Bee News 4

 

 

Neonicotinoids and water. Nature drowned in pesticides
Neonicotinoids and water. Nature drowned in pesticides A group of Australian-German-Canadian researchers from the public and private sectors collected and published in 2014 data on Neonicotinoid (NN) concentrations recorded in surface waters, as well as data on their impact on non-targeted aquatic invertebrates.
From the data of 29 separate studies, carried out in 9 countries, emerges a ubiquitous contamination of aquatic environments from NN. In about 50% of cases, Imidacloprid (IMI) shows the highest detection frequency rate compared to all NN substances.

 

Industry writing its own rules
Industry writing its own rules New report shows how industry managed to sweep harmful effects of pesticides under the carpet.
In 11 out of 12 EU pesticide risk assessment methods studied by the Pesticide Action Network, it turns out that they were developed or promoted by industry.
Download: Industry writings its own rules.pdf
Pan press release: writing its own rules feb 2018.pdf

 

Miami beekeeper turns sleuth to find stolen hives. A surprise suspect gets stung.
Miami beekeeper turns sleuth to find stolen hives. A surprise suspect gets stung.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article199984689.html#storylink=cpy It wasn’t exactly the crime of the century, but it was enough to leave one beekeeper buzzing mad: Somebody kept swiping his bee boxes.
So Locke and Brown rigged a camera in a remote field in the county’s northwest corner and waited. It didn’t take long to nab their suspect. But he wasn’t who they expected: a Miami Lakes pastor.

 

This Is Why Some Bats Have Hairy Tongues
This Is Why Some Bats Have Hairy Tongues Nectar-drinking bats possess hairy tongues, and now scientists reveal these hairs are designed to maximize how much sweet nectar the bats can guzzle.
The South American Pallas’ long-tongued bat, Glossophaga soricina, dips its long tongue in and out of flowers while hovering in mid-air, and the hairs on its tongue apparently helping it collect nectar that pools at the bottom of the blossoms. Other animals, such as honeybees and mouse-like marsupials, known as honey possums, native to Australia similarly possess hairy tongues, but it remained unclear just how much these hairs helped them out with drinking.

 

Alien honeybees could cause plant extinction
Alien honeybees could cause plant extinction New research indicates that introduced 'alien' honeybees are competing for resources with native bees and threatening the survival of plants that rely on interactions with specific pollinators.
The scientists monitored the interactions between plants and their pollinators in the mountainous region of St Katherine Protectorate in South Sinai, Egypt. The region supports many range-restricted endemic plants and pollinators whose future may be jeopardised by the recent introduction of alien honeybees.

 

When did flowers originate ?
When did flowers originate ? Flowering plants likely originated between 149 and 256 million years ago according to new UCL-led research.
The study, published today in New Phytologist by researchers from the UK and China, shows that flowering plants are neither as old as suggested by previous molecular studies, nor as young as a literal interpretation of their fossil record.

 

Best plants for bees
Best plants for bees This report provides the findings from the 4th year of our formal research which aims to quantify the relative attractiveness of ‘bee-friendly’ garden plants.
The scope of the study in 2017 included:
  • 75 plants including
  • 62 perennials, 3 biennials and 10 annuals
  • 18 plants that are new to the study with a particular focus on annuals

 

Stripes of wildflowers across farm fields could cut pesticide spraying
Stripes of wildflowers across farm fields could cut pesticide spraying Long strips of bright wildflowers are being planted through crop fields to boost the natural predators of pests and potentially cut pesticide spraying.
The strips were planted on 15 large arable farms in central and eastern England last autumn and will be monitored for five years, as part of a trial run by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH).
Concern over the environmental damage caused by pesticides has grown rapidly in recent years. Using wildflower margins to support insects including hoverflies, parasitic wasps and ground beetles has been shown to slash pest numbers in crops and even increase yields.

 

Update on Asian hornet and Small Hive Beetle in Europe
Update on Asian hornet and Small Hive Beetle in Europe Early this year surveillance for the Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina, was resumed and enhanced trapping was carried out in Gloucestershire and North Somerset following last year’s discovery and destruction of a nest at Tetbury and individual hornets found in North Somerset. No further hornets have been found in those areas but an insect caught flying inside a large distribution warehouse near Glasgow, Scotland in March 2017 was confirmed as an Asian Hornet. It can only be assumed that this hornet had travelled all the way from southern Europe inside a container and flew out into the warehouse when goods were unloaded.

 


Urgent Warning! Asian Hornets arrive in UK. Are you prepared ?
Martyn Hocking details his experience of the Asian Hornet incursion at his Woolacombe apiaries in September 2017. He raises many questions about how beekeepers might protect their hives and their local etymological environment from this most voracious of predators.

 

Who Is Deliberately Killing the Bees…and Why ?
Who Is Deliberately Killing the Bees…and Why? Last night, my husband attended our beekeeping association meeting. He was looking forward to it all day. Talking with other “bee people” is exciting, chatting about the upcoming spring, opening up the hives after winter, installing new bees, etc. I couldn’t wait for him to come home to with new beekeeping ideas and to see his face light up as he waxed poetic about beekeeping.
Only, that didn’t happen. Instead, he brought back a story that chilled me to my bones about someone deliberately killing the bees just a few towns away from us

 

Think of honeybees as 'livestock,' not wildlife, argue experts
Think of honeybees as 'livestock,' not wildlife, argue experts The 'die-off' events occurring in honeybee colonies that are bred and farmed like livestock must not be confused with the conservation crisis of dramatic declines in thousands of wild pollinator species, say Cambridge researchers.
Writing in the journal Science, the conservationists argue there is a "lack of distinction" in public understanding - fuelled by misguided charity campaigns and media reports - between an agricultural problem and an urgent biodiversity issue

 

Controversial insecticides pervasive in Great Lakes tributaries
Controversial insecticides pervasive in Great Lakes tributaries A variety of neonicotinoids—harmful to aquatic organisms—are reported in major Great Lakes streams
U.S. scientists found neonicotinoid insecticides in about three-quarters of samples from 10 major Great Lakes tributaries.
The study is the first to examine the insecticides—gaining notoriety in recent years as a prime suspect in bee die-offs— in the world's largest freshwater system and suggests Great Lakes' fish, birds and entire ecosystems might be at risk.

 

'90,000' bees worth £600 stolen from 'gutted' Bradford beekeeper
'90,000' bees worth £600 stolen from 'gutted' Bradford beekeeper A BRADFORD beekeeper has been left reeling after discovering thousands of his treasured honey bees have been stolen.
The industrious insects were stolen from an apiary made up of four hives, with three of the hives being raided and six of the frames used to accommodate the bees being taken from each one.

 

Is this the end of civilisation? We could take a different path
Is this the end of civilisation? We could take a different path A collection of articles in the journal PLOS Biology reveals that there is no reliable safety data on most of the 85,000 synthetic chemicals to which we may be exposed. While hundreds of these chemicals “contaminate the blood and urine of nearly every person tested”, and the volume of materials containing them rises every year, we have no idea what the likely impacts may be, either singly or in combination.

 

A Potential New Tool in the Battle Against a Bee-Killing Bacteria
A Potential New Tool in the Battle Against a Bee-Killing Bacteria It’s a beekeeper’s nightmare: She lifts the lid on her carefully tended hive and is greeted with a whiff of rotting flesh. Further inspection finds that the young bees of the colony, who should be plump, pearly-white larvae, have melted into a puddle of brownish goo at the bottom of their cells. This colony is infected with American foulbrood disease—most likely a death sentence.
American foulbrood disease, or AFB, is caused by the Paenibacillus larvae bacterium, a difficult-to-control and highly destructive pathogen found worldwide. In a study published last week in the open-access Journal of Insect Science, Israel Alvarado, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), explore whether blocking the germination of P. larvae spores is an effective way to treat this infection.

 

Opinion: John Cherry, Hertfordshire - "Our job as farmers is not to feed the world"
Opinion: John Cherry, Hertfordshire - Our job as farmers is not to feed the world Our job as farmers is not to feed the world, despite what the ‘yield is king’ lobby might tell you. Our job is to feed our families, make a profit and produce food people want to eat.
Will Michael Gove’s recent decision to back a full ban on neonicotinoids make it harder for us to do this? I do not think so.

 

Thousands of bees are dying in Murchison. No-one knows why
Thousands of bees are dying in Murchison. No-one knows why Hundreds of thousands of bees are dying in Murchison, near Nelson, and beekeepers are at a loss to save them.
Veteran beekeeper Ricki Leahy said he first noticed dead bees in front of his hives in the Mangles Valley last Friday.
Leahy, who is an ApiNZ board member, produces Tutaki Honey through his business Trees and Bees. He said the 40 hives used for queen rearing around his home had been affected, as well as another 186 hives located half a kilometre down the road.

 

British supermarket chickens show record levels of antibiotic-resistant superbugs
British supermarket chickens show record levels of antibiotic-resistant superbugs On the 30th of Dec I posted ... below ASU Scientists Discover Gut Bacteria In Bees Spread Antibiotic-Resistant Genes To Each Other
Now we have "Chickens with high levels of antibiotic-resistant superbugs" (follow the link above)
So what is the connection ??
'Purina HeartyBee Supplement' contains Dried Poultry Blood
Wonder if this has anything to do with the world running out of effective antibiotics ? and/or remember Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease.? Oooops.!

 

To bee or not to bee? Unique bumblebee in Arctic is identified as new species
To bee or not to bee? Unique bumblebee in Arctic is identified as new species Endemic to the remote island of Novaya Zemlya, it survived the Ice Age here, scientists believe, the only creature known to have done so.
It was first recorded in 1902 but conclusive DNA evidence has now established that honey-making Bombus glacialis - or glacier bumblebee - is a separate species.
The findings - to be the subject of a major scientific paper - end a long running academic debate on this remarkable bee's status.
More than that, they indicate that during the Ice Age Novaya Zemlya was either wholly or partially free of glacial cover, allowing at least some refugia where the rare insect could live, say scientists.
In other words, this species - with a distinguishing wide orange stripe on its underside - lived through the Ice Age on this barren Arctic island.

 

New bee species found thriving in former Arctic nuke site
New bee species found thriving in former Arctic nuke site A species of bee has been discovered that is miraculously capable of surviving in the high arctic region where the Soviet Union once tested nuclear weapons for decades, according to a new study.
The ‘Bombus glacialis’ species lives on the archipelago of Novaya Zemlya, which the Soviet Union closed off decades ago to carry out scores of nuclear tests. While previously considered to be a subspecies of the B. polaris - one of the only other arctic bee types in the world - a recent study published in Polar Biology confirmed B. glacialis to be its own species

 

Meet the men reviving the ancient craft of tree beekeeping
Meet the men reviving the ancient craft of tree beekeeping We think of bees and flowers as inextricably linked, and the flowers we typically picture as the most “bee-friendly” are garden stalwarts such as sunflowers and lavender. However, ask a bee’s opinion and they will most likely name a tree – cherry plum, alder, hazel – as the best value for pollen and nectar gathering. It is no coincidence that in nature wild bees’ nests are found in hollowed-out trees in woodland, right next to the best source of forage.

 

German researchers report that Lithium salts are an effective systemic agent against varroa and are tolerated by bees.
German researchers report that Lithium salts are an effective systemic agent against varroa and are tolerated by bees Here, we show that the lithium chloride that was used to precipitate RNA and other lithium compounds is highly effective at killing Varroa mites when fed to host bees at low millimolar concentrations. Experiments with caged bees and brood-free artificial swarms consisting of a queen and several thousand bees clearly demonstrate the potential of lithium as miticidal agent with good tolerability in worker bees providing a promising basis for the development of an effective and easy-to-apply control method for mite treatment.

 

Honey Bees Attracted to Glyphosate and a Common Fungicide
Honey Bees Attracted to Glyphosate and a Common Fungicide Honey bees display a concerning attraction to the herbicide glyphosate and the fungicide chlorothalonil at certain concentrations, new research from scientists at the University of Illinois (UIL) reveals. Results are reminiscent of a 2015 study published in the journal Nature, which found that honey bees display a preference for foods treated with neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides implicated in global pollinator declines

 


30 Japanese Giant Hornets kill 30,000 Honey Bees

 

Worldwide importance of honey bees for natural habitats captured in new report
Worldwide importance of honey bees for natural habitats captured in new report An unprecedented study integrating data from around the globe has shown that honey bees are the world's most important single species of pollinator in natural ecosystems and a key contributor to natural ecosystem functions. The first quantitative analysis of its kind, led by biologists at the University of California San Diego.
The report weaves together information from 80 plant-pollinator interaction networks. The results clearly identify the honey bee (Apis mellifera) as the single most frequent visitor to flowers of naturally occurring (non-crop) plants worldwide. Honey bees were recorded in 89 percent of the pollination networks in the honey bee's native range and in 61 percent in regions where honey bees have been introduced by humans.

 

Agricultural fungicide attracts honey bees, study finds
Agricultural fungicide attracts honey bees, study finds When given the choice, honey bee foragers prefer to collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar syrup alone, researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports.
The puzzling finding comes on the heels of other studies linking fungicides to declines in honey bee and wild bee populations. One recent study, for example, found parallels between the use of chlorothalonil and the presence of Nosema bombi, a fungal parasite, in bumble bees. Greater chlorothalonil use also was linked to range contractions in four declining bumble bee species.

 

Wild birds communicate and collaborate with humans, study confirms
Wild birds communicate and collaborate with humans        "Brrr-hm!"
When a human makes that sound in Mozambique's Niassa National Reserve, a wild bird species instinctively knows what to do. The greater honeyguide responds by leading the human to a wild beehive, where both can feast on honey and wax. The bird does this without any training from people, or even from its own parents.

 

Neonicotinoid residues in UK honey despite European Union moratorium
Neonicotinoid residues in UK honey despite European Union moratorium One in five samples of UK honey were found to contain neonicotinoid pesticide residues following the introduction of the EU-wide ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticide seed dressings on flowering crops.
The low level residues of neonicotinoids found pose no risk to human health. However, previous studies suggest that while such concentrations are low, they could potentially have negative impacts on honeybee populations.

 

Thousands of bees burned to death in horrific arson attack on hives
Thousands of bees burned to death in horrific arson attack on hives Thousands of bees were brutally burned to death after arsonists attacked a group of hives.
Beekeepers discovered the devastating scene when they went to check on their insects in woods near Hopwood Hall College in Middleton, Greater Manchester.
One hive, which contained thousands of bees, had been completely torched, while another 12 had been ripped out and tossed into a nearby valley.

 

House of Commons Briefing Paper - Bees and neonicotinoids
House of Commons Briefing Paper - Bees and neonicotinoids
  • Are neonicotinoids bad for bees ?
  • What do we know about bee health ?
  • Why restrict neonicotinoids ?
  • The UK government’s stance
  • How and when were UK emergency authorisations sought and granted ?
  • How are pesticides regulated ?
  • Why did the EU restrict neonicotinoid use in 2013 ?
  • In more detail: what does the science tell us ?

 


Following the success of the course run in March 2017, the bees discovered and thrived in these hives, I will be running two more in April 2018.
Hampshire course: 7th – 8th April
Cornwall course: 14 – 15th April
Price: £200 which includes all materials, lunches etc and an evening meal on Saturday.
Both locations have log hives and we should be able to observe the colony which is a very different experience to the lifting of frames in a conventional hive.
For more details email ... 'beekindhives'

 

Suffolk naturalists concerned by River Waveney ‘neonic’ pollution
Suffolk naturalists concerned by River Waveney ‘neonic’ pollution The River Waveney’s levels of pesticide pollution, revealed by the charity Buglife, have brought the neonicotinoid controversy into sharp focus. Some of Suffolk’s leading naturalists have told of their fears for the much-loved river’s wildlife.

 

ASU Scientists Discover Gut Bacteria In Bees Spread Antibiotic-Resistant Genes To Each Other
ASU Scientists Discover Gut Bacteria In Bees Spread Antibiotic-Resistant Genes To Each Other Antibiotic use in farming and human health leads to bacteria acquiring resistance (indicated by a + sign in the illustration). Antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the environment are picked up by honey bees during pollination. In the bee’s gut, genetic material for resistance “jumps” to natural gut bacteria, which can spread resistance further. Overuse of antibiotics (USA) leads to more widespread and elaborate patterns or resistance (indicated by multiple colors of + signs). Restricted antibiotic use (Norway) leads to limited and less complex patterns of resistance.
It’s the kind of thing you might lose sleep over.
How will humans survive serious infections in the future if we’re running out of tools today to fight them? Antibiotic resistance among disease-causing bacteria is of global concern, as some last-resort drugs can no longer cure common illnesses such as urinary tract infections.

 

Vandalism destroys half million bees, wipes out Sioux City honey business
Vandalism destroys half million bees, wipes out Sioux City honey business A couple who manufacture and sell honey are feeling the sting after their Sioux City operation was vandalized overnight, killing at least half a million bees.
Justin and Tori Engelhardt, the owners of Wild Hill Honey, went to go dust the snow off 50 hives stored in a grove on their 18½ acre property on Sioux City’s west side around 10 a.m. Thursday.
As they approached the area where the hives were kept, Justin Engelhardt noticed their beekeeping supplies shed had been ransacked. He feared that whoever committed the act had done much worse, a thought that unfortunately came true for the apiarist.

 

What Is It Like to Be a Bee ?
What Is It Like to Be a Bee? You're a honeybee. Despite being around 700,000 times smaller than the average human, you’ve got more of almost everything. Instead of four articulated limbs, you have six, each with six segments. (Your bee’s knees, sadly, don’t exist.) You’re exceptionally hairy. A shock of bristly setae covers your body and face to help you keep warm, collect pollen, and even detect movement. Your straw-like tongue stretches far beyond the end of your jaw, but has no taste buds on it. Instead, you “taste” with other, specialized hairs, called sensillae, that you use to sense the chemicals that brush against particular parts of your body.

 

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 decision to introduce a World Bee Day was taken at the UN general assembly in New York on Wednesday (20 December).

 

Major journal sounds alarm over global mass poisoning
Major journal sounds alarm over global mass poisoning Almost every human being is now contaminated in a worldwide flood of industrial chemicals and pollutants – most of which have never been tested for safety – a leading scientific journal has warned.
Regulation and legal protection for today’s citizens from chemical poisons can no longer assure our health and safety, according to a hard-hitting report in the journal PLOS Biology, titled “Challenges in Environmental Health: Closing the Gap between Evidence and Regulations”.

 

Bumble Bee Queens Slower to Start Colonies After Minimal Neonic Exposure
Bumble Bee Queens Slower to Start Colonies After Minimal Neonic Exposure Spring is an important period for bumble bees, as that’s when new colonies get their start. When a solitary bumble bee queen emerges from hibernation, she initiates a nest and then does the foraging work herself, until her first offspring hatch, develop into workers, and relieve her from all duties but egg laying. Thus, should any harm befall the queen in this early period, it can have ripple effects on the health of the developing colony.
According to a new study published last week in Environmental Entomology, queens of the bumble bee species Bombus impatiens that encounter the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid in that foraging period show delayed nest initiation and brood emergence—if they survive the exposure at all.

 

New EPA Assessment: Neonicotinoid Pesticides Pose Serious Risks to Birds, Aquatic Invertebrates
New EPA Assessment: Neonicotinoid Pesticides Pose Serious Risks to Birds, Aquatic Invertebrates The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released multiple scientific assessments today that found commonly used neonicotinoid pesticides can kill and harm birds of all sizes.
Separate analyses also found the pesticides pose significant danger to aquatic invertebrates, which play a crucial role in supporting larger ecosystems.
The troubling assessments come on the heels of earlier EPA analyses and thousands of scientific studies that have identified substantial risks to pollinators and aquatic invertebrates from this class of pesticides

 

Heavy Neonicotinoid Insecticide Contamination Damaging British Rivers
Heavy Neonicotinoid Insecticide Contamination Damaging British Rivers The first analysis of new monitoring data reveals that British freshwaters are heavily contaminated with neonicotinoids. Half of the sites monitored in England exceed chronic pollution limits and two rivers are acutely polluted.
Aquatic insects are just as vulnerable to neonicotinoid insecticides as bees and flying insects, yet have not received the same attention because the UK Government has not responded to calls to introduce systematic monitoring. Find the FULL report here

 


The Last Honey Hunter: Behind the Scenes

 

How honey bee gut bacteria help to digest their pollen-rich diet
How honey bee gut bacteria help to digest their pollen-rich diet The honey bee gut is colonized by specialized bacteria that help digest components of the floral pollen diet and produce molecules that likely promote bee health. Researchers have now uncovered which bacterial species perform which specific digestive functions in the bee gut.

 

Watchdog links pesticide to bee decline
Watchdog links pesticide to bee decline Draft findings from the European Food Safety Authority feed into a long-running, heated and so far inconclusive debate into why Europe’s bee populations are in decline.
EFSA has been looking at data on neonicotinoids since 2015, though the vast majority of the data on the risks posed by the substances was deemed inconclusive. But according to draft -- documents seen by POLITICO, one of the substances — imidacloprid, which is manufactured by Germany’s Bayer — could pose a danger to bees.

 

The German Amateurs Who Discovered ‘Insect Armageddon’
The German Amateurs Who Discovered ‘Insect Armageddon’ KREFELD, Germany — In a nature preserve in western Germany, an elderly gentleman approached a tent-like structure that was in fact a large trap for flying insects. Peering through thick eyeglasses, the 75-year-old retired chemist checked the plastic bottle attached at the top, filled with alcohol and bugs.
Then, with a glance at the clear, late-autumn sky, the man, Heinz Schwan, recalled comparing a 2013 haul from a trap like this one to samples taken in the same place some 20 years earlier. The drop was huge: “75 percent,” Mr. Schwan, a caterpillar lover, said.

 

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