News and links to information about honey bees and other pollinators- Items of potential interest 13 September 2019
Rosanna Mattingly Editor, Western Apicultural Society Journal Editor, The Bee Line, Oregon State Beekeepers Association
IN THIS ISSUE . . .
€100 million German insect protection plan will protect habitats, restrict weed killers, and boost research
BERLIN—Save the whales, sure. But save the dung beetles? In 2017, researchers reported a dramatic loss of insects in Germany’s nature reserves: 76% less biomass over 3 decades. Spurred by wide public concern about the findings, the federal government announced on 4 September a €100 million “action plan for insect protection,” which includes at least €25 million a year for research and monitoring of insect populations.
“This takes several steps in the right direction,” says Lars Krogmann, an entomologist at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart, Germany, who with colleagues last year published a nine-point plan with recommendations for reversing insect population declines.
The government plan includes some of those recommendations, such as protecting . . .
To continue reading: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/09/100-million-german-insect-protection-plan-will-protect-habitats-restrict-weed-killers?utm_campaign=news_daily_2019-09-09&et_rid=79887736&et_cid=2980703
Genetic ‘road map’ reveals the lost birthplace of a 150-year-old butterfly
Some scientific battles are epic: Think Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison’s war of currents. Others fly under the radar, like a heated dispute over the origins of Mead’s skipper (above), a 150-year-old butterfly gathering dust on a Harvard University museum shelf. Now, using DNA from the dead insect, scientists have discovered its birthplace: a small mountain town in Colorado. The discovery settles old scores—and it could also help museum curators worldwide trace the origins of their own “lost” species.
When U.S. naturalist Theodore Mead found a tiny skipper butterfly (Hesperia colorado) in 1871, he didn’t label its location—typical for birds, insects, and other animals collected before GPS coordinates were added to most specimen tags in the early 2000s. That failure came back to haunt . . .
Oregon lawmakers urge EPA to protect pollinators from pesticide
KTVZ.COM news sources
WASHINGTON – Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici, all D-Ore., expressed concerns Monday over a recent decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to approve new uses and lift restrictions for sulfoxaflor, a pesticide recognized by the EPA as a danger to pollinators, such as honeybees.
In a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, the lawmakers highlighted concerns from beekeepers and other stakeholders in Oregon about the potential hazards of the pesticide on bee colonies and the importance of pollinator health to . . .
U.S. Beekeepers File Suit Against Trump EPA Charging ‘Illegal’ Approval of Insecticide Linked to Mass Die-Off
A group of beekeepers joined forces on Friday against Trump’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by filing a lawsuit over the agency’s move to put a powerful insecticide — one that scientists warn is part of the massive pollinator die-off across the U.S. — back on the market.
The lawsuit charges that the EPA’s approval of sulfoxaflor — touted by its manufacturer, agro-chemical giant Corteva, as a “next generation neonicotinoid” — was illegally rendered as it put . . .
Beekeepers are suing Trump administration over decision to allow wider use of insecticides
Beekeepers are suing the Trump administration over its decision to allow the wider use of an insecticide linked to the deaths of entire honeybee colonies.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) removed restrictions on sulfoxaflor in July and approved a host of new uses for the chemical.
According to . . .
Beekeepers Confront the E.P.A. Over Pesticides
Wilsonville event sparks bee research breakthrough
According to The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, in 2013 the largest number of native bee casualties ever recorded occurred at a Target parking lot at Argyle Square in Wilsonville.
The event, where over 50,000 bumblebees died, and other similar episodes in the Portland area, prompted policy changes at the local and state level: the Oregon State Legislature and Department of Agriculture banned the use of certain pesticides from being used on linden trees (as in the Target lot) and created labeling requirements for such pesticides while the City of Wilsonville implemented programs to introduce pollinator habitats in parts of the city and change its pest management practices.
Recently, the event helped inspire a new study that suggests that pesticides are not the only . . .
Preliminary Report on Selection and Breeding of Honeybees for Alfalfa Pollen Collection William P. Nye, Otto Mackensen SUMMARY Some colonies of honeybees on alfalfa collect a much higher percentage of alfalfa pollen than others. The possibility of genetic differences between colonies was investigated. Colonies collecting high and low percentages of alfalfa pollen were first selected. Daughters of queens from three ‘high’ and three ‘low’ colonies were inseminated from their brothers, and colonies headed by queens of these six lines were tested. Colonies headed by sister queens were more similar in the proportion… Published 1965DOI:10.1080/00218839.1965.11100102
Honeybee brain upgrades may help the insects find food
A honeybee that’s been promoted to forager has upgrades in her nerve cells, too. Vibration-sensing nerve cells, or neurons, are more specialized in bees tasked with finding food compared with younger, inexperienced adult bees, researchers report August 26 in eNeuro. This neural refinement may help forager bees better sense specific air vibrations produced by their fellow foragers during waggle dances — elaborate routines that share information about food location, distance and quality (SN Online: 1/24/14).
Researchers compared certain neurons in adult bees that had emerged from their cells one to three days earlier to neurons of forager bees, which were older than 10 days. In the foragers, these neurons had . .
Researchers Determine Pollen Abundance and Diversity in Five Major Pollinator-Dependent Crops
CORVALLIS, Ore. — A new study provides valuable insights into pollen abundance and diversity available to honeybee colonies employed in five major pollinator-dependent crops in Oregon and California, including California’s massive almond industry.
The study, a collaboration between Oregon State University (OSU) and Texas A&M University, found that almond, cherry, and meadowfoam provide ample pollen to honeybees, but highbush blueberry and hybrid carrot seed crops may not. In addition, California almonds don’t provide as much pollen diversity as other crops, according to the findings, published in the Journal of Economic Entomology.
The western honeybee is the . . .
The COLOSS conference bridges the Atlantic
The 15th Conference of the COLOSS honey bee research association has now concluded at the Université Laval bureau in Montréal, Canada. The meeting was attended by a record 154 delegates from 37 countries. This represents some 12% of the current membership of 1,275 members from 95 countries, which is extraordinary for an international organisation.
A key task of the meeting was the election of a new Executive Committee to serve for the next term. Prof. Peter Neumann (University of Bern, Switzerland) was re-elected as President, with Prof. Panuwan Chantawannakul (Chiang Mai University, Thailand) and Dr Geoff Williams (Auburn University, USA) elected as Vice-Presidents. Dr Vincent Dietemann (Agroscope, Switzerland) was elected as Secretary.
Detailed updates were given of the activities of the COLOSS Core Projects on the BEEBOOK, B-RAP (Bridging research and practice) and colony loss monitoring, and of the COLOSS Task Forces on Apitox, sustainable bee breeding, small hive beetle, survivors, varroa control, Vespa velutina and viruses. The first meeting of the new Task Force on honey bee nutrition took place. It was reported that during the year, many constructive workshops had been held in a variety of locations, several joint experiments planned, and many publications had been produced.
It was announced that a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed between COLOSS and the International Slow Food Association, Bra, Italy. In view of the crucial role that honey bees and other pollinating insects play in global food security, it is felt that there are many common interests between the two organisations and hence considerable opportunities for mutual benefits.
With the COLOSS meeting being held in North America, the first time it has been held outside Europe, the opportunity was also taken for a joint meeting with the US Bee Improved Partnership and Canadian Tech Transfer team to explore common interests and possible collaboration, for example in data collection and technology transfer.
Most of the COLOSS attendees are now participating in the 46th International Apicultural Congress (Apimonidia) being held at the Palais des Congrès, Montréal.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT Norman Carreck: COLOSS Press Officer, University of Sussex, BN1 9QG, UK. Tel: +44 7918670169 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Agrivoltaics proves mutually beneficial
TUCSUN, Ariz. — Building resilience in renewable energy and food production is a fundamental challenge in today’s changing world, especially in regions susceptible to heat and drought. Agrivoltaics, the co-locating of agriculture and solar photovoltaic panels, offers a possible solution, with new University of Arizona-led research reporting positive impacts on food production, water savings and the efficiency of electricity production.
Agrivoltaics, also known as solar sharing, is an idea that has been gaining traction in recent years; however, few studies have monitored all aspects of the associated food, energy and water systems, and none have focused on dryland areas – regions that experience food production challenges and water shortages, but have an overabundance of sun energy.
“Many of us want more renewable energy, but where . . .
To continue reading: https://www.morningagclips.com/agrivoltaics-proves-mutually-beneficial/
Understanding the Multi-functional Nature of the Countryside
ANDREW DAVIS, KATHARINE FOOT, AND WILL MANLEY
It is tempting to see the countryside through a haze of a pink washed nostalgia as somewhere where life continues with a perceived simplicity in tandem with the seasons and inherited practises. However, just as urban areas change and evolve, so does the countryside. With this, comes a more complex wordscape that combines the traditional language of farming and the countryside with new and adapted terms. The country-dweller, or visitor, of history would still recognise the language and life of rural areas in many ways. A plough may still be used to cultivate the land, and this land may itself be . . .
Honey Bees Can Get STDs, Too
Honey bees may need their own PSAs about sexually transmitted diseases.
Bees, like many animals, are polyandrous, meaning females partner with multiple mates. Queens might mate with as many as 100 males in just a few hours, allowing the species to produce hardier, more genetically diverse offspring. But, it seems, it also leaves them vulnerable to STDs, according to a 2015 study in Nature.
Scientists artificially inseminated . . .
To continue reading: https://mentalfloss.com/article/65937/honey-bees-get-stds-too
Georgians log 134,000 interactions with bugs during pollinator census Merritt Melancon
ATHENS — More than 4,000 Georgians in 133 counties participated in the nation’s first statewide pollinator census, logging more than 133,963 insect interactions.
The deadline for logging counts from the Aug. 23-24 pollinator count was Wednesday at midnight. Georgians logged 4,567 counts during the groundbreaking citizen science exercise.
“I think the story now is . . .
WMU pollinator house: helping the native Michigan bees survive with a bee hotel
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — When the word bee is brought up, the European honey bee, or bumblebee, might be the first image that comes to mind, but there are more than 450 bee species in Michigan alone, and more than 3,500 types of bees in the United States.
Honey bees were actually brought . . .
From: Melathopoulos, Andony <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 3:09 PM
Subject: [pesticidesandpollinators] Applicator training around pollinators – survey [please respond by Sep 30, 2019]
Pesticide applicator training is a critical piece to minimizing pesticide exposure to pollinators. I am an Assistant Professor of Pollinator Health at Oregon State University and I am conducting a survey designed to determine the extent and type of training currently offered in the US. The survey will be used in a research project title “Determining the extent and type of training opportunities around pollinator for licensed pesticide applicators in the US” and information will be used to develop better training tools for states to use.
Link to survey: oregonstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1FGTqvICZtRvUsB
In this survey I will ask you questions with regard to your professional experiences as a pesticide educator and pesticide education program coordinator. Your responses to questions about your opinions of the adequacy of pesticide training around pollinators will be kept confidential and used only for research purposes. This information will be anonymized and aggregated and will not be attributed to you. Other information pertaining to actual training such as the number of trainings and type of training that would qualify for a recertification credit, will identified to the state you are reporting from. Participation in this study is voluntary. Information collected from you for this research will not be used or distributed for future use.
Surveys will be conducted online using a secure provider (Qualtrics). Data will be stored using University approved and password protected servers. Tampering from an outside source is possible when using the Internet. While the confidentiality of your responses will be protected to our best ability, hacking or other security breaches that could threaten the confidentiality of your responses are possible. This situation, however, is unlikely and we will not be asking sensitive questions.
If you have any questions about this research project, please contact Andony Melathopoulos Andony.firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions about your rights or welfare as a participant, please contact the Oregon State University Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) office, at (541) 737-8008 or by email at IRB@oregonstate.edu.
By proceeding with the survey you are consenting to allowing OSU to use your response in our survey. Participation in this study is voluntary. If you decide to be in the study, you are free to stop at any time without penalty.
Help bees in lean times with a variety of blooms
WASHINGTON — The lack of four-season food sources is one of the leading causes of the world’s declining bee populations. At certain times of year, there simply isn’t enough nutrition in the natural environment to fill the collective demand.
Rapidly increasing urbanization, fencepost-to-fencepost farming, and pesticide use are among the factors reducing the diversity and abundance of flowering plant species.
So what’s a pollinator-dependent gardener to do? . . .
To continue reading: https://www.morningagclips.com/help-bees-in-lean-times-with-a-variety-of-blooms/
Pollinating bees may be exposed to lethal levels of neonics in soil: study
New research suggests ground-nesting bees may be exposed to lethal levels of pervasive insecticides found in soil on farms across southern Ontario.
University of Guelph environmental sciences professor Nigel Raine and PhD student Susan Chan examined the hoary squash bee that feeds on the nectar and pollen of squash, pumpkin, gourds and melon, and is a crucial pollinator for those crops.
They estimated 36 per cent of the bee population studied encountered lethal doses of one major neonicotinoid . . .
Cumbria Wildlife Trust on beetles’ good work
In all of our thoughts about pollination we often forget the beetles; they don’t have the long proboscis that bees and butterflies have, so what is their role in pollination? This is where – in my research for this article – I learned something really interesting: beetles aren’t after nectar like so many other insects. It’s the pollen they want – and they get it by simply . . .
To continue reading: https://www.timesandstar.co.uk/news/17887313.gross-effective/
FROM CATCH THE BUZZ:
- How Bees Live with Bacteria, and Bees Finding Food
University of Würzburg IMAGE: A solitary bee leaves an artificial nest. The individual breeding chambers are separated and each contains only one larva. This prevents… Read on » 2. Three Today Planted Acres in US Down, Farm Bankruptcies in US Up, and Ohio Butterflies Declining. Is There a Connection?
USDA reports show historic unplanted acres The USDA released reports Aug. 12 confirming the historically-dire planting situation and correcting previous acreage estimates. From Farm… Read on »
- THE AMERICAN HONEY TASTING SOCIETY (AHTS)IS GRANTED ACCREDITATION by The Italian National Register of the Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey.
WESTON, CONNECTICUT, July 2019 — The American Honey Tasting Society (AHTS) has been granted accreditation by the Central Office of The Italian National Register… Read on » 4. Climate Change Cachets
Pollinators are under threat from climate change. A report on The Conversation website says this is because their pollination activity is connected to smell…. Read on » 5. Researchers Come Up With New Way of Producing Dried Honey
Joanna Jasińska The new dried honey contains 80 percent natural honey, 30 percent more than current alternatives. Scientists from the Warsaw University of Life… Read on » 6. National Honey Month with The Honey Board
NATIONAL HONEY BOARD CELEBRATES HONEY MONTH WITH FREE HONEY LOCATOR LISTING Longmont, Colorado, September 4, 2019 – The National Honey Board (NHB) is pleased… Read on » 7. A Majority of Staff at ERS and NIFA to Quit Rather Than Move, and, Squash Bees Chronically Exposed to Lethal Doses of Clothianidin
As the Agriculture Department prepares for a majority of staff at two scientific agencies to quit rather than move to Kansas City later this… Read on » 8. Rare Bee Confirmed In Wisconsin For First Time In More Than A Century.
A rare bee, Epeoloides pilosulus, was positively identified by Joan Milam, an adjunct research fellow at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service… Read on » 9. Climate Change Cachets
With demand for coal slumping because of its contribution to global warming, the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective is giving coal miners a way to make… Read on » 10. Don’t Bring Honey Into Maryland If You Don’t Want To Go To Jail, And, Caffeine Really Doesn’t Bother Stingless Bees. Really…..
Leon Haughton, shown at his home in Bowie, was jailed for 82 days after customs officials alleged that three jars of honey he had… Read on » ❀ FROM ABJ EXTRA:
- World Beekeeping Awards: First question ― is that real honey? Apimondia Montreal 2019 has now concluded. Drawing an estimated 4000 attendees, the event featured the World Beekeeping Awards, which included the competition for “Best Honey in the World.” Each honey entry consisted of three samples, one of which was sent out for “full laboratory analysis” by an accredited facility armed with . . . To continue reading: https://mailchi.mp/dadant.com/abj-extra-september-13-2019-world-beekeeping-awards-first-question-is-that-real-honey?e=d476a0d684 2. National Honey Board Appoints New Board Members and Alternates Longmont, Colorado, September 9, 2019 – The National Honey Board (NHB) is pleased to announce its newest members and alternates, appointed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Secretary Perdue selects and appoints members to the NHB after reviewing all qualified nominations from certified national organizations. The following new appointees will serve three-year terms beginning January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2022. . . . To continue reading: https://mailchi.mp/dadant.com/abj-extra-september-10-2019-national-honey-board-appoints-new-board-members-and-alternates?e=d476a0d684 3. Vermont Names Pollinator Specialist
Vermont Beekeepers Association, September 3, 2019
The Agency of Agriculture is pleased to welcome Ms. Brooke Decker as Vermont’s Pollinator Health Specialist. This is Vermont’s first, full-time, pollinator health position and was created by Act 35 in the 2019 legislative session. In this role, Ms. Decker will develop comprehensive strategies to improve the health of Vermont’s pollinators. Ms. Decker will guide the state’s apiary regulatory program, as well as collaboratively . . . To continue reading: https://mailchi.mp/dadant.com/abj-extra-september-6-2019-vermont-names-pollinator-specialist?e=d476a0d684