News from the world of beekeeping
Rosanna Mattingly Editor, Western Apicultural Society Journal Editor, The Bee Line, Oregon State Beekeepers Association
IN THIS ISSUE . . .
RESEARCH BRIEF: COMMON BEE VIRUS CAUSES BEES TO FORAGE PREMATURELY
Posted byTodd Ingstad
Honey bee pollination contributes roughly $15 billion to the U.S. agricultural industry each year, but diseases like deformed wing virus (DWV) can devastate bee health.
DWV is the most prevalent virus responsible for honey bee colony losses. It often causes infected bees to forage prematurely, which can cause diminished spatial memory and colony failure. Additionally, these infected foragers may be more likely to spread the virus to neighboring colonies because of their disoriented state.
To find out why DWV has this effect on bees, researchers with the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) collaborated with the University of Illinois and Washington State University.
In a study recently published in the journal Nature, researchers found: . . .
Honey bee and pollinator facility officially opened
OTHELLO, Wash. – Washington State University celebrated the opening of its new Honey Bee & Pollinator Research, Extension and Education Facility today with a formal ribbon cutting and self-guided tours of the building.
“This new facility will be a tremendous benefit to our WSU bee and pollinator researchers as well as the beekeeping . . .
To continue reading: https://news.wsu.edu/2020/03/06/honey-bee-pollinator-facility-officially-opened/
Best Management Practices for Planting Pollinator Forage
The practices that have been recommended thus far in this guide help protect bees. One of the best ways that growers and landowners working in canola production can proactively improve honey bee health is by providing pollinator habitat and forage nearby. Research shows that planting forage provides honey bees, native bees, and other pollinators with better nutrition — and healthy bees means a healthier agricultural landscape. An added benefit is that the forage provided during canola planting and pollination may provide a buffer when pesticide applications are scheduled.
Planting pollinator forage can be integrated into . . .
BeeWhere: GIS tech works to protect bees, almonds
SACRAMENTO — It’s almond blossom time in California. Not only does this season bring beautiful flowers to the state, but it also brings bees. Lots of bees.
“It’s really important that we protect bees,” said Louie Mendoza, Agricultural Commissioner in Northern California’s Butte County. “Bees are so important to the farmers in our state and for producing foods we love – like almonds.”
Protecting bees continues to be the focus of California laws to prevent bees from being accidentally sprayed with pesticides as they work to pollinate California’s fruit, nut and vegetable crops.
California has the most stringent pesticide laws and regulations in the world and its system of county agriculture commissioners plays a huge role. The job of ag commissioners, like Mendoza, is to . . .
To continue reading: https://www.morningagclips.com/beewhere-gis-tech-works-to-protect-bees-almonds/
Fewer butterflies and a different composition of bees, wasps and hoverflies on recently burned compared to unburned clear-cuts, regardless of burn severity
Victor Johansson, Lena Gustafsson, Petter Andersson, Kristoffer Hylander
Insect pollinators are declining, which often is related to intensified agriculture. Less focus has been on the effect of forestry. In many boreal forests, clear-cutting has replaced fire as the main disturbance agent, which has been negative for many species. Therefore, prescribed burning is performed, often on clear-cuts. Knowledge on the effect of fire on pollinators is, however, scarce. We sampled . . .
To continue reading: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112720301766
Adaptive evolution of honeybee dance dialects
Patrick L. Kohl, Neethu Thulasi, Benjamin Rutschmann, Ebi A. George, Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter and Axel Brockmann
Efficient communication is highly important for the evolutionary success of social animals. Honeybees (genus Apis) are unique in that they communicate the spatial information of resources using a symbolic ‘language’, the waggle dance. Different honeybee species differ in foraging ecology but it remains unknown whether this shaped variation in the dance. We studied distance dialects—interspecific differences in how waggle duration relates to flight distance—and tested the hypothesis that these evolved to maximize communication precision over the bees’ foraging ranges. We performed feeder experiments with . . .
To continue reading: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2020.0190
Octopamine mobilizes lipids from honey bee (Apis mellifera) hypopharyngeal glands
Vanessa Corby-Harris, Megan E. Deeter, Lucy Snyder, Charlotte Meador, Ashley C. Welchert, Amelia Hoffman, Bethany T. Obernesser
Journal of Experimental Biology 2020 : jeb.216135 doi: 10.1242/jeb.216135 Published 5 March 2020
Recent widespread honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony loss is attributed to a variety of stressors including parasites, pathogens, pesticides, and poor nutrition. In principle, we can reduce stress-induced declines in colony health by either removing the stressor or increasing the bees’ tolerance to the stressor. This latter option requires a better understanding than we currently have of how honey bees respond to stress. Here, we investigated how octopamine (OA), a stress-induced hormone that mediates invertebrate physiology and behavior, influences the health of young nurse-aged bees. Specifically, we asked whether . . .
To continue reading: https://jeb.biologists.org/content/early/2020/03/04/jeb.216135?download=true
Healthy bees are crucial to Central Valley almond production
California’s almond bloom is on full display. As one of nature’s most fascinating pollination events, this often attracts attention from around the globe. As CEO of the world’s leading almond grower cooperative, I would like to highlight the crucial relationship between almond growers and our key partners in production: honey bees.
The future of our member-growers, the vast majority of whom are multi-generational family farmers, and the vitality of their orchards depend on a healthy pollinator population. We work . . .
To continue reading: https://www.modbee.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article240634212.html
USDA Raises Stakes with $70 Million to Protect Plants
Posted by Paul Rusnak
In farming, having crop protection is priceless. This in a world where the constant battle against pests and disease can add up quickly. USDA has announced it’s allocating almost $70 million to support 386 projects under the Plant Protection Act’s Section 7721 program to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, and threat mitigation. . . .
Flower faithful native bee makes a reliable pollinator
Entomologists at UC Riverside have documented that a species of native sweat bee widespread throughout North and South America has a daily routine that makes it a promising pollinator.
Because the bee can thrive in environments that have been highly modified by humans, such as cities and agricultural areas, it could become a suitable supplement to honeybees, which are expensive for farmers to rent and threatened by pesticides and climate change.
Sweat bees are not as famous as . . .
Xerces Expands Pollinator Conservation Efforts in New Mexico
The desert Southwest is one of the most species-rich areas of North America for bees and other pollinators. Over 1,000 species of bees—more than a quarter of the 3,600 species native to the United States and Canada—make their homes in New Mexico alone. Xerces is expanding efforts to build and sustain healthy, diverse populations of native pollinators in this critical region.
In general, bee populations are . . .
To continue reading: https://xerces.org/blog/pollinator-team-digest/feb-2020
How state-mandated pollinator plots support native bee populations
Bees—both honey bees and less famous native bees—are critical for agriculture, especially for pollinating fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and veggies make up 6.3% of North Carolina’s farm cash receipts, including $66 million in . . .
To continue reading: https://phys.org/news/2020-02-state-mandated-pollinator-plots-native-bee.html
To Bee, Or Not To Bee, A Question For Almond Growers
Pollination by bees is vital even when crops are assumed to be pollinator independent. That’s according to a study co-authored by Ethel Villalobos, a researcher in the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences and lead of the UH Honeybee Project.
In a paper published in the February issue of Nature Scientific Reports . . .
To continue reading: https://scienceblog.com/514559/to-bee-or-not-to-bee-a-question-for-almond-growers/
The physics of swarm behaviour
The locusts have no king, and yet they all go forth in ranks, noted King Solomon some three thousand years ago. That a multitude of simple creatures could display coherent collective behavior without any leader caused his surprise and amazement, and it has continued to do so for much of our thinking over the following millennia. Caesar’s legions
FROM CATCH THE BUZZ:
- Bees Protect Crops in Africa from Elephants
Keeping Wild Elephants Away From Crops … with Buzzing Bees By: Darunee Sukanan Wildlife Elephants are the largest land mammals on Earth and they are… Read on » 2. BIP Sentinel Apiary Program 2020 Sign Up
Sentinel Apiary Program 2019 Wrap-Up and 2020 Sign-Up Last year, 2019, marked our fifth (fifth?!) year of the Sentinel Apiary Program. It was another… Read on » 3. Millions of Bee Deaths Threaten Australia’s Almond Harvest
Millions of Bee Deaths Threaten Australia’s Almond Harvest Bloomberg Ainslie Chandler (Bloomberg) — For a fresh perspective on the stories that matter for Australian business… Read on » 4. Commercial Beekeeping, Its Not About Honey
Commercial Beekeeping turns to Agriculture as Major Revenue Stream. The beekeeping industry, which is integral to agriculture production, is undergoing some significant developments. Bees… Read on » 5. Strawberries and Honey Bees
Dance of the Honey Bee Reveals Fondness for Strawberries By: University of Göttingen The research team established small honey bee colonies at eleven locations next… Read on » 6. Florida Master Beekeeper Program Online
University of Florida Opens Online Version of Master Beekeeper Apprenticeship Program By: Samantha N. Olson We’ve all heard of the plight and decline of global… Read on » 7. USDA Honey Bee Research Focus
New USDA Honey Bee Research Facility to Focus on Pollinator Health The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) recently held a… Read on » 8. Eva Crane, the Ultimate Beekeeper
Science History: Eva Crane, the Ultimate Beekeeper Nuclear physicist found her calling in Apiology. Eva Crane being offered grapes while visiting Sukhumi State farm… Read on » ❀ FROM ABJ EXTRA:
- New ‘Feed Your Mind’ Initiative Launches to Increase Consumer Understanding of Genetically Engineered Foods
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, today launched a new initiative to help consumers better understand foods created through genetic engineering, commonly called GMOs or genetically modified organisms.
The initiative, “Feed Your Mind,” aims to answer the most common questions that consumers have about GMOs, including . . . To continue reading: https://mailchi.mp/dadant.com/abj-extra-march-5-2020-new-feed-your-mind-initiative-launches-to-increase-consumer-understanding-of-genetically-engineered-foods?e=d476a0d684 2. USDA Announces Updates for Honeybee Producers
WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2020 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced updates to the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP). These updates include changes required by the 2018 Farm Bill as well as discretionary changes intended to improve the administration of the program and clarify existing program requirements.
“Honeybee producers should pay close attention to the ELAP program changes to ensure they meet the new deadline requirements,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “These changes better align . . . To continue reading: https://mailchi.mp/dadant.com/abj-extra-february-26-2020-usda-announces-updates-for-honeybee-producers?e=d476a0d684