NORFOLK, VA - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists in Norfolk have made a first in the nation pest interception of the red mason bee, a bee native to the United Kingdom. Had the red mason bee been introduced in the U.S., the honey bee population would have been severely impacted.
On February 2nd, a containerized shipment of household goods originating from the United Kingdom was inspected and an unknown pest was discovered within a rolled rug.
The agricultural specialists were contacted and with the assistance of a Plant Protection and Quarantine Entomologist, identified the pest as a red mason bee.
The bee is commonly found in the United Kingdom, and is not established in the United States. The intercepted pupae were confirmed to have parasitic mites, and subsequently, if allowed in the U.S. could have had a devastating impact on the U.S. honey bee population.
“The Port of Norfolk has a dedicated group of Agriculture Specialists protecting this country from the introduction of harmful pests and plant diseases”, said Mark Laria, area Port Director in Norfolk. “I am very proud of their efforts”.
The shipment will be fumigated prior to release.
Last Updated (Thursday, 16 February 2012 12:06)
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 1444 Diamond Springs Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23455.
Workshop is full - preregistration required!
Ever wonder exactly how bees convert nectar into honey? Why do they make more honey than they need to survive? What can you do as a beekeeper to maximize honey production? How should you harvest and process honey to maintain its wholesome goodness?
Join Dr. Rick Fell, Virginia's Extension Apiculturist and Keith Tignor, Virginia's State Apiarist, as they demystify honey production for us in a workshop designed to help beekeepers understand the principles behind a bountiful honey harvest.
9:00 – 9:45 How bees make honey and Supering colonies (R. Fell)
9:45 – 10:30 Managing hives for Spring Build-up and Honey Production (K.Tignor)
10:30 – 10:50 Break10:50 – 11:30 Techniques for Removing Honey from Hives (Fell).
11:30- 12:15 Honey Extraction for the small beekeeper (Tignor)
12:15 – 1:15 Lunch
1:15 – 2:00 BONUS Presentation by Dr. Fell: Hive Evaluation: Colony Strength to Queen Quality as he has presented nationally including the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association meeting
2:00 – 3:00 Demonstrations:
Please contact Pam Fisher if you would like to register for this workshop or require further information.
Last Updated (Monday, 05 March 2012 13:45)
Corn Seed Pesticide Kills Bees
Corn Seed Treatment As Lethal As It Gets For Honey Bees All Season Long, And Long After The Season Is Gone. It Just Keeps On Killing.
From Bee Culture
by Alan Harman
Frightening new research shows honey bees are being exposed to deadly neonicotinoid insecticides and several other agricultural pesticides throughout their foraging period. The research, published in the scientific journal PLoS One says extremely high levels of clothianidin and thiamethoxam were found in planter exhaust material produced during the planting of treated maize seed. The work, which could raise new questions about the long-term survival of the honey bee, was conducted by Christian H. Krupke of the Department of Entomology at Purdue University, Brian D. Eitzer of the Department of Analytical Chemistry at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and Krispn Given of Purdue.
Neonicotinoids were found in the soil of each field we sampled, including unplanted fields, they report. Dandelions visited by foraging bees growing near these fields were found to contain neonicotinoids as well. “This indicates deposition of neonicotinoids on the flowers, uptake by the root system, or both,” the report says. “Dead bees collected near hive entrances during the spring sampling period were found to contain clothianidin as well.”
The researchers also detected the insecticide clothianidin in pollen collected by bees and stored in the hive. “When maize plants in our field reached anthesis, maize pollen from treated seed was found to contain clothianidin and other pesticides; and honey bees in our study readily collected maize pollen. “These results have implications for a wide range of large-scale annual cropping systems that utilize neonicotinoid seed treatments,” the report says. The research was funded by grants from the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign and the Managed Pollinator Coordinated Agricultural Project.
There have been red flags about pesticide exposure for some time and of the many compounds detected, the neo-nicotinoid group has received the most attention. As a group, neonicotinoids possess several key attributes that have seen their heavy adoption in both agricultural and urban environments, including low vertebrate toxicity and the ability to be translocated by plants.
Neonicotinoids are also persistent, offering the potential for a large window of activity. The new report says the half-lives of these compounds in aerobic soil conditions can vary widely, but are best measured in months – 148 - 1,155 days for clothianidin.
Last Updated (Friday, 06 January 2012 18:00)
National Honey Bee Disease & Pest Survey Report 2010-2011
Paper prepared by Karen Rennich, Jeff Pettis, Dennis S Vanengelsdorp, Jerry Hayes, Michael Andre, Rob Snyder, Karen Roccasessa, Nathan Rice, Jay Evans, Dawn Lopez, Vic Levi, Margaret Smith Nishit Patel and Robyn Rose
The 2010 Limited National survey, focusing on 13 states, was performed to expand and augment the baseline pest and pathogen data collected from the pilot study conducted in 2009.It is the most comprehensive U.S. honey bee pest and disease survey to date. The primary focus of this survey was to verify the absence of the parasitic mite Tropilaelaps and other exotic threats to the U.S. bee population (e.g., Apis cerana). Under current international trade agreements, the U.S. cannot deny import permits from other nations unless the exporting nation has a disease, parasite, or pest of honey bees that is not found in the U.S. Establishing the absence of threats to honey bee populations not thought to be present in the U.S. was the primary objective of this effort.
To capitalize on the information gathered from this survey, samples were analyzed for other honey bee diseases and parasites known to be present in the U.S. The survey results are used to gauge the overall health of colonies and to help create a disease level baseline to help interpret ongoing and future epidemiological studies. The 2010-2011 National Survey effort was limited to collection of samples from 13 states including Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. A total of 349 samples representing over 2,700 colonies were collected. A further expansion of this survey is planned for 2011/2012 with the number of participating states increasing to 33.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 08 February 2012 13:11)
Deadly fly parasite spotted for first time in honey bees
SF State researchers new find may help understanding of 'colony collapse disorder'
SAN FRANCISCO -- Honey bees can become the unwitting hosts of a fly parasite that causes them to abandon their hives and die after a bout of disoriented, "zombie-like" behavior, San Francisco State University researchers have found.
The phenomenon, first observed on the SF State campus, may help scientists learn more about colony collapse disorder (CCD). This mysterious ailment has drastically increased honey bee colony losses across the United States since its discovery in 2006.
So far, the fly parasite has only been found in honey bee hives in California and South Dakota, said SF State Professor of Biology John Hafernik. But the possibility that it is an emerging parasite "underlines the danger that could threaten honey bee colonies throughout North America, especially given the number of states that commercial hives cross and are deployed in," Hafernik and colleagues write in the January 3, 2012 issue of PLoS ONE.
Hafernik, who also serves as president of the California Academy of Sciences, didn't set out to study the parasitized bees. In 2008, he was just looking for some insects to feed the praying mantis that he had brought back to SF State's Hensill Hall after an entomology field trip. He scrounged the bees from underneath the light fixtures outside the biology building.
"But being an absent-minded professor," Hafernik joked, "I left them in a vial on my desk and forgot about them. Then the next time I looked at the vial, there were all these fly pupae surrounding the bees."
Read the entire article here.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 03 January 2012 17:41)
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