Pollinator News Sept. 29, 2017
It is the mites because . . .
“But even if the varroa mite problem were solved today, this would not by itself solve all of the problems facing honey bees and beekeepers,” Dr. Jeff Pettis, Research Leader USDA -Agricultural Research Service
The latest research on mites, and another avenue to control them is welcomed. However, the recent research and surveys and the current “Mite-A-thon” obfuscates the real cause of the bee health crisis: their toxic environment.
The focus on varroa mites, as the sole pest to honey bees, detracts from a primary factor affecting the health of honey bees: pesticides. The varroa mite has been in the USA since the mid-1980’s. Beginning in 2005 bees started dying in unprecedented numbers. As the cause had not yet been identified, it was called “colony collapse disorder (CCD).” While many researchers have correlated the ecosystem accumulation of systemic and conventional pesticides with abnormal bee mortality, too many continue to discount bee toxic pesticides, including those pesticides clearly defined as “bee toxic.” But in this bee health crisis “There is relatively little incentive for university entomologists to consider complex real-world issues such as the cumulative effects of toxic synergies that involve low doses of neonicotinoids, the way beekeepers might.” READ MORE
The great nutrient collapse: The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse. And almost nobody is paying attention.
(from Pollitico.com) By Helene Bottemiller Evich 9-13-17
Excerpt: Ziska devised an experiment that eliminated the complicating factor of plant breeding: He decided to look at bee food.
Goldenrod, a wildflower many consider a weed, is extremely important to bees. It flowers late in the season, and its pollen provides an important source of protein for bees as they head into the harshness of winter. Since goldenrod is wild and humans haven’t bred it into new strains, it hasn’t changed over time as much as, say, corn or wheat. And the Smithsonian Institution also happens to have hundreds of samples of goldenrod, dating back to 1842, in its massive historical archive—which gave Ziska and his colleagues a chance to figure out how one plant has changed over time.
They found that the protein content of goldenrod pollen has declined by a third since the industrial revolution—and the change closely tracks with the rise in CO2. Scientists have been trying to figure out why bee populations around the world have been in decline, which threatens many crops that rely on bees for pollination. Ziska’s paper suggested that a decline in protein prior to winter could be an additional factor making it hard for bees to survive other stressors.
Court of Appeal Rejects California’s Approval of Bee-Killing Pesticides
San Francisco, CA — The First District California Court of Appeal issued an opinion Tuesday in a lawsuit challenging a California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) decision to approve additional uses for two bee-killing pesticides without disclosing the impact on honeybees.
Pesticide Action Network, Center for Food Safety, and Beyond Pesticides, represented by Earthjustice, filed the underlying lawsuit in 2014, seeking to halt DPR’s practice of approving ever more uses for neonicotinoid pesticides pending completion of the agency’s languishing scientific review of the evidence linking agricultural use of neonicotinoids to a global honeybee die-off. DPR began its scientific review in early 2009 after it received evidence that neonicotinoids are killing bees, but DPR has yet to complete its review or take meaningful action to protect bees. Instead, DPR has continued to allow increased use of neonicotinoids in California. READ MORE
Neonicotinoids act like endocrine disrupting chemicals in newly emerged bees and winter bees, Danica Baines, Emily Wilton, Abbe Pawluk, Michael de Gorter & Nora Chomistek, Published online Sept. 8, 2017
Accumulating evidence suggests that neonicotinoids may have long-term adverse effects on bee health, yet our understanding of how this could occur is incomplete. Pesticides can act as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in animals providing characteristic multiphasic dose-response curves and non-lethal endpoints in toxicity studies. However, it is not known if neonicotinoids act as EDCs in bees. To address this issue, we performed oral acute and chronic toxicity studies including concentrations recorded in nectar and pollen, applying acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam to bumble bees, honey bees and leafcutter bees, the three most common bee species managed for pollination. In acute toxicity studies, late-onset symptoms, such as ataxia, were recorded as non-lethal endpoints for all three bee species. Clothianidin and thiamethoxam produced biphasic dose-response curves for all three bee species. Clothianidin and thiamethoxam were extremely toxic to winter worker honey bees prior to brood production in spring, making this the most sensitive bee stage identified to date. Chronic exposure to field-realistic levels of neonicotinoids reduced bee survival and caused significant late-onset symptoms for all three bee species. Given these findings, neonicotinoid risk should be reevaluated to address the EDC-like behavior and the sensitivity of winter worker honey bees.
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Annual 2018 Convention & Trade Show
Our trade show is one of the largest beekeeping trade shows in the country and it’s a highlight for the convention attendees to come and meet new companies and see new products.
We will have conference sessions on new research and hot topics within the beekeeping industry such as legislative changes, new science information, honey trade & adulteration issues, and honey market & pollination reports. Our key note speaker is Dr. Michael Roberts, Executive Director of the Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy.
The group activity this year will be a Fiesta in Old Town San Diego! Don’t miss out on the fun!
Convention & Trade Show information and registration can be found on www.ahpanet.com
American Beekeeping Federation 2018 Conference and Trade Show
Celebrate the 75th Diamond Anniversary of the ABF at the 2018 American Beekeeping Federation Conference & Tradeshow, January 9-13, at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada. Discover the many facets of the ABF with four days of spectacular educational sessions, networking and fun.
-Hear from experts, trendsetters & influencers.
-Learn best practices.
-Shop a tradeshow full of the latest beekeeping innovations.
-Showcase your skills in the 2018 Honey Show.
-Have next-generation fun at the Kids and Bees program.
-Network with 900+ fellow beekeepers
75-YEARS STRONG! Make your plans today to join us in Reno for a brilliant conference and a celebration of the association’s 75 years of accomplishments. More information go to http://abfconference.com/
Seeds for honey bees EAST of the Mississippi!
Plant 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.
To increase plant biodiversity, improve gardens yields, and make a positive difference for the future, plant for pollinators WEST of the Mississippi with bbbseed. Go to their website, today and Plant For Pollinators!
Betterbee was at the Massachusetts Beekeepers Assn. Spring Meeting offering a variety of seed mixes for beekeepers to plant. You can find seven seed mix varieties at their website
Planting forage for our bees is important; and beekeepers can lead by example!
Pollinator Stewardship Council
1624 Idlewood Ave., Akron, OH 44313
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.