Recent news, resources, and upcoming events -Items of potential interest 24 August 2019
Rosanna Mattingly Editor, Western Apicultural Society Journal Editor, The Bee Line, Oregon State Beekeepers Association
IN THIS ISSUE . . .
Surprise: Bees Need Meat
Ask an entomologist what makes a bee a bee, and you’ll likely get some version of “bees are just wasps that went vegetarian.” New research shows that isn’t true. Bees are actually omnivores, and their meat is . . .
To continue reading: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/surprise-bees-need-meat/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sciences&utm_content=link&utm_term=2019-08-23_top-stories&spMailingID=60203334&spUserID=Njc1NTA5MjI1ODkS1&spJobID=1702874546&spReportId=MTcwMjg3NDU0NgS2
Omnivory in Bees: Elevated Trophic Positions among All Major Bee Families
Shawn A. Steffan et al.
Of the more than 20,000 bee species on Earth, virtually all are widely considered to be strict herbivores (Loper et al. 1980; Standifer et al. 1980; Vaudo et al. 2015), with the rare exception of highly specialized stingless bees that feed exclusively on carrion (Gilliam et al. 1985; Camargo and Roubik 1991) or fungi (Menezes et al. 2015). Adult bees are known to consume large amounts of nectar as a source of carbohydrates, while larval bees consume much more pollen than nectar during their development (Danforth 2007). Importantly, within bee-collected pollen provisions there are diverse and abundant microbial communities that not only play roles in pollen processing and preservation (Gilliam 1997; Martinson et al. 2011; Mattila et al. 2012; Corby-Harris et al. 2014; McFrederick et al. 2014, 2017; McFrederick and Rehan 2016; Graystock et al. 2017; Steffan et al. 2017b ) but also may serve as significant . . .
To continue reading: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/704281
EPA sued for allowing use of pesticide harmful to bees
An environmental group is suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its decision to expand use of a pesticide the agency considers toxic to bees.
In July the EPA said it would allow sulfoxaflor to be used in ways barred during the Obama administration as well as on new crops where the pesticide had not been used before.
“Even for Trump’s EPA, which seems to measure success by pesticide-company profits, it’s stupefying to OK spraying a bee-killing poison across millions of acres of crops frequented by bees,” Lori Ann Burd, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s environmental health program, said in a statement. “While leading scientists and countries across the globe are calling for eliminating harmful bee-killing pesticides like sulfoxaflor, Team Trump is cheerfully promoting its use like a corporate PR firm. It’s nauseating.”
Burd said the pesticide will harm not just bees and butterflies but also plants that rely on them for pollination.
The EPA would not comment on the lawsuit but said . . .
EPA Inspector General Report Finds the Agency Falling Short
(Beyond Pesticides, August 23, 2019) The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a report criticizing EPA’s oversight of states’ Managed Pollinator Protection Plans (MP3s). OIG conducted an audit, on which the report is based, to evaluate agency performance in overseeing MP3s, voluntary plans adopted at the state level with the goal to “reduce pesticide exposure to pollinators (generally, honey bees managed and contracted out to growers for pollination services) through timely communication and coordination among key stakeholders.”
The report’s findings include . . .
Scientists Use Honey And Wild Salmon To Trace Industrial Metals In The Environment
Scientists have combined analyses from honey and salmon to show how lead from natural and industrial sources gets distributed throughout the environment. By analysing the relative presence of differing lead isotopes in honey and Pacific salmon, Vancouver-based scientists have been able to trace the sources of lead (and other metals) throughout the region. Scientists in France, Belgium and Italy are now looking to apply the same approach to measure pollutants in honey in major European cities. The research* is being presented at the Goldschmidt conference in Barcelona.
Scientists have long known that honey bees pick up small amounts of metal elements (i.e., iron, zinc, and pollutants such as lead, and cadmium) when they alight on flowers and leaves. They carry these metals back to the hive where tiny amounts are incorporated into the honey. However, this is the first time researchers have been able to . . .
High-tech pollination program begins work in sunflower fields
“Bees pollinate, but they don’t know where,” explains Kate Lyall, who owns and operates Australian agriculture technology company Bee Innovative with her husband, David.
Bee Innovative believes it may have an answer that could increase profitability for farmers and make better use of a dwindling resource — honeybees.
According to the Bee Informed Partnership, 37.7% of managed honeybee colonies were lost during the 2018-19 winter — the highest level since the partnership began surveying winter loss after the winter of 2006-07. While problems with colony collapse disorder — when the majority of worker bees leave a colony — have lessened to an extent in recent years, concerns about overall bee health continue.
Those concerns have led researchers to consider whether technology can play a part in pollination. For some researchers, that means looking into whether technology can replace bees. Harvard researchers have created RoboBees, insect-sized flying robots, and about a year ago, they found ways for the robots to fly untethered from power supplies. Numerous researchers are seeking ways to use tiny drones for means of artificial pollination. Walmart filed a patent for a system for “pollinating crops by unmanned vehicles.”
But in North Dakota — annually the No. 1 or No. 2 honey producing state in the country — researchers aren’t trying to use technology to replace pollinators. They’re trying to use technology to make honeybees more efficient.
“I think this is a better option because . . .
Sentinel Apiary Monthly Memo: August Issue
We’re back again with another monthly update from the Sentinel Apiary Program! Let’s take a look at what’s been going on with mites, drones, honey, and more over the past month.
Throughout the month of July, Sentinel participants submitted 378 samples from 71 apiaries across 27 states! July finally showed us a big increase in mite loads, with the average Sentinel apiary now at . . .
To continue reading: https://beeinformed.org/2019/08/21/sentinel-apiary-monthly-memo-august-issue/
Alternatives to Chlorpyrifos Work Group announced
SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Pesticide Regulation and California Department of Food and Agriculture today announced the members of a new, cross-sector working group created to identify, evaluate and recommend safer, sustainable pest management solutions that can replace the pesticide chlorpyrifos.
The Alternatives to Chlorpyrifos Work Group includes leaders and experts from a wide cross section of interests . . .
To continue reading: https://www.morningagclips.com/alternatives-to-chlorpyrifos-work-group-announced/
New Guide Helps You Choose Best Plants for Attracting Pollinators
Michigan State University (MSU) entomologist David Smitley is leading a multistate collaboration to update an online publication offering tips on how best to protect pollinators in urban landscapes, including proper plant selection.
“Protecting and Enhancing Pollinators in Urban Landscapes for the U.S. North Central Region,” which is available for download, encourages planting of trees, shrubs, plants, and flowers that research has shown are highly attractive to pollinators. . . .
The Biggest Threats to Bees in America
In 2007, the United States was presented with a frightening fact: managed honey bee populations were dying off at an alarming rate, raising the specter of a future compromised by crop failures and food shortages. The headlines have faded, but the crisis endures, with honey bee colonies failing at an average rate of 29% each year since 2006. Last year was one of the worst years on record . . .
NEW FILM DEMONSTRATES INNOVATIVE POLLINATOR PROTECTION STRATEGY
Deutsche Welle, Germany’s public international broadcaster, has produced a film on a new ICARDA strategy to reverse Morocco’s declining population of pollinators, harnessing their benefits for smallholder farmers and agricultural production systems. The strategy—Farming with Alternative Pollinators (FAP)—was developed by ICARDA scientist Stefanie Christmann who is now leading its implementation.
Pollinators are critical to global food production: more than . . .
7 compact plants perfect for small pollinator gardens
Gardens can be really beautiful places, full of color and interest, that bring peace and joy to those who tend and visit them. But, gardens can also serve purposes far beyond their beauty.
Gardens can foster and support pollinators and other insects, increase local biodiversity and provide food and shelter for many species of mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds. Selecting plants and planning a garden that benefits non-human creatures too is of increasing importance as natural habitat disappears.
The shortage of pollinating insects in many regions, especially urban locations, has many ramifications . . .
Characterization of the olfactory system of the giant honey bee, Apis dorsata
Sandhya Mogily et al.
Apis dorsata is an open-nesting, undomesticated, giant honey bee found in southern Asia. We characterized a number of aspects of olfactory system of Apis dorsata and compared it with the well-characterized, western honeybee, Apis mellifera, a domesticated, cavity-nesting species. A. dorsata differs from A. mellifera in . . .
To continue reading: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00441-019-03078-8
Half a billion dead honey bees in Brazil show what happens when you roll back pesticide regulations
Insecticides kill insects.
It should be no surprise, then, that in Brazil, which has seen a 27% increase in pesticide sales since last year, roughly 500 million honey bees were found dead in piles across four states in early spring. The country’s pesticide use has grown by 770% between 1990 to 2016, as reported by Bloomberg.
Insecticides like . . .
Roadsides Are Refuges for Declining Pollinators Jason Daley
Recent studies have shown that insect numbers across the globe are plummeting. All sorts of pollinators, including bumblebees, hoverflies, beetles, butterflies, and moths are also in decline. There are many steps that need to be taken to save beneficial bugs, but one of the easiest is taking care of the millions of acres of right-of-way that line highways and roads.
While that might seem like just a drop in the bucket when it comes to land conservation, those roadsides add up to . . .
Would Humans Starve Without Bees?
The buzz of bees is the soundtrack of summer and spring, like the hum of a lawnmower or the soothing cadence of a sprinkler. Bees zip by your ear, hover over food at picnics, and they can sting, sometimes with lethal results.
Bees can be annoying, like a neighbor who plays music at high volume. But these insects are also . . .
To continue reading: https://247wallst.com/special-report/2019/08/09/would-humans-starve-without-bees/
BHSU named a Bee Campus USA
SPEARFISH — Black Hills State University was recently certified as a Bee Campus USA in commitment to creating sustainable habitats for pollinators. BHSU joins more than 150 Bee Cities and Bee Campuses across the country.
Eva Chase, sustainability coordinator at BHSU, said the university applied. . .
Success raising honey bees in Southeast Alaska
This is Chet Hugo’s first year raising bees at his Ketchikan home. Hugo says he’s been studying beekeeping for over two-and-a-half years and is having success with his first hive. He says the biggest difficulty with beekeeping in Southeast is the rain.
“One of the challenges is when you do a hive inspection and . . .
To continue reading: https://www.krbd.org/2019/08/22/success-raising-honey-bees-in-southeast-alaska/
5 tips for mitigating the honey bee crisis—and urban bee keeping is not the answer
Chef Jen Monroe has been thinking about honey bees for a long time. So when Caroline Maxwell, the artistic director behind Wild Dogs International, approached her about collaborating on The Salon, “an intimate series that explores environmental concerns through a cross-disciplinary lens,” she immediately jumped at the chance to conceptualize a menu. Her goal was to . . .
❀ FROM CATCH THE BUZZ:
- Climate Change Cachets
European researchers say global warming is promoting the invasion of the honey bee pest small hive beetle (SHB). The study by Wageningen University in… Read on » 2. Three Today!
Drones Applying Pesticides are Cheaper Than Conventional Spray Techniques Winter Losses of British Honey Bees Were the Lowest Rate Since the BBA Started Counting… Read on » 3. THREE TODAY!
Movement of Pesticides into Flowers, Nectar and Pollen Patterns of Pesticide Use Affect Pollinators Beekeeping Business Uses Every Bit of the Bees, the Land… Read on » 4. THREE TODAY!
Honeydew Exposes Beneficial Insects To Deadly Insecticides. Adjuvants Not As Benign As Previously Thought Verges Provide A Vital Refuge For Pollinators According to a… Read on » 5. TWO TODAY!
- Funding Available Monarchs and Pollinators, and… Ashley Langreck AgriNews Publications • What Makes Areas Near a Tree Inhospitable for the Survival of its… Read on » 6. USDA Proposes to Close SNAP Automatic Eligibility Loophole
WASHINGTON, July 23, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today proposed closing a loophole that allows states to make participants receiving minimal… Read on » 7. Climate Change Cachets
Beekeepers in Spain moved more than one million Iberian black bees 3,940 feet above sea level to protect them from climate change and pesticides…. Read on » 8. Climate Change Cachets
The Virginia-based Conservation International organization says climate change is making life harder for bees. It says global warming is causing habitat loss as bees… Read on » 9. Agriculture’s Increasing Dependence on Pollination, Coupled with a Lack of Crop Diversity, May Threaten Food Security and Stability
Alan Harman New research suggests global trends in farming practices are undermining the pollinators that crops depend on and putting agricultural productivity and stability… Read on » ❀ FROM ABJ EXTRA:
- Microbes on the Menu for Bee Larvae Jan Suszkiw MADISON, WISCONSIN, August 20, 2019—Bees only feast on nectar and pollen, right? Wrong. Turns out, Nature’s famously busy insect isn’t strictly vegan, after all. Reporting online in this month’s American Naturalist,a team of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and university scientists has shown that bee larvae (brood) have a taste for . . . To continue reading: https://mailchi.mp/dadant.com/abj-extra-august-20-2019-microbes-on-the-menu-for-bee-larvae?e=d476a0d684 2. Legacy of Robbin Thorp: Franklin’s Bumble Bee Proposed as Endangered Species
DAVIS–The late Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis, and a global authority on bees, worked tirelessly to try to include Franklin’s bumble bee (Bombus franklini) as an endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). In fact, he and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on June 23, 2010 to include the bumble bee on the proposed list. Today (Aug. 14) the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed . . . To continue reading: https://mailchi.mp/dadant.com/abj-extra-august-15-2019-legacy-of-robbin-thorp-franklins-bumble-bee-proposed-as-endangered-species?e=d476a0d684 ❀
- Subject:Vacancy Announcement – Biological Science Laboratory Technician (GS-0404-07 PFT) Appt. Baton Rouge, LA
Below is the link to the vacancy announcement for an Biological Science Laboratory Technician position (GS-7) FPL GS-9 for the USDA, ARS Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Research Unit, Baton Rouge, LA.
Announcement Open & Closing dates 08/13/2019-08/26/2019
Biological Science Laboratory Technician