Items of interest to beekeepers 30 June 2017

Supplied by Fran Bach Editor of both WAS and Washington State Beekeepers newsletters







TO BUZZ OR TO SCRABBLE? TO FORAGING BEES, THAT’S THE QUESTION Imagine going to the supermarket to stock up on groceries but coming home empty-handed because you just couldn’t figure out how to work the shopping cart or figure out how to get to the ice cream tubs in the freezer aisle. Welcome to the life of a bumblebee. Gathering sweet nectar from flowers, it turns out, is much more difficult than one might think, and it requires a lengthy learning process. By the time a bee has figured out how to efficiently pry open the lips of a snapdragon flower, for example, most likely it has made dozens, if not hundreds, of floral visits. How does a bee in charge of shopping for food needed to raise dozens of hungry larvae back in the hive learn to navigate the multitude of floral architectures it may encounter during an average workday, let alone over the course of its life? Mostly by what biologists call associative learning, more widely known as trial and error, researchers have found. But while extensive research — starting with famous bee researcher and Nobel laureate Karl von Frisch a century ago — has focused on uncovering how bees forage for nectar, much less is known about how bees go about collecting pollen, which constitutes the most important protein source for the developing brood in the hive. Avery Russell, Stephen Buchman and Daniel Papaj in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona decided to take a closer look. In a new paper published in the journal Behavioral Ecology, they tell a fascinating story of what is involved in a seemingly simple process of a bumblebee visiting a flower to gather pollen. And for the first time, they have untangled the subtle cues that a bee looks for when she visits a flower in search for pollen. “For a long time, we have known that bees can learn all kinds of cues — tactile, visual and olfactory — when going after nectar rewards,” says Russell, the study’s first author. “When you open a can, you have to use a can opener, then use your fingers to pry the lid open. A bee might have to pop open the flower’s petals, and might have to try many times over multiple trips until they get good at it. But not much was known in the context of pollen rewards.” Specifically, Russell and his co-authors wanted to know if bees need to learn in order to collect pollen efficiently from flowers that vary in their form. The research suggests they don’t, and they don’t need to. “Our findings suggest that unlike nectar foraging, which requires complex learning behavior, bumblebees already know how to collect pollen,” says Russell, who did the research as a doctoral student in the UA’s Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Entomology and Insect Science, “and they do it by switching between two responses that are seemingly hardwired into their brains.” Once a bumblebee touches down on a flower, it wastes no time. If it senses that the anthers are laden with abundant pollen just waiting to be shaken off like ripened apples from a tree, the bee does the obvious: a behavior that bee researchers call “scrabbling.” Using its mandibles and legs, the bee brushes the pollen grains onto its body, then combs them off into collection baskets located on each of its hind legs. “If you picture a happy toddler in a play pit filled with plastic balls, you get the idea of scrabbling,” Russell says. However, some flowers make their pollen grains more difficult to access, or sport intricate anther designs that dispense only a little bit of pollen at a time. “That way, the plant makes sure pollinators don’t eat it all, but carry it to other flowers for pollination instead, and also leave some for other visitors as well, so the flowers aren’t limited to a single pollinator,” he says. When visiting some of these trickier flowers, Russell’s team found, bumblebees switch to a different behavior called sonication — or, in more familiar terms, buzzing. Not unlike a sonicating toothbrush that vibrates to shake plaque from teeth, a sonicating bee vibrates vigorously to free pollen grains hidden inside the flower. The team observed that the bees switched between these two motor regimes depending on chemical and mechanical cues: They scrabbled when pollen was abundant, and sonicated when pollen was scarce, either because the flower already had been depleted or because its pollen is less accessible by design. To tease apart the cues that trigger each behavior, the researchers made artificial flowers and treated some of them with chemical extracts from natural anthers. Bees visiting a surrogate flower without extract didn’t stick around and took off again in search of more rewarding offerings. When they encountered a foam flower without pollen but with the chemical cue, they buzzed them in a futile attempt to harvest the nonexistent pollen. And when they sensed pollen grains, even artificial ones, scrabbling ensued. “Bumblebees tend to sonicate on pollen-concealing anthers right away, but they also buzz accessible anthers when they can’t detect pollen by touch,” Russell says. “We think they do that in an effort to collect the dregs from a flower after most of its pollen has been harvested.” Being able to switch between two programmed routines allows bees to effectively collect pollen from flowers in many different shapes and forms, the researchers conclude. This flexibility also may explain a fact that had evolutionary biologists stumped for a long time: Flowers with concealed pollen stores evolved many times independently, suggesting that pollinators must always have had a way to harvest pollen from them, or else the co-evolution between the two would have led to a dead end and not survived. “Researchers used to think that floral sonication is a behavior only used to collect pollen from concealed pollen stores,” Russell says, “but because we often observe bees buzzing on flowers with accessible pollen, we conclude that it’s a behavior that has not evolved as a general strategy to collect pollen from any type of flower.” —– JRS AWARDS TWO GRANTS TO STUDY AFRICA’S WILD POLLINATORS The JRS Biodiversity Foundation has awarded two grants, totaling $473,200, to increase the accessibility of information on the diversity of wild pollinators in Africa, as part of JRS’ program on Pollinator Biodiversity and Services. Wild pollinators are declining in abundance and diversity worldwide, just as scientists are beginning to realize the value of the pollination services they provide for free. In Africa, as elsewhere, most food and cash crops rely on insects for pollination, as do wild plants. Data on the diversity, abundance, distribution, and trends of wild pollinators lags behind knowledge about domesticated honeybees. This information gap makes it difficult to prioritize protection for wild insect groups that contribute significantly to agricultural production and maintenance of natural ecosystems, such as flies (Insect order Diptera), and moths and butterflies (Insect order Lepidoptera) to optimize agricultural practices for pollination. National Museums of Kenya – Assessment of Lepidoptera Pollinator Species Diversity in East Africa, $264,200 A team led by Dr. Esther Kioko at the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and including Makerere University in Uganda and the National Museum of Tanzania, will help redress the pollinator information gap by collecting and disseminating data on Lepidoptera in critical habitats in East Africa. This project will mobilize the information in the partnership institutions’ collections of these insect pollinators, by digitizing records of their occurrence, and publishing those data to make them available for use by managers and conservationists. Expeditions are also planned to collect new information focusing on three Lepidoptera families: hawkmoths (Sphingidae), skipper butterflies (Hesperiidae), and the dramatic swallowtail butterflies (Papilionidae) in the Eastern Arc Mountains in Kenya and Tanzania, and the Mabira Forest in Uganda. Royal Museum for Central Africa – The Pollinator Information Network for Sub-Saharan Two-Winged Insects (PIN-DIP), $209,000 With a complementary focus on the group of insects known as true flies (Diptera), this project at the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium (RMCA) will assemble, enhance, and mobilize data on the diversity and distribution of this group, as well as their role in providing pollination services. RMCA plans not only to publish data from their Diptera collections, but will also build a platform for the growth of a multi-disciplinary network of scientists and researchers to collaborate to address knowledge gaps in taxonomy and ecology of pollinating flies in sub-Saharan Africa. Initial collaborating institutions in the network include the Botanic Garden Meise, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Kwazulu-Natal Museum (NMSA), National Museum – Bloemfontein, National Museums of Kenya (NMK), and South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). JRS believes that decision-makers will fight to preserve biodiversity when they truly understand the essential need for biodiversity and the urgent threat it faces, and when they have greater access to biodiversity data that is high quality, relevant, easily understandable, and timely. Despite their benefits to humans, insects are a group that rarely receives attention in ecological impact assessments, often due to a lack of available data. By improving the availability of information on wild insect pollinators, NMK and RMCA will help close the gap between biodiversity data and conservation decisions. About the JRS Biodiversity Foundation – The mission of the JRS Biodiversity Foundation is to increase access to and use of information that will lead to greater biodiversity conservation and more sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. Founded in 2004, the JRS Biodiversity Foundation works to increase the capacity of the institutions and people who collect, manage, and disseminate biodiversity data and information in sub-Saharan Africa, and to connect this knowledge to stakeholders who make and influence decisions that are crucial to supporting biodiversity. The foundation has awarded more than $13.5M in grants since 2007. Visit us online at About NMK – National Museums of Kenya (NMK) is a multi-disciplinary institution, established by state mandate in 2006, whose role is to collect, preserve, study, document, and present Kenya’s past and present cultural and natural heritage. This is for the purposes of enhancing knowledge, appreciation, respect and sustainable utilization of these resources for the benefit of Kenya and the world, for now and posterity. Visit online at About RMCA – The Royal Museum for Central Africa was founded in 1898 and aspires to be a world center of research and knowledge dissemination on past and present societies and natural environments of Central Africa. The core endeavors of RMCA consist of acquiring and managing collections, conducting scientific research, implementing the results of this research, disseminating knowledge, and mounting selected exhibitions of its collections. Visit online at JRS Contact: Don S. Doering, Executive Director, NMK Contact: Esther N. Kioko, Senior Research Scientist and Head of the Zoology Department, RMCA Contact: Kurt Jordaens, Work Leader, —– From the Port Townsend (Washington) Leader – CHIMACUM LANDS HONOR AS FIRST ‘BEE CITY USA’ SCHOOL A Chimacum High School teacher who was recently named Teacher of the Year is using a hands-on approach to teach students about bees and put the high school on a nation-wide bee-friendly map. Gary Coyan has worked for seven years at Chimacum’s high school and middle school. where he teaches the horticulture, foods and art classes. Chimacum High School (CHS) was recently named as the first high school in the nation to be a ‘Bee City USA’ school. And Coyan was named a Washington State Teacher of the Year by Olympic Educational Service District 114. “Bee City USA started with select cities wanting to make a commitment to pollinator health because bee numbers were declining,” Coyan said, “and mostly commercial bee numbers … the commercial sector made up the majority of the beekeepers.” Coyan saw that colleges were becoming bee campuses and thought, “Hey, we have bees on campus. We should do this. So, we’re the first high school in the nation to be a bee campus.” At the end of the year, CHS’ Bee City USA program is to be reviewed to prove it meets the Bee City criteria. Coyan said the school has already met those requirements. Full story at —– BEEHIVE HEISTS LEAD TO FELONY CHARGES Two California men have been charged with a string of felony counts stemming from a criminal case that created a buzz among beekeepers across the country, authorities said Thursday. The men charged with possessing more than 1,200 stolen beehives could each spend more than a decade in jail if convicted, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office said. The case stems from a tip in April that led investigators to Pavel Tveretinov, 51, and Vitaliy Yeroshenko, 48, at work among stacks of mismatched beehives on a field outside Fresno. Bees are a key part of the agriculture industry in California, the nation’s most productive farming state. Beekeepers from around the country truck in their beehives and rent them to farmers to pollinate their flowering crops, such as almonds. Investigators have said the beehives had been stolen during the night over more than two years from orchards in several California counties. The victims were beekeepers as far away as Missouri, Montana and North Dakota. The two Sacramento-area men are charged with nine felony counts of receiving stolen property. While announcing the break in the case in May, Fresno County Sheriff’s investigators said they had netted 2,500 stolen beehives valued at nearly $1 million. Charges filed by prosecutors on Thursday, however, estimate 1,200 beehives valued at $200,000. Prosecutors based their charges on the reports they received from investigators, said Geri Benavides, a spokeswoman for the office. An attorney representing Yeroshenko could not be reached by The Associated Press for comment. Authorities have issued a warrant seeking his arrest. Defense attorney Andrew Kalnoki dismissed the validity of the case filed against Tveretinov, who was booked into jail with bail set at $267,750. “The charges have no factual or legal basis,” Kalnoki said. “We are going to put forth a very vigorous defense.” —– From Dr. Christina Grozinger at POLLINATOR – L – MORE RESEARCH JOBS 1.  Faculty Position: Assistant Professor of Arthropod Biosystematics and Biodiversity*, Cornell University The Department of Entomology at Cornell University seeks to fill a tenure-track position in terrestrial arthropod biosystematics and biodiversity at the Assistant or Associate level (as appropriate). The study of biodiversity is a rapidly changing field and we seek a candidate who has expertise in one or more emerging areas of systematics, including (1) bioinformatic approaches to the discovery of biological diversity and its taxonomic description, (2) high-throughput sequencing and genomic approaches to phylogenetic reconstruction, and (3) digitization of biological collections and the large-scale use of collections-based data. We are particularly interested in candidates who make use of cutting-edge methods to document and validate patterns of biodiversity, generate phylogenetic hypotheses, and test evolutionary hypotheses in a robust conceptual framework. Pursuant to approval by the Cornell University provost, the incumbent will also be appointed as the Martha N. and John C. Moser Professor of Arthropod Biosystematics and Biodiversity –  three years for an assistant professor or five years for an associate professor, renewable. Applicants must upload into Academic Jobs online a letter of application, curriculum vitae, three selected reprints, and a statement of teaching and research goals and plans. Applicants should also arrange to have three confidential letters of recommendation submitted through Academic Jobs online at 2. Package Bee Production, Queen Rearing and Breeding Volunteer Assignment in Bekaa, Lebanon – Land O’Lakes International Development is pleased to offer a volunteer position for someone with experience in package bee production, queen rearing and breeding in Lebanon for the Farmer to Farmer Program. Volunteer position, US citizens or Green Card holders only. Your time is donated and all expenses such as airfare, lodging, meals and an interpreter are paid. Objectives of the Assignment: 1. Deliver training on: a. The preparation of package bees: prepare the package boxes, collection and installation of bees in package boxes, feeding and care. b. Queen rearing methods in a systematic professional method. Note: queen mating hives and queen bank creation methods should be applied.     2. Guide the beekeepers on basic breeding methods. 3. Instruct the beekeepers on additional methods of proper hive management for extensive bee package and queen bee production cycles. Qualified applicants are requested to submit resumes as soon as possible. Please visit our career portal at to apply for this opportunity. If you would additionally like to submit a cover letter, please include it with your resume. You will be contacted, if considered for this assignment or if additional information is needed. —– CATCH THE BUZZ 1. TASK FORCE: The Science Surrounding Honey Bee Health Concerns and What We Can Do About It – A colony of healthy honey bees is like a superorganism–individual bees provide the cohesiveness and interplay among its cells and tissues by delivering pollen and nectar containing nutrients necessary for growth and survival. Better nutrition gives the colony a strong immune system and the means to stay healthy. Many recent indicators point to a decline in honey bee health. Sick and weakened bees diminish the colony’s resiliency, leading to a condition often referred to as colony collapse disorder. Most scientists agree that there are four main stressors affecting the bees: parasites, pathogens, pesticides, and poor nutrition. Led by Task Force Chair Marla Spivak, the authors of this commentary examine the state of honey bee health, including recent declines in population. They also explain why the public should be concerned. Honey bee pollination “contributes directly to the economy and food security. Human nutrition depends heavily on honey bees.” This science-based paper looks at the stressors threatening colony health. The task force authors then offer concrete ways that bees could be protected: • Integrated pest management approaches • Best management practices such as curtailing pesticide drift and preventing off-label use • Better record keeping and communication about management and practices • Increased availability of high-quality floral nutrition for bees in urban and agricultural settings • Land management activities and policy decisions that are informed through science 2. This Creates An Urgent Need For New Fertilizers And Pesticides That Don’t Harm Bee Populations – And Offers Major Commercial Opportunities For Labs That Can Create Those Chemicals. Food Manufacturer Wild bee populations are in drastic decline, just as rising crop yields are demanding more pollination than ever before. The first-ever study to map populations of wild bees found that bee populations are in steep decline throughout the United States – and that the loss of pollinators poses a dire threat to U.S. crop production. Insect pollination directly contributes $20 billion to the U.S. economy each year. But over the past ten years, honeybee keepers have faced significant colony losses – driving the agricultural industry’s reliance on wild bee populations, which have been in decline since 2006. In total, more than a third of U.S. honeybee populations have already vanished. While the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pins this decline on a variety of factors, including parasites, malnutrition and disease, synthetic chemicals have clearly played a role. Researchers have found more than 35 pesticides and fungicides in the pollen of collapsed colonies. This creates an urgent need for new fertilizers and pesticides that don’t harm bee populations – and offers major commercial opportunities for labs that can create those chemicals. Falling behind Bee pollination supports not only the produce industry, but also the livestock industry, which relies on plant crops to produce milk, eggs and beef. If you factor in these indirect products, the USDA estimates that honeybees contribute a total of $40 billion to the U.S. economy. However, as worldwide crop demand continues to rise, bee populations fall further behind. This latest study, first published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that wild bee populations are rapidly disappearing throughout the continental U.S. The researchers identified 139 counties in California, the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, west Texas and the Mississippi River valley, in which wild bees’ pollination capabilities fall well below the rising pollination demand of increasing crop production. 3. USDA Program Helps Nonprofits Innovate New Certification for Bee-Friendly Farms –  A new certification program enables agricultural producers to let consumers know they are farming in ways that benefit bees. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation partnered with Oregon Tilth to develop and launch the Bee Better Certified program     .   “Bee Better Certified is working with conservation-minded farmers to meet a growing interest from consumers to know how their food choices impact bees,” said Xerces Executive Director Scott Hoffman Black. “Many species of bees have suffered declines over the years, but by creating habitat and reducing pesticide use, Bee Better is generating meaningful change on working farms, helping to preserve crop pollinators and the valuable services they provide to farmers.”   After piloting the program with 13 farmers over the past few months, Xerces  and Oregon Tilth are now opening it to farmers nationwide. The program focuses on integrating flower-rich habitat on farms in order to provide food and nesting sites for native bees, honey bees and other pollinators. It also helps farmers reduce or eliminate use of pesticides known to cause harm to bees. 4.  Considering That The History Of Agriculture Is Thousands Of Years Old, Commercial Beekeeping And Its Importance To Agriculture Is A Relatively New Development – For Michael Hill, who grows blueberries at Southern Hill Farms in Clermont, Fla., bees are essential to the success of the farm. “Without bees, we wouldn’t have much of a crop,” Hill said. “We would have a 50 percent decrease in production without bringing in the bees from commercial beekeepers.” Allie Corcoran, owner of Backyard Orchards in Eufaula, Ala., is just as reliant on bees for providing produce for local consumers at her Pick-Your-Own farm. “The bees help pollinate 100 percent of my crops,” Corcoran said. Corcoran grows strawberries, blueberries, peaches and vegetables for both Pick-Your-Own and for local grocers. “Without them, many of my berry crops wouldn’t produce a high yield. I always scout for bees, and it brings me joy to see them buzzing in the blooms on the crops!” As the need for farmers to bring better crops consistently to harvest to support a growing population, so has the need to have commercial beekeepers assist with pollination of these crops, said Jerry Hayes, honey bee health expert at Monsanto. 5. In The Spirit Of True National Pollinator Week Celebration, Bayer Announced The First Round Of Organizations That Will Receive Funding To Establish Forage For Pollinators Across The Nation – Bayer Feed a Bee program celebrates National Pollinator Week by kicking off initiative to support forage projects in all 50 states Research Triangle Park, N.C. (June 19, 2017) – In the spirit of true National Pollinator Week celebration, Bayer today announced the first round of organizations that will receive funding to establish forage for pollinators across the nation. Nearly 100 projects were submitted in response to the request for proposals for the first round of funding, which were reviewed and evaluated by the inaugural Feed a Bee steering committee. Ultimately, 58 projects in more than 30 states and Washington, D.C., have been chosen as the first to receive awards ranging from $1,000 – $5,000.   Earlier this year, Bayer announced its latest Feed a Bee initiative to facilitate forage plantings in every state by the end of 2018 by distributing $500,000 to organizations across the country. These funds were made available to organizations working to combat the issue of limited pollinator forage found throughout the country and to provide a tangible solution to this challenge.   “It’s thrilling to see so much interest around the country in such a short amount of time,” said Dr. Becky Langer, project manager, Bayer North American Bee Care Program. “We’re more than halfway to accomplishing our goal after the first round of proposals with more than a year and a half left in the initiative. It’s rewarding to see organizations across the country come together with one common goal: providing quality nutrients for pollinators. We look forward to seeing all the creative project ideas yet to come!”   The 58 forage projects, which include establishment of new pollinator forage and habitat restoration, will take place throughout the remainder of the year, following the official kick off  Saturday, June 17, at the Washington Youth Garden in Washington, D.C. Bayer joined the Garden, a program of the Friends of the National Arboretum; the U.S. Forest Service; the Americas for Conservation and the Arts; the Woodsy Owl Conservation Corps; and Sweet Virginia Foundation, an educational partner of Feed a Bee that provides free honey bee resources to teachers and students around the world, for the first Family Garden Day of 2017. Families of the community gathered to learn about the importance of honey bees and other pollinators and planted the first flowers that will begin the restoration process of the Garden’s Butterfly and Pollinator Garden. After the planting, families explored pollinator health through hands-on learning stations, including investigating the Garden’s two hives, digging in the compost worm bin and running a relay race in beekeeping suits to become true “beeks.” 6. Pollinator Partnership’s 10th Annual Pollinator Week Leads Support and Action for Pollinators in 2017 and Beyond – Pollinator Week 2017 (June 19-25), marks the tenth consecutive year of uniting the nation around the critically important issue of pollinator conservation. Pollinator Partnership (P2), which created and has administered Pollinator Week since its inception, announced today that ALL 50 state governors (and many mayors), as well as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, have authorized proclamations supporting the national observance of Pollinator Week.  Additionally, more than 160 events across North America have been organized and registered through P2’s Pollinator Week webpage (a complete list is available at Val Dolcini, President and CEO of Pollinator Partnership, noted that “As we celebrate Pollinator Week this year, we certainly focus on the pollinators that contribute so significantly to the biodiversity of our nation’s wildlands and working landscapes, but in a more fundamental way, we also commend and honor the partnerships that have made for such important public policy successes over the years.” Pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, birds and other animals bring us 1 in 3 bites of food; protect our environment; and form the underpinnings of a healthy and sustainable future. While overwintering numbers for both honey bees and monarchs are slightly up – and a sign that some of our efforts are paying off -for other pollinators the news is consistently grim; the once prominent rusty-patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) has been listed as endangered in the US and Canada, a reminder of the fragile nature of pollinator health. 7.  Prairies Offer Many Plants That Continue To Flower Through September. So If The Prairies Were To Offer A Suitable Forage Source For Late In The Year, Then Honey Producers May Gain A New Way Of Protecting Their Hives – Iowa State University post-doctoral research student Adam Dolezal admits there is a misconception about honeybees in the Midwest. He says that despite what many may think, honey bees are not going extinct. “There are millions and millions and millions of hives, so we’re not really at risk of those going extinct,” Dolezal said. “The problems are that beekeeping has become more difficult and more expensive, and there are a lot of foods that are dependant on honeybees for pollination.” However, in an effort to find out more about what affects the sizes of beehives, Dolezal and a team of researchers have received a three-year, $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study whether areas of prairie may offer honeybees a suitable source of forage later into the year. “We wanted to do some very large-scale field realistic experiments, so that’s where the project that we’re doing now comes in,” Dolezal said. 8. Honeybees Pick Up ‘Astonishing’ Number Of Pesticides Via Non-Crop Plants – A Purdue University study shows that honeybees collect the vast majority of their pollen from plants other than crops, even in areas dominated by corn and soybeans, and that pollen is consistently contaminated with a host of agricultural and urban pesticides throughout the growing season. Christian Krupke, professor of entomology, and then-postdoctoral researcher Elizabeth Long collected pollen from Indiana honeybee hives at three sites over 16 weeks to learn which pollen sources honeybees use throughout the season and whether they are contaminated with pesticides. The pollen samples represented up to 30 plant families and contained residues from pesticides spanning nine chemical classes, including neonicotinoids – common corn and soybean seed treatments that are toxic to bees. The highest concentrations of pesticides in bee pollen, however, were pyrethroids, which are typically used to control mosquitoes and other nuisance pests. 9. Beetle Could Crush Honey Bee Population, N.B. Government Says. Infestation Of Small Hive Beetle Discovered On Acadian Peninsula After Bees Imported From Ontario – The small hive beetle, which lays its eggs in honeycomb, has been found in the Acadian Peninsula. The discovery of a small hive beetle infestation in northeastern New Brunswick has created a flurry of government action to keep the threat to honey bees from spreading. The province has put $100,000 a year into a honey bee expansion program to help increase the honey bee population native to New Brunswick. The small hive beetle arrived in hives that were brought to the Acadian Peninsula from Ontario for blueberry pollination. Kevin McCully, provincial director of agriculture, said officials are unsure how the beetle got past what he called a rigorous inspection process. The government of New Brunswick is spending $100,000 a year to help the honey bee population grow. (The Canadian Press) 10. With The Help Of Local Beekeepers, Vita (Europe) Ltd Has Opened A Test Apiary Near Its Basingstoke, UK, Headquarters – With the help of local beekeepers, Vita (Europe) Ltd has opened a test apiary near its Basingstoke headquarters to complement its other test apiaries across the world. The apiary, on a large allotment (community garden plots for fruit and vegetables) within easy foraging distance of Vita’s offices, will be managed by some beekeepers from Basingstoke and Paulo Mielgo, Vita’s technical manager. The Basingstoke beekeepers, who are experienced in allotment beekeeping, have constructed an apiary perimeter fence, for security and to ensure that the bees fly well above head height on foraging trips, as well as a small apiary shed to hold beekeeping essentials. “Derek Western and Paul Rogers of Basingstoke have done a great job in preparing the apiary, fencing, shed, hives and drawing up an agreement with the local council,” said Paulo Mielgo. “I carried out my first inspection last week and, although the colonies are still quite small, they seem to be healthy.” For Mielgo, having been born into a beekeeping family in Argentina, there are at least two unusual elements to the apiary. The colonies are in National hives – the traditional and most popular hive in Britain – rather than the Langstroth hives with which he is most familiar. Secondly, the apiary is in an urban area, a location rarely used for beekeeping in Argentina. 11. Exposure To Pesticides In Colonies In The AG Areas Did Not Result In Measurable Impacts On Colony Productivity Sixteen honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies were placed in four different agricultural landscapes to study the effects of agricultural landscape and exposure to pesticides on honey bee health. Colonies were located in three different agricultural areas with varying levels of agricultural intensity (AG areas) and one nonagricultural area (NAG area). Colonies were monitored for their performance and productivity for one year by measuring colony weight changes, brood production, and colony thermoregulation. Palynological and chemical analyses were conducted on the trapped pollen collected from each colony and location. Our results indicate that the landscape’s composition significantly affected honey bee colony performance and development. Colony weight and brood production were significantly greater in AG areas compared to the NAG area. It was apparent that bees located in AG areas had access to higher and more sustainable sources of nutrition than those of the NAG area, and starvation losses were only observed in the NAG area.