Items of interest to beekeepers 15 January 2018

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

HONEY BEE HEALTH COALITION CONGRATULATES WINNERS OF NUTRITION COMPETITION

AGRICULTURAL FUNGICIDE ATTRACTS HONEY BEES

HONEY BEE VIRAL PREVALENCE MAP

RESEARCH JOBS

NATIONAL HONEY BOARD APPOINTMENTS

BAYER OPENS NEW GREENHOUSE FOR INSECTICIDE RESEARCH IN GERMANY

CATCH THE BUZZ
HONEY BEE HEALTH COALITION CONGRATULATES WINNERS OF NUTRITION COMPETITION Winners Will Use $40,000 in Prize Money to Improve, Accelerate Honey Bee Nutrition  The Honey Bee Health Coalition has awarded $40,000 to four innovative projects aimed at improving honey bee nutrition and supporting honey bee and pollinator health. The awards, announced today at the 2018 American Bee Research Conference, are part of the Coalition’s inaugural Bee Nutrition Challenge.   The Bee Nutrition Challenge winners and awards are: •    $15,000 for Miguel Corona, Steven Cook, and Jay Evans, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Bee Research Lab, Development and Testing of Optimal Seasonal Nutritional Supplements For Honey Bees •    $10,000 for Waled Suliman and Brandon Hopkins, Washington State University, A Novel Feed Additive for Protecting Bees and Confronting Colony Collapse Disorder •    $7,500 for Paul Stamets, Fungi Perfecti LLC, Fungal Extracts for Honey Bee Health •    $7,500 for Patrick Heritier-Robbins, Georgia Institute of Technology, Bee Ultra Sound   “Supporting honey bee nutrition is essential to achieving and sustaining a healthy population of honey bees. These projects are exactly the types of innovative ideas and initiatives the Coalition was established to support,” said Julie Shapiro, the facilitator of the Honey Bee Health Coalition and a senior policy director at the Keystone Policy Center. “The Coalition is thrilled to support these outstanding projects and looks forward to seeing how they support honey bees.”   The Coalition launched the Bee Nutrition Challenge in August 2017 to find new, innovative ways to improve honey bee forage and nutrition — one of the primary drivers of the challenges honey bees and managed pollinators face throughout North America. The finalists, announced in November, presented their ideas to a panel of honey bee health experts earlier this week.   Monsanto, a member of the Coalition, generously provided support for the prize funds. In addition to the prize, the winners will have full access to subject matter experts and others from the Coalition’s member organizations — including mentoring and advice.   The Coalition livestreamed the announcement (as well as the finalists’ presentations) via Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/pg/beehealthorg/videos/   —– AGRICULTURAL FUNGICIDE ATTRACTS HONEY BEES CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — 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. Other research has shown that European honey bees have a very limited repertoire of detoxifying enzymes and that exposure to one potentially toxic compound – including fungicides – can interfere with their ability to metabolize others. “People assume that fungicides affect only fungi,” said University of Illinois entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum, who led the new research with postdoctoral researcher Ling-Hsiu Liao. “But fungi are much more closely related to animals than they are to plants. And toxins that disrupt physiological processes in fungi can also potentially affect them in animals, including insects.” Some scientists have argued that bees may be less susceptible to agricultural chemicals than laboratory studies suggest because the bees might detect potentially toxic chemicals in the environment and avoid them. But a 2015 study found that European honey bees and at least one species of bumble bee actually prefer food laced with neonicotinoid pesticides. To test whether foraging honey bees showed a preference for other chemicals they are likely to encounter in the wild, Liao set up two feeding stations in a large enclosure. Foraging honey bees could fly freely from one feeder to the other, choosing to collect either sugar syrup laced with a test chemical or sugar syrup mixed with a solvent as the control. Over the course of the study, she tested honey bee responses to nine naturally occurring chemicals, three fungicides and two herbicides at various concentrations. The trials revealed that honey bees prefer the naturally occurring chemical quercetin over controls at all concentrations tested. “That makes sense, because everything the honey bees eat has quercetin in it,” Berenbaum said. “There’s quercetin in nectar, there’s quercetin in pollen. Quercetin is in honey and beebread, and it’s a reliable cue that bees use to recognize food.” To the researchers’ surprise, the bees also preferred sugar syrup laced with glyphosate – the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide – at 10 parts per billion, but not at higher concentrations. And while the bees actively avoided syrup containing the fungicide prochloraz, they showed a mild preference for sugar syrup laced with chlorothalonil at 0.5 and 50 parts per billion, but not at 500 ppb. “The bees are not only not avoiding this fungicide, they’re consuming more of it at certain concentrations,” Berenbaum said. Fungicides are among the most prevalent contaminants of honey bee hives, and it is likely the bees themselves are bringing these pesticides into the colony through their food-collecting activities. While perplexing, bees’ preferences for some potentially toxic chemicals may be the result of their distinct evolutionary history, Berenbaum said. “Honey bee foragers are gleaners,” she said. “They’re active from early spring until late fall, and no single floral source exists for them for that whole season. If they don’t have a drive to search out something new, that’s going to seriously compromise their ability to find the succession of flowers they need. Unnatural chemicals might be a signal for a new food.” The new findings are worrisome in light of research showing that exposure to fungicides interferes with honey bees’ ability to metabolize the acaricides used by beekeepers to kill the parasitic varroa mites that infest their hives, the researchers said. “The dose determines the poison,” Berenbaum said. “If your ability to metabolize poisons is compromised, then a therapeutic dose can become a toxic dose. And that seems to be what happens when honey bees encounter multiple pesticides.”  — University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign https://www.morningagclips.com/agricultural-fungicide-attracts-honey-bees/ —– The latest Bee Informed blog – HONEY BEE VIRAL PREVALENCE MAP Honey bee viruses have been widely surveyed and sampled for through the USDA APHIS Honey Bee Survey, BIP Tech Team samples, Emergency Response Kits, and other samples processed through joint co-operations through the University of Maryland bee lab. To share the results of these surveys through an openly accessible visualization, we have released a dynamically explorable map of viral results in the Bee Informed Database. This map will continually be updated as new and old data is uploaded to the database. https://beeinformed.org/2018/01/09/honey-bee-viral-prevalence-map/ —– RESEARCH JOBS From Dr. Christina Grozinger – US Geological Survey scientists are seeking up to 5 Biological Science Technicians to fill positions that are in support of a pollinator research project led by Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center in Jamestown, ND.  The project goals are to determine how land-use conditions influence bee health and to quantify floral resources used by honey bees and native pollinators in working landscapes.  Duty stations for these positions include North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. For a more detailed description of the project, please see the attached positions descriptions. 1. Field Assistant Position with USGS, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, ND Duration: May through September, 2018. Both start and end dates are flexible in order to accommodate current students as well as recently graduated students seeking longer-term appointments. Projects: Native bee health and ecology, plant-pollinator interactions Info https://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/node/3581 2. Five (5) Field Assistant Positions with USGS, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, ND Duration: May through September, 2018. Both start and end dates are flexible in order to accommodate current students as well as recently graduated students seeking longer-term appointments. Projects: Honey bee health and ecology, plant-pollinator interactions More info https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_O6RDdrfDc.   3. Xerces Society Monarch and Pollinator Restoration Ecologist, Sacramento, CA, February – March 2018 For details and to apply please review the complete job listing https://xerces.org/job-opportunities. 4. Monarch Outreach Assistant for monarch butterfly conservation/outreach with the NWF Mayor’s Monarch Pledge program in Lower Rio Grande Valley- McAllen, Texas. Dates of Service: January 30 2018 – November 30 2019 (22 months at approximately 45 hours/month) Applications will be accepted through January 19, 2017 or until a suitable candidate can be identified. Info http://lists.sonic.net/pipermail/pollinator/attachments/20180110/1ea1751d/attachment.pdf 5. Two Graduate Student Positions at Oregon State university Honey Bee Lab PhD Position 1: This incoming doctoral student will be part of a DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) funded collaborative research project between the OSU honey bee lab, the OSU artificial intelligence and robotics lab (Dr. Julie Adams) and SIFT (a research and development consulting company). The goals of this project are to understand and analyze altruistic self-removal and drifting behaviors of honey bees to develop new metaheuristics (a class of algorithms) that will enhance cyber defense capabilities, robotic swarms or unmanned aerial vehicle systems. Qualifications: A Master’s degree in Entomology or relevant field is desirable. Knowledge of honey bee biology, some experience working with honey bees and strong statistical analysis skills are preferred. Prior experience using behavior tracking software, such as Noldus Observer, is a plus. No prior experience with metaheuristics, robotics or cyber security is required. The other collaborators will implement this portion of the project. PhD Position 2: This doctoral student will focus on a FFRA (Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research) funded collaborative project between the OSU Honey Bee Lab, the OSU Pollinator Health Extension Lab (Dr. Andony Melathopoulos) and a few other groups involved in pollinator research. The incumbent is expected to conduct research (1)to develop a robust methodology for assessing honey bee pesticide exposure and (2) establish a baseline of pesticide exposure and pollen nutrition for honey bees in a few major bee-pollinated cropping systems. The interaction between nutrition and pesticide toxicity on colony health will also be studied. Qualifications: A Master’s degree in Entomology or relevant field is desirable. Knowledge of honey bee biology, experience working with honey bees and strong statistical analysis skills are preferred. Send inquiries or submit applications with a CV (including GPA and GRE scores if available), Statement of Interest/Research, and names and contact information of three references by February 15 to Ramesh Sagili (ramesh.sagili@oregonstate.edu). Successful applicants will be required to submit their application to Oregon State University graduate school. Start Dates: The successful candidates are expected to start in either spring term (April 1), summer term (June 1) or fall term (September 1) of 2018. 6. Florida Regional Coordinator, North American Butterfly Association, Miami All info http://lists.sonic.net/pipermail/pollinator/attachments/20180110/783368a6/attachment.pdf   —– NATIONAL HONEY BOARD APPOINTMENTS WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of six individuals to serve on the National Honey Board on January 9th. Members and alternates newly appointed to serve three-year terms are:     Douglas M. Hauke, Marshfield, Wis. (Producer Member)     Mark A. Jensen, Power, Mont. (Producer Alternate)     Tim Burleson, Waxahachie, Texas (First Handler Alternate)     Gregory Brekke Olsen, Chaska, Minn. (Importer-Handler Member)     Mathias Leitner, Gilbert, Ariz. (Importer-Handler Alternate)     Eric S. Wenger of Peabody, Kan. (Reappointed, First Handler Member) “The wide range of experience represented on the board is key to the success of the innovative research, education and promotional work they do to expand domestic markets for honey and honey products through consumer education,” said Perdue. “The board can count on USDA to continue to be a trusted partner to the honey industry.” The 20-member National Honey Board is composed of three first handler representatives, two importer representatives, one importer-handler representative, three producer representatives, one marketing cooperative representative, and an alternate for each. Since 1966, Congress has authorized 22 industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides oversight, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal responsibility, program efficiency and fair treatment of participating stakeholders. https://www.morningagclips.com/national-honey-board-appointments/ —– BAYER OPENS NEW GREENHOUSE FOR INSECTICIDE RESEARCH IN GERMANY Last Monday, Bayer unveiled its new greenhouse for insecticide research in Monheim, Germany, a 118,000+ square foot (11,000 square meter) facility that will provide more research capabilities to sustainably source a global food supply. The greenhouse contains 133 compartments that can be customized for a variety of field-realistic conditions, something that is paramount to modern science and agriculture. It is also adjacent to a laboratory and office building that will employ 60 employees working on cultivating and testing crop species, exotic pests and beneficial organisms. Through this greenhouse and the resulting discoveries, Bayer hopes to continue to bolster public confidence and trust in their work and support AgVocacy efforts by those in the agricultural industry. To get an inside look at the new greenhouse, check out this video <https://twitter.com/Bayer4Crops/status/951770948910374912>! http://www.news.bayer.com/baynews/baynews.nsf/id/Bayer-inaugurates-new-greenhouse-for-insecticide-research —– CATCH THE BUZZ 1.  Heat Patterns Serve As Signatures For Flowers To Passing Bees. Heat plays an important role in flower-pollinator interactions. According to new research, heat patterns serve as signatures for flowers, advertising their availability to passing bees. When scientists at the University of Bristol analyzed the dispersion of heat across the petals of common garden flowers, like poppies and daisies, they found heat patterns reflect the visual patterns produced by the colored pedals. Researchers also found the heat patterns were an average of 4 to 5 degrees Celsius warmer than other parts of the flower. To determine the influence of petals’ heat patterns on pollinator behavior, researchers designed artificial flowers with heat patterns mimicking real flowers. The fake flowers had no visual patterns. While the flowers all looked the same to the human eye, lab tests involving bumblebees proved pollinators can use the heat pattern signature to tell the flowers apart. The patterns helped bees choose the flowers most likely to offer the most nectar. http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-heat-patterns-serve-signatures-flowers-passing-bees 2. New Jersey Department of Agriculture Moves to Severely Restrict Bees and Beekeeping. Who’s Next? – Janet Katz is the President of the New Jersey Beekeepers Association, and like most beekeepers, must protect her hives from extreme cold and heat, drought, disease, starvation, the loss of a queen and even bears. Now, after two decades of nurturing bees for honey and wax, and  to pollinate her gardens, she now has a new worry: the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. “They should be encouraging beekeeping, not making it harder,” said Katz, president of the New Jersey Beekeepers Association, and who has four hives on her two-acre property in Chester Township. But harder it will be. With fees, waiver applications, setback requirements and other zoning gobbledygook — all the things that bureaucracy does to suck the honey out of a comb. On Jan. 19, a new set of beekeeping regulations that, if adopted, the beekeeping community says would wreck their hobby worse than Colony Collapse Disorder. You can still comment on these new restrictions. Email address at the end of this article. http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-new-jersey-department-agriculture-moves-severely-restrict-bees-beekeeping-whos-next 3. Honey Adulteration Erodes Public Trust and Undermines the Work of Honest Beekeepers and Packers. The non-profit True Source Honey Certification® Program (www.TrueSourceHoney.com) whose mission is to protect consumers, beekeepers, retailers and manufacturers from illegally sourced honey, applauds the Netflix documentary “Rotten” for shining a light on the ongoing challenges faced by the honey industry. The premiere episode of “Rotten” which began streaming on Jan. 5 focuses on honey adulteration and circumvention which resulted in the largest food fraud case prosecuted in the United States. “Honey adulteration erodes public trust and undermines the work of honest beekeepers and packers,” said Gordon Marks, executive director of True Source Honey. “It’s the reason we launched the True Source Honey Certification® program.” Honey adulteration and the illegal practice of transshipping honey threaten the honey industry in North American by undercutting fair market prices and damaging honey’s reputation for quality and safety. As highlighted in the documentary, the domestic honey industry has faced repeated problems with honey that is illegally transshipped from China through third countries to avoid anti-dumping duties. http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-honey-adulteration-erodes-public-trust-undermines-work-honest-beekeepers-packers 4. Neonics Still Allowed In Canada. No Blanket Ban – Canada doesn’t want to issue a blanket ban on certain pesticides which environmental groups say are killing everything from honey bees to earthworms. Instead, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency is proposing limiting the use of two neonicotinoids and adding more warning labels to the bottles. Neonicotinoids, also known as neonics, are nicotine-based pesticides commonly used by farmers to help keep everything from field crops to fruit orchards free of pests like aphids, spider mites and stink bugs. The regulatory agency has been researching them since 2012, after widespread reports of honey bee deaths led scientists to believe neonics were one of the culprits. The agency has released an interim assessment of the effect of two types of neonics, that will largely bar them from being applied directly to the leaves of crops and on municipal and residential lawns, but allow their use to pre-treat seeds before planting. http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-neonics-still-allowed-canada-no-blanket-ban 5. Bees Like Sugar and Fungicides, or Sugar and Herbicides Better Than Just Sugar. No Wonder We Have Troubles Out There – CHICAGO, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) — Honey bee foragers prefer to collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar syrup alone, researchers at the University of Illinois (UI) have found. The study has been newly published in the journal Scientific Reports. To test whether foraging honey bees showed a preference for other chemicals they are likely to encounter in the wild, UI researchers set up two feeding stations in a large enclosure. Foraging honey bees could fly freely from one feeder to the other, choosing to collect either sugar syrup laced with a test chemical or sugar syrup mixed with a solvent as the control. Over the course of the study, researchers tested honey bee responses to nine naturally occurring chemicals, three fungicides and two herbicides at various concentrations. The test revealed that honey bees prefer the naturally occurring chemical quercetin over controls at all concentrations tested. http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-bees-like-sugar-fungicides-sugar-herbicides-better-just-sugar-no-wonder-troubles 6. Good Honey Crop Expected in New Zealand after Dismal 2017 – The $5 billion-a-year honey New Zealand industry is on its way to recovery after one of its poorest seasons in decades last year. The 2017 harvest was hit hard by cold, wet and windy weather over the optimal nectar-flow period, resulting in a sharp fall in production. Karin Kos, chief executive of Apiculture New Zealand, said it was early days but that the fine weather over the important November and December months had seen the season get off to a strong start. “It’s looking like a relatively good season, but it still has a couple of months to run,” she said. The season typically runs from November through to February-March, starting first in the north and then moving south as the summer wears on. http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-good-honey-crop-expected-new-zealand-dismal-2017