – only a few miles from the Godlin location, Gunter Honey reported the theft of 96 hives.

 

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