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THE Bees Thread (merged)

Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby yeahbut » Wed 01 May 2013, 01:24:21

Pops wrote:Neonics are some of the most widely used pesticides now, they are systemic so stay resident in the plant and don't need frequent reapplication - theoretically they go everywhere in the plant except the nectar and pollen. Sure.

I think the ban is a good thing, the problem is, unless they ban imports of product it's been used on, the burden will be born by their farmers who will be at a significant disadvantage economically. It may, probably does, kill bees but it kills damaging pests for sure and is safer to humans than the organophosphates they will be forced to go back to now.

I don't know what the answer is, will europeans just import the cheaper melons from somewhere else? That's what we'd do in the US - not that we've ever met a chemical we didn't like.


All good points...on the plus side for those countries leading the charge, I guess it's possible that if neonics really are responsible for a large part of CCD, then the no-neonics countries will have a very large competitive advantage indeed if CCD gets really bad. ie, they'll have pollinators and the other countries won't 8O
Time will tell...
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Wed 01 May 2013, 05:54:33

If the Neonic class of pesticides are the problem and they are absent from the pollen then where would the Bees be getting exposed? If Graeme's report is correct and High Fructose Corn Syrup is the source then that means everyone eating processed food in America is likely to be exposed to the same pesticides.
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Wed 01 May 2013, 06:07:39

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-29/e ... hs/4658964

The (newly banned in Europe) insecticides - imidacloprid and clothianidin and thiamethoxam - are used to treat seeds and are applied to soil or sprayed on bee-attractive plants and cereals.

In recent years, bee numbers have plummeted in the Middle East, Europe and the US by up to 85 per cent in some areas.

Supporters of the ban argue the pesticides are harmful to bees, which account for 80 per cent of plant pollination by insects.

What are Neonicotinoids?


• They are a class of neuro-active insecticides related to nicotine. The chemical poses a danger to both humans and insects.

• While they affect the central and peripheral nervous systems in mammals, they are limited to the central in insects. Low exposure cause nervous stimulation, high levels block the receptors causing paralysis and ultimately death.

• Pesticides made in this way are generally applied to the soil of a plant meaning they are ingested by the entire thing. As such the plant becomes completely poisonous with toxins present in the roots, leaves, stems and pollen.
Without the bees, many crops would be unable to bear fruit or would have to be pollinated by hand.

Eight nations including the United Kingdom voted against the plan, agreeing with chemical companies that the scientific data is insufficient or inconclusive, while four countries abstained.
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby yeahbut » Wed 01 May 2013, 15:41:26

Tanada wrote:If the Neonic class of pesticides are the problem and they are absent from the pollen then where would the Bees be getting exposed?


It seems fairly certain that they aren't absent. The concentrations at which neonicotinoids are found in pollen are much lower than the fatal dose, but they are of a level that affects memory, direction-finding, egg-laying and general productivity and hive health.

We carried out our investigations in 2011 and published them last year (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1215025). We exposed bumblebee nests to the concentrations of neonicotinoids found in the pollen and nectar of oilseed rape for two weeks, and then placed the nests out in the field to see how they fared compared with control nests. Over the next six weeks the treated nests grew more slowly, and ultimately produced 15 per cent as many new queens.

Since our study, work from other labs has confirmed that field-realistic doses greatly reduce pollen collection in bumblebee workers, potentially explaining why our treated nests performed poorly. It has also been found that concentrations of neonicotinoids as low as 1 part per billion in their food cause a drop in egg-laying in bumblebees of 30 per cent. Considerably higher concentrations than this have been found in the pollen of treated crops.

For bumblebees, the evidence so far is convincing and coherent: exposure to levels of neonicotinoids commonly found in crops profoundly damages colony success.


new scientist

The best read on this subject is probably Neonicotinoids in bees: a review on concentrations, side-effects and risk assessment, an overview of all research on this subject over the last 15 years. I've only just started in on that...
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 02 May 2013, 18:51:20

US report: Many causes for dramatic bee disappearance (Update)

A new U.S. report blames a combination of problems for a mysterious and dramatic disappearance of honeybees across the country since 2006.

The multiple causes make it harder to do something about what's called colony collapse disorder, experts say. The disorder has caused as much as one-third of the nation's bees to just disappear each winter since 2006.

Bees, especially honeybees, are needed to pollinate crops, and they are crucial to the U.S. food supply. About $30 billion a year in agriculture depends on their health, said Sonny Ramaswamy with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The problem has also hit bee colonies in Europe, where regulators are considering a ban on a type of pesticides that some environmental groups blame for the bee collapse.

The report, issued Thursday by the USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency, is the result of a large conference of scientists that the government brought together last year to figure out what's going on.

The factors cited for the bees' disappearance include a parasitic mite, multiple viruses, bacteria, poor nutrition, genetics, habitat loss and pesticides. The report said the biggest culprit is the parasitic mite varroa destructor, calling it "the single most detrimental pest of honeybees."

The report also cites pesticides, but near the bottom of the list of factors. And federal officials and researchers advising them said the science doesn't justify a ban of the pesticides yet.


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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Lore » Thu 02 May 2013, 18:59:33

Like the honeybees, I smell Monsanto in that report.
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 03 May 2013, 19:24:59

Substances in Honey Increase Honey Bee Detox Gene Expression

Research in the wake of Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious malady afflicting (primarily commercial) honey bees, suggests that pests, pathogens and pesticides all play a role. New research indicates that the honey bee diet influences the bees' ability to withstand at least some of these assaults. Some components of the nectar and pollen grains bees collect to manufacture food to support the hive increase the expression of detoxification genes that help keep honey bees healthy.

The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
University of Illinois professor of entomology May Berenbaum, who led the study, said that many organisms use a group of enzymes called cytochrome P450 monooxygenases to break down foreign substances such as pesticides and compounds naturally found in plants, known as phytochemicals. However, honey bees have relatively few genes dedicated to this detoxification process compared to other insect species, she said.


"If I were a beekeeper, I would at least try to give them some honey year-round," Berenbaum said, "because if you look at the evolutionary history of Apis mellifera, this species did not evolve with high fructose corn syrup. It is clear that honey bees are highly adapted to consuming honey as part of their diet."


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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Lore » Tue 07 May 2013, 08:10:56

Here is some coverage from last nights NBC Nightly News.

http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/51795179/
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby M_B_S » Tue 11 Jun 2013, 02:53:38

Bee numbers fall, baffle experts
Victoria Wright, Editor in Chief

Published: Tue Jun 11, 2013



Honeybees are dying,
but scientists have yet to pinpoint why the insect population is decimating nationwide.

According to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture regarding Colony–Collapse Disorder (CCD), about a third of the honeybee population has died from this past winter.

Recreational beekeeper and journalism and electronic media professor Jim Stovall said that the reason behind the dying bees is not one culprit, but a myriad of possibilities.

"[url]We don't have a good environment and we don't treat bees very well[/url]," Stovall said.

http://utdailybeacon.com/news/2013/jun/ ... e-experts/
******************************************************************************************************

Bees are an ecological indicator for strong biodiversity, so if bees are in trouble we human mankind are also in trouble.

(German Nobel Price winner "Einstein" knows...)

Eveything on this planet is working together, so when a key worker is dieing the whole system is in danger.

YOU are also part of the system earth ( Gaia ) so make sure the system stays alive.

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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby dohboi » Sat 29 Jun 2013, 21:40:10

Major die off of bees in Oregon after trees were sprayed with pesticides:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nati ... 4501.story

Oregon temporarily restricts pesticide use following bee deaths

State officials in Oregon are temporarily restricting the use of more than a dozen pesticide products following the deaths of an estimated 50,000 bumblebees in the Portland area this month.

The measure, effective immediately, will last for 180 days while the Oregon State Agricultural Department investigates incidents of a mass bee die-off in the Portland suburb of Wilsonville, and a much smaller die-off in neighboring Hillsboro.

Eighteen pesticide products containing the active ingredient dinotefuran and used for ornamental, turf and agricultural applications have been banned for now.


There are bee memorial services being held around the country.
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 07 Jul 2013, 13:10:01

http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2013/07 ... think.html

Canada bees dying by the millions – ‘I think it’s criminal what is happening’

Local beekeepers are finding millions of their bees dead just after corn was planted here in the last few weeks. Dave Schuit, who has a honey operation in Elmwood, lost 600 hives, a total of 37 million bees.

“Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,” Schuit said. He and many others, including the European Union, are pointing the finger at a class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids, manufactured by Bayer CropScience Inc. used in planting corn and some other crops. The European Union just recently voted to ban these insecticides for two years, beginning December 1, 2013, to be able to study how it relates to the large bee kill they are experiencing there also.
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby C8 » Sun 07 Jul 2013, 14:34:54

Here is some info from Wiki- I included the most pertinent parts, full article at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neonicotinoid
italics/bold are mine to call your attention

Neonicotinoid
Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically related to nicotine. The development of this class of insecticides began with work in the 1980s by Shell and the 1990s by Bayer. The neonicotinoids were developed in large part because they show reduced toxicity compared to previously used organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. Most neonicotinoids show much lower toxicity in mammals than insects, but some breakdown products are toxic. Neonicotinoids are the first new class of insecticides introduced in the last 50 years, and the neonicotinoid imidacloprid is currently the most widely used insecticide in the world.

The use of some members of this class has been restricted in some countries due to evidence of a connection to honey-bee colony collapse disorder. In January 2013, the European Food Safety Authority stated that neonicotinoids pose an unacceptably high risk to bees, and that the industry-sponsored science upon which regulatory agencies' claims of safety have relied may be flawed.

In March 2013, the American Bird Conservancy published a review of 200 studies on neonicotinoids including industry research obtained through the US Freedom of Information Act, calling for a ban on neonicotinoid use as seed treatments because of their toxicity to birds, aquatic invertebrates, and other wildlife. Also in March 2013, the US EPA was sued by a coalition of beekeepers, as well as conservation and sustainable agriculture advocates who accused the agency of performing inadequate toxicity evaluations and allowing registration of the pesticides to stand on insufficient industry studies.

History
Nicotine acts as an insecticide but is also toxic to mammals. In fact, nicotine has a lower lethal dose for rats than flies. This spurred a scientific search for compounds that retain the insecticidal properties of nicotine but have selectively less effect on mammals, but initial investigation of nicotine related compounds (nicotinoids) as insecticides was not successful.

Most neonicotinoids are water-soluble and break down slowly in the environment, so they can be taken up by the plant and provide protection from insects as the plant grows. During the late 1990s this class of pesticides, primarily imidacloprid, became widely used. Beginning in the early 2000s, two other neonicotinoids, clothianidin and thiamethoxam were in use as well. Currently, virtually all corn that is planted in the Midwestern United States is treated with one of these two insecticides and various fungicides. In addition, most soybean seeds are also treated with a neonicotinoid insecticide, usually thiamethoxam. Clothianidin is one of the most toxic substances known for honey bees.

US EPA reregistration
The US EPA has established a 15-year registration review cycle for all pesticides. As all neonicotinoids were registered after 1984, they were not subject to reregistration. The EPA granted a conditional, or temporary, registration to clothianidin in 2003. The same approval was given to thiamethoxam. Imidacloprid was registered in 1994. It was not conditional. The EPA is now re-evaluating the safety of neonicotinoids. According to Scott Black, the EPA has stated that the registration review process will take several years. At the earliest , the new verdict for imidacloprid will be in 2016 and 2017 for clothianidin and thiamethoxam. The registration review docket for imidacloprid opened in December 2008 and the docket for nithiazine opened in March 2009. Stated topics for review include uncertainty in the effects of neonicotinoids on pollinators, including reports of beekill incidents. The EPA states, "To better ensure a 'level playing field' for the neonicotinoid class as a whole, and to best take advantage of new research as it becomes available," the other neonicotinoids (acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam) were scheduled to begin registration review in 2012.

Usage
Imidacloprid, a representative neonicotinoid, is effective against sucking insects, some chewing insects, soil insects, and is also used to control fleas on domestic animals.

Imidacloprid is possibly the most widely used insecticide, both within the mode of action group and in the worldwide market. It is now applied against soil, seed, timber and animal pests as well as foliar treatments for crops including: cereals, cotton, grain, legumes, potatoes, pome fruits, rice, turf and vegetables. It is systemic with particular efficacy against sucking insects and has a long residual activity. Imidacloprid can be added to the water used to irrigate plants. Controlled release formulations of imidacloprid take 2–10 days to release 50% of imidacloprid in water.The application rates for neonicotinoid insecticides are much lower than older, traditionally used insecticides

Mode of action
Neonicotinoids, like nicotine, bind to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of a cell and triggers a response by that cell. In mammals, nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are located in cells of both the central and peripheral nervous systems. In insects these receptors are limited to cells of the CNS. While low to moderate activation of these receptors causes nervous stimulation, high levels overstimulate and block the receptors. This receptor blockage causes paralysis and death. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are normally activated by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Normally, acetylcholine is broken down by acetylcholinesterase to terminate signals from these receptors. However, acetylcholinesterase cannot break down neonicotinoids, and the binding is irreversible. Because most neonicotinoids bind much more strongly to insect neuron receptors than to mammal neuron receptors, these insecticides are selectively more toxic to insects than mammals.


I know this is far fetched- but if this stuff makes bees lose their way, could it be implicated in the rise in Alzheimer's?
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 17 Jul 2013, 18:29:51

Bees under threat from disease-carrying bumblebee imports, research reveals

Stricter controls over bumblebee imports to the UK are urgently required to prevent diseases spreading to native bumblebees and honeybees, scientists have warned. The call follows the discovery of parasites in over three-quarters of imported bumblebee colonies they tested. The study - the first of its kind in the UK - is published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

While wild species of bees and other insects pollinate many crops, commercially-reared and imported bumblebees are essential for pollination of greenhouse crops such as tomatoes. They are also used to enhance pollination of other food crops such as strawberries, and are now marketed for use in people's gardens. The trade is large and widespread: 40-50,000 commercially-produced bumblebee colonies – each containing up to 100 worker bees – are imported annually to the UK, and more than one million colonies are sold each year worldwide.
The team of researchers from the universities of Leeds, Stirling and Sussex bought 48 colonies of buff-tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) from three European producers. Some colonies were a subspecies native to the UK and others were non-native. All were meant to be disease-free, but when they were tested using DNA technology, 77% of the colonies were found to be carrying parasites. Parasites were also found in the pollen food supplied with the bees.
Screening revealed that the imported bumblebee colonies carried a range of parasites including the three main bumblebee parasites (Crithidia bombi, Nosema bombi and Apicystis bombi), three honeybee parasites (Nosema apis, Ascosphaera apis and Paenibacillus larvae), and two parasites which infect both bumblebees and honeybees (Nosema ceranae and deformed wing virus).


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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Lore » Wed 14 Aug 2013, 07:39:28

Time magazine covers global mass bee death. Basically, we are screwed!

Beepocalypse Redux: Honeybees Are Still Dying — and We Still Don’t Know Why

More than five years after it was first reported, colony-collapse disorder is still killing honeybees around the world. If scientists can't pinpoint the cause, the economic and environmental damage could be immense

Image

Read more: http://science.time.com/2013/05/07/beep ... z2bwkXpF4O
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Beery1 » Wed 14 Aug 2013, 08:55:07

...commercially-reared and imported bumblebees are essential for pollination of greenhouse crops such as tomatoes. They are also used to enhance pollination of other food crops such as strawberries, and are now marketed for use in people's gardens.

...team of researchers... bought 48 colonies of buff-tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) from three European producers... All were meant to be disease-free, but when they were tested using DNA technology, 77% of the colonies were found to be carrying parasites.


So maybe not such a mystery what's killing all the bees then. If we took people infected with ebola and started distributing them all around the world, I reckon we'd have our own worldwide 'colony collapse' predicament.
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Lore » Wed 14 Aug 2013, 09:38:14

I believe that most bee colonies suffer from parasites naturally. It's looking like the cocktail of insectacides and fungicides is making the bees less likely to be able to fight them off while building resistance among the pests. This is bad news, since a lot of what we've introduced into the ecosystem will remain there for many years to come.

We're just one winter away from a total collapse. Which means, you can kiss 25% of global food supply goodbye.
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Ulenspiegel » Fri 23 Aug 2013, 08:10:43

Tanada wrote:If the Neonic class of pesticides are the problem and they are absent from the pollen then where would the Bees be getting exposed? If Graeme's report is correct and High Fructose Corn Syrup is the source then that means everyone eating processed food in America is likely to be exposed to the same pesticides.


Sorry, you are completely on the wrong track:

The bees are exposed to the compounds not via pollen but via dust. Neonics are used in maize production -at least in Germany and Austria- and, therefore, affect many other systems which rely in contrast to maize on bees.

In Germany the empty hives correlate nicely with lack of rain (-> dust).

The concentration of the Neunics which cause disorientation of bees was found to be very low (in lab experiments). A bee which does not find its hive before night is usually dead.
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Mon 27 Jan 2014, 00:45:58

Bees Are Building Nests with Our Waste Plastic
If you picture a bee nest (yes, bees build nests), you probably think of a natural haven of leafy comfort. Normally, you’d be right, but biologists studying two types of bee recently found that the insects have moved with the times: They’re now incorporating plastic in their designs.

In a paper published in the Ecological Society of America's journal Ecosphere, researchers from York University and the University of Guelph in Canada explained that while plastic waste has previously been shown to have devastating impacts on the environment, less attention has been given to the resourcefulness of species in the face of their changing surroundings. "Plastic waste pervades the global landscape," they wrote. "Although adverse impacts on both species and ecosystems have been documented, there are few observations of behavioral flexibility and adaptation in species, especially insects, to increasingly plastic-rich environments."

Led by York University PhD candidate Scott MacIvor, they set up “trap nests” in Toronto to allow them to observe the behaviour of different bee species. The bees they looked at usually build nests in cavities above the ground, and depending on the species, they construct them out of various natural materials such as leaves, mud, and even small pebbles. But as the bees got on with their work, the researchers noticed a few more modern materials making their way into the nests. “It was during inspection of the nesting tubes we discovered non-natural materials built into the nests of two different bee species,” they said.

The bees opted for types of plastic that mimicked the natural materials they’d usually use. The alfalfa leafcutter bee (Megachile rotundata), which as its name suggests usually collects leaves, supplemented some of its nests with bits of glossy white plastic bag—in the nests where it was used, the plastic replaced about 23 percent of the leaves.

Meanwhile, the Megachile campanula, which usually collects pine resin, occasionally replaced that with polyurethane-based sealants, the like of which are used on building exteriors.

Of course, the bees could have incidentally collected the plastic when searching for their usual nesting materials. But the researchers also considered the opportunity that they'd adapted to include manmade materials in their inventory of nesting stuffs. For the leafcutter bee, they found markings on the plastic materials that showed it chewed them differently to leaves. It also returned to leaf material after using a few bag fragments, which suggested leaf availability wasn’t a limiting factor.

In both cases, bee larvae in the nests matured healthily. That's not to say plastic is a suitable building tool: the plastic bags, for instance, didn’t stick together like leaves, as usually the bees would create a kind of adhesive by chewing the juicy plant material. Previous studies regarding other animals have also shown that plastic in nests can cause mould to grow, or can kill them by preventing them from moving or breathing as usual. We are most definitely poisoning the planet with our plastic waste.

But in other ways, for bees at least, plastic could potentially have advantages over natural materials, and not just because it’s more easily available in urban environments. The study authors explained that plastic might physically impede parasites form infecting those in the nest; in this case, all the bees emerged parasite-free.

Whether the bees knew what they were doing when they picked up plastic for their nests, it's an interesting reminder of quite how adaptive different species can be—or have to be, even—when they’re up against our bad habits. The study even suggested that those species that adapt to increasingly plastic environments might have an advantage in urban areas over those that don’t: "Although perhaps incidentally collected, the novel use of plastics in the nests of bees could reflect ecologically adaptive traits necessary for survival in an increasingly human-dominated environment."
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 31 Jan 2014, 18:40:23

Researchers are piecing together causes of decline in honey bees

Last spring, when Mary Harris started looking for particular pesticides in the pollen carried by honey bees in northwest Iowa, she didn't find any. But that changed the week tractors hit the fields to plant crops.

That week, every pollen sample she took tested positive for the presence of neonicotinoids, pesticides often used to coat seeds before they're planted.
Harris, an Iowa State University adjunct assistant professor of natural resource ecology and management, was part of a research team formed by the nonprofit Pollinator Partnership to monitor the level of neonicotinoid pesticides found in plant pollen collected by honey bees. The research, released on Thursday, indicates that the pesticides also contaminate nearby plants that are visited by a range of helpful pollinating insects.

Harris's effort to study pesticides is one thread in a patchwork of research at Iowa State to identify the factors that have led to steep declines in the populations of pollinating insects in Iowa and across the globe.

ISU faculty members have found several causes that likely lie at the heart of the problem, each one compounding the others.

"People want a single issue to blame it on, and that would be great because we could fix it," said Amy Toth, an assistant professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology. "But it's not that simple."


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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Lore » Wed 26 Feb 2014, 10:54:53

USDA Invests $3 Million Into Program To Boost Honeybee Numbers

Commercial and wild honeybee populations have been declining for more than a decade in the U.S. and across the globe, a loss that poses a major threat to the world’s food supply. Scientists have scrambled to determine exactly what’s causing the bees to die, and what can be done to help save them.

Now, in an attempt to boost honeybee numbers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $3 million into a program that pays farmers in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin to reseed their fields with bee-friendly cover crops like clover and alfalfa, as well as providing incentives for farmers to make changes to their farm so that their farm animals can move freely from pasture to pasture, allowing vegetation in pastures to recover and grow plants that bees are attracted to. The USDA chose the five Midwestern states because most beekeepers bring their bees there during the summer — the Midwest acts as a “resting ground” for the bees, which gather pollen for the winter months there.

The USDA says 65 percent of the approximately 30,000 commercial beekeepers in the U.S. bring their bees to the Midwest each year, and some farmers are beginning to take up the practice because fields in their region don’t provide enough food for their bees. Tim Tucker, a beekeeper with hives in Kansas and Texas, told the AP he’s considering taking his bees to South Dakota this year.

“There used to be a lot of small farms in our area that had clover and a variety of crops, whereas in the last 20 years it’s really been corn, soybean and cotton and a little bit of canola,” Tucker said. “But those crops don’t provide a lot of good nectar and pollen for bees.”

The USDA has ramped up its attention on bee issues in recent years, as beekeepers in the U.S. have reported hive losses as high as 50 percent. The agency has partnered with the Apiary Inspectors of America and the Bee Informed Partnership to survey winter honey bee colony losses. It also maintains the Bee Research Laboratory in Maryland, which among other things has studied ways to manage honey bee pests like the varroa mite.

The varroa mite is just one of the factors that scientists think are contributing to widespread bee losses, which they attribute mainly to a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder, in which adult bees in a colony simply disappear (rather than die in or in front of the hive). One of the main drivers has been found to be neonicotinoid pesticides, which at least 30 scientific studies have linked to bee die offs. Last April, the European Union implemented a two-year ban on three neonicotinoids, but the U.S. has been slower to act, recently calling instead on more research into neonicotinoids. A July study authored in part by USDA researchers found that fungicides, too, are playing role in bee deaths, increasing their susceptibility to a parasite called Nosema ceranae.

The USDA estimates that one-third of all food consumed in the U.S. are dependent directly or indirectly on honey bees for pollination, with crops such as almonds and squash relying most heavily on bees to produce seeds.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/0 ... e-program/
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