EPA Nominee,Neonics; Pesticide Policy Map; Goulson; Center for Pollinator Research; HBHC Varroa Videos

Pollinator News Dec. 9, 2016

Catch Up on Your Reading

December is the month beekeepers catch up on their reading.  This issue of the Pollinator News is no exception.  We share current research on neonicotinoids, a Dave Goulson talk, information on pesticide laws across the USA, HBHC Unveils Varroa Videos, and more.  Select links to stories, research, and more just keep reading below.

 However, remember to finish your holiday shopping for the beekeeper in your life, and those pollinators that helped to create a delicious holiday dinner.   Shop for those beekeeper gifts at businesses that support beekeepers and pollinators:  Ohio Prairie Nursery , bbbseeds , and Red-Headed Honey !!

EPA Nominee

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is the nominee for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the next administration. Mr. Pruitt has served as Attorney General for Oklahoma since 2011. You can read more about this nominee at the following links:

Business Insider
New York Times
Ag Web- Farm Journal 
News Xfoor
Washington Post
Time via Yahoo News





Neonicotinoids: Systemic Insecticides and Systematic Failure

As we celebrate 50 years of publication of the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (BECT), we are simultaneously discovering that the widespread adoption and use of neonicotinoid compounds originally considered to be environmentally benign can now potentially be considered to be an environmental catastrophe. Imidacloprid, the first generation neonicotinoid, was made commercially available by Bayer AG in 1994. This neurotoxin rapidly became extremely popular due to its high insecticidal activity at low application rate (0.3 mg/L). In 2004 alone, 131,394 pounds of imidacloprid-based formulations were applied for insecticidal purposes in the State of California (Fossen 2006). In 2016, imidacloprid was the most widely used neonicotinoid in the world (Mathiesen and Goldenberg 2016). The second generation of neonicotinoids (thiamethoxam) was introduced by Syngenta in 2000, and was quickly followed by a third generation of neonicotinoids (dinotefuran), made commercially available by Bayer AG in 2005.  READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00128-016-1968-3


Health Canada proposes ban of controversial neonicotinoid pesticide

Current use of imidacloprid is ‘not sustainable’ says Health Canada in draft risk assessment on the pesticide Health Canada is proposing a ban on almost all uses of a controversial neonicotinoid pesticide called imidacloprid, saying it is seeping into Canadian waterways at levels that can harm insects and the ecosystem.  READ MORE at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/health-canada-imidacloprid-neonicotinoid-1.3864450



Widely Used Pesticides Are Causing Huge Spider Mite Outbreaks

Texas A&M University agricultural entomologist Ada Szczepaniec,  wondered, “would neonicotinoid pesticides such as clothianidin and imidacloprid—which can kill a wide variety of insects—cause a boom in spider mites?”   “ . . . when applied to soybeans, the neonic imidacloprid altered the activity of more than 600 genes involved in the production of cell walls and defense against pests. The activity of most of these genes was reduced.  . . . that reduced activity leads to more penetrable leaves and lower levels of hormones involved in pest resistance.  . . .Other researchers have made similar findings, showing that the use of neonics can lead to spider mite outbreaks in apple trees, elms and hemlock; ornamentals such as roses; and agricultural staples like soybeans. And a study in the Journal of Economic Entomology by Washington State University researchers found that spider mites laid more eggs when exposed to imidacloprid-treated bean plants.”  Read the full article at http://www.newsweek.com/2016/11/11/neonicotinoid-pesticides-alter-plant-genetics-prompt-spider-mite-outbreaks-515965.html


New Report Confirms Bee-Killing Pesticides Cause Other Widespread Environmental Harm

Economic analysis also reveals neonicotinoids do not increase crop yields

A new report released by Center for Food Safety (CFS), Net Loss—Economic Efficacy and Costs of Neonicotinoid Insecticides Used as Seed Coatings: Updates from the United States and Europe, shows that the economic and environmental losses associated with widespread overuse of certain pesticide seed coatings greatly outweigh potential gains. The report is an update to CFS’s 2013 report Heavy Costs. It examines the “gross overuse” of neonicotinoids, or “neonics”, as prophylactic insecticidal seed coatings, which have long been recognized as causing both acute honey bee kills and chronic long-term damages to colonies and to beekeeper livelihoods. The report comes in advance of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) completion of its registration reviews for several neonicotinoid chemicals, during which time the agency will release new risk assessments and decide whether to cancel or modify current uses of the chemicals.  READ MORE HERE



Neonicotinoids in California’s Surface Waters
A Preliminary Review of Potential Risk to Aquatic Invertebrates

This white paper reviews current research on the effects of nitroguanidine neonicotinoids on aquatic invertebrates and compares the toxicological endpoints identified in those studies with California’s surface water monitoring data. Since the most aquatic toxicology and monitoring data is available for imidacloprid, our analysis focuses on this compound but also raises questions about the other nitroguanidine neonicotinoids. Sampling results show that imidacloprid contamination is widespread and often detected at levels that can cause harm to foundational invertebrate species. From our initial review, it appears that the current aquatic life benchmarks for imidacloprid are under-protective. We are concerned that the levels of imidacloprid currently found in California’s waters could harm aquatic species and potentially cause cascading effects up the food chain.  READ MORE HERE




This report provides a critical assessment of the full range of issues facing decision-makers, including the value of pollination and pollinators, status, trends and threats to pollinators and pollination, and policy and management response options. It concludes that pollinators, which are economically and socially important, are increasingly under threat from human activities, including climate change, with observed decreases in the abundance and diversity of wild pollinators. However, the report also outlines a wide range of management and response options that are available to halt the further decline of pollinators. The assessment concludes that 75% of our food crops and nearly 90% of wild flowering plants depend at least to some extent on animal pollination and that a high diversity of wild pollinators is critical to pollination even when managed bees are present in high numbers. READ THE SUMMARY REPORT HERE


Local Pesticide Policy Reform Mapping Tool Launched

“Meaningful change often starts at the local level, when concerned citizens, consumers and grassroots organizations join with elected officials and policymakers to protect health and the environment,” said Patrick Kerrigan, OCA’s retail coordinator. “This new tool will allow consumers, activists and policymakers to replicate or adapt policies that have already been successfully implemented in other communities. This will move policymaking forward faster and more efficiently, across the entire country.”

The Map of Local Pesticide Reform Policies provides the public and local leaders with the names and locations of localities that have passed policies, the type of policy passed, a short description of the scope of the policy, and a link to view the entire text.


Bumblebees Their Ecology and Conservation

While this lecture is from 2015, it is available on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.  This lecture was given by Dr. Dave Goulson at the 2015 National Honey Show entitled “Bumblebees Their Ecology and Conservation.”  View this highly informative lecture at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTnEW-wEf5M


White Clover For Honey Bees

“White Clover for Honey Bees,”  a book by Grandma Jo, encourages restoring clover to lawns in order to help feed pollinators. Lawns with just grass are food deserts for pollinators. Gradma Jo says,  “It’s very easy to overseed an existing lawn with Dutch white clover (Trifolium repens). I just broadcast it by hand over the grass. If the lawn has been previously treated with chemicals, it helps to aerate, then use clover that has been inoculated with rhisobium bacteria. Plant in spring or fall, when it’s cool and wet. If you want to plant in summer, make sure you water for the first 2 weeks. Once established, clover lawns are drought, traffic and pet urine resistant. Clover stays perennially green and you never need to fertilize or aerate.”  Learn More Here





Spray Toxicity and Risk Potential of 42 Commonly Used Formulations of Row Crop Pesticides to Adult Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) READ THE ABSTRACT

Gene Expression Profiles in Japanese Pine Sawyer, Monochamus alternatus Exposed to a Sublethal Dose of Imidacloprid

Snowmelt transport of neonicotinoid insecticides to Canadian Prairie wetlands

Post-exposure temperature influence on the toxicity of conventional and new chemistry insecticides to green lacewing Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae)



Center for Poll Research at Penn StateResearch Abstracts Presented at the International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health, & Policy

Managing farms and landscapes for both biological control and pollination services

Impacts of land use in the Northern Great Plains on beekeeper habitat selection and honey bee health

Understanding the Relationship Between Genes and Social Behavior: Lessons from the Honey Bee

“Tracking parasites, pathogens, and disease in pollinators: the potential and pitfalls of molecular approaches”

Honey Bee Parasitic Mite (Varroa destructor) Feeds On Fat Body Rather Than Just Hemolymph


We are a member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition

Empowering Beekeepers To Make Data Driven Management Decisions

The best beekeepers keep the best bees. Declining honey bee health does not have a single cause or a single solution, but putting the best tools, techniques, and technologies in the hands of the people on the front lines – the beekeepers – has made a huge impact.  Bee Tech Teams are made up of trained experts who work directly with commercial beekeepers to provide them with these tools, techniques, and technologies.  Commercial beekeepers that work with Tech Teams lose significantly fewer colonies than those who do not. Participation in Tech Teams can reduce losses by as much as 30%. Bee Informed Partnership (BIP), a fellow Honey Bee Health Coalition member is raising funds to support and expand their Tech Transfer Team program.  You can learn more about the campaign and Bee Tech Teams here.

Tools for Honey Bee Health
    Tools for Varroa Management   HBHC Logo-Revised jpg-small
    Quick Guide to Reporting A Bee Kill 
    Beekeeper Guide 
    Grower Guide 
    Bee Healthy Roadmap
The Bee Understanding Project


Honey Bee Health Coalition Unveils Videos to Help Beekeepers Combat Varroa

Videos Complement Coalition’s Tools for Varroa Management Guide, Provides Step-By-Step Demonstrations of Utilizing an Integrated Pest Management Strategy of Monitoring and Treatment

The Honey Bee Health Coalition released a series of videos today to help beekeepers promote colony health and combat costly and destructive Varroa mite (Varroa destructor) infestations. The videos, which provide detailed step-by-step instructions, complement the Coalition’s wildly popular Tools for Varroa Management Guide.  READ MORE HERE



Gifts for Beekeepers

Products made by beekeepers and their honey bees, and natural food sources for your honey bees and native pollinators support beekeepers, honey bees, and the work of the Pollinator Stewardship Council. For a unique gift for the holidays, shop with and for bees!

Red-Headed Honey Supports Our Work

red-headed-honey-logoNow through January 3rd  Red-Headed Honey is featuring their Pollinator Protection Honey Balm Bar.  This 2 ounce body bar retails for $15.00 with 10% of each sale a donation to support the work of Pollinator Stewardship Council.  This 2 oz. body moisturizing bar, contains natural pollinator inspired ingredients. Follow this link to learn more about Red-Headed Honey .

This holiday season give the gift of a Pollinator Protection Honey Balm Bar, and Red-Headed Honey will give a donation in support of the work of the Pollinator Stewardship Council !


Seeds for honey bees EAST of the Mississippi!

OPN pic for PSc websitePlant pollinator forage for your bees. Pollinator Stewardship Council has partnered with Ohio Prairie Nursery in support of pollinator habitat.  You can get native seeds for the eastern U.S. planting zones here.  Select “Support our Cause”  to view featured seed selections to benefit pollinators.  A portion of sales generated from our website will help support our work.


Seeds for honey bees WEST of the Mississippi

To increase plant biodiversity, improve gardens yields, and make a positive difference for the future, plant for pollinators WEST of the Mississippi with bbbseed.  The Plant for Pollinators Project, developed by bbbseed, offers a discount on their pollinator mixes. Go to their website, find and enter the discount code, and Plant For Pollinators!

BBB Seed Plant for Pollinators Proj logo


Bring Us To Your State

The Pollinator Stewardship Council is available to speak at your State Beekeeping Association Conference, Beekeeping School, local bee club, and community group.  In 2013 and 2014, the Program Director gave presentations at eleven events; during 2015 at thirty events; and during 2016 the Program Director gave presentations at thirty-four events across the US, and Canada!  Bring the Pollinator Stewardship Council to your group for 2017. The speaker’s honorarium is just $100 for one or two presentations across a one or two day conference, plus travel expenses.  The Program Director works from Ohio and will drive within a ten hour radius: beyond that radius airplane travel will be required.

•    State Pollinator Protection Plans: What Beekeepers Need to Know
•    Understanding the Pollinator Crisis and How You Can Help
•    Pollinator Stewardship Council Collaborations: Education, Advocacy, Action  
•    Migratory beekeeping: why keeping them alive is so difficult.
•    Pesticides wintering in your hives
•    Mosquito Abatement Programs Can Damage Honey Bees and Native Pollinators
•    Creating your own pesticide-free pollinator habitat
•    Pesticide risk assessment, label, and enforcement
•    Should you become a nonprofit beekeeping club?
•    Fundraising for Bee Clubs
•    How Beekeepers Can Take Action for Local, State, and National Beekeeping Issues

For information and to schedule a presentation contact Michele Colopy, Program Director, progdirector@pollinatorstewardship.org or call 832-727-9492.




Become a member!
Go online today and let’s work together 


Pollinator Stewardship Council
1624 Idlewood Ave., Akron, OH 44313
832-727-9492              www.pollinatorstewardship.org

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We are member supported!  The Pollinator Stewardship Council is a nonprofit organization; donations are tax deductible.





Beekeepers Working for Beekeepers

The Board and Program Director are all beekeepers.   
We work to:

•    Raise awareness about the adverse impact of pesticides on pollinators critical to the supply of food and the ecosystem.

•    Provide advocacy, guidance, and tools to document the detrimental effect of pesticides on pollinators.

•    Affect regulatory processes of pesticide risk assessment, label, and enforcement.