Honey bees are biological indicators, picking up chemicals and other pollutants from their environment both external and internal to their hives. Findings suggest that one of the underlying commonalities in the worldwide reports of a decline in honey bee health and observations of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) may be exposure of honey bees and bee products to pesticides.
The first study to demonstrate the sub-lethal effects on worker honey bees from pesticide residue exposure from contaminated brood comb has been published in the open-access online journal PLoS ONE. The study conducted by Judy Wu, Carol Anelli and Steve Sheppard, WSU, can be read in its entirety here.
Last Updated (Friday, 26 August 2016 15:47)
Austrailian Bees banned by APHIS
By Alan Harman
With little public fanfare, the United States has banned the importation of honey bee queens and package bees from Australia.
Minister Counselor (Agriculture) Simon Smalley at the Australian Embassy in Washington and a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (ASPHIS) both confirm the move made towards the end of last month.
Both say there is a “temporary suspension” of the imports, but the APHIS website has a one sentence reference that reads:
“Importation of honey bee queens and package bees from Australia is prohibited.”
But the halt is not because of the Asian bee incursion in northern Queensland as many expected but because of something called slow paralysis virus.
Last Updated (Friday, 26 August 2016 15:13)
Sanctification of Honey
Photographer Vassil Donev captures a holy mass for the 'sanctification of honey' at the Blessed Virgin Orthodox church in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria on St. Haralambos' Day. Click here to read more about the ceremony
Last Updated (Thursday, 10 February 2011 16:38)
The Beekeeper Next Door
Mike Barrett keeps his bees in a hive that sits on the rooftop of his two-story row house in Astoria.
By KRISTINA SHEVORY
Published: December 8, 2010 NEW YORK TIMES
MIKE BARRETT does not have much of a yard at his two-story row house in Astoria, Queens. But that fact has not kept him from his new hobby of beekeeping — he put the hive on his roof. When it was harvest time this fall, he just tied ropes around each of the two honey-filled boxes in the hive, and lowered them to the ground.
Eventually, Mr. Barrett loaded the boxes into his car, took off his white beekeeper suit and set off for a commercial kitchen in Brooklyn. There, along with other members of the New York City beekeeping club, he extracted his honey, eventually lugging home 40 pounds of the stuff.
He was happy with his successful harvest, but he also reaped something he did not expect. “I was surprised how much I really care about the bees,” said Mr. Barrett, 49, a systems administrator for New York University, in reflecting on his inaugural season as a beekeeper. “You start to think about the ways to make their lives better.”
Until last spring, Mr. Barrett would have been breaking the law and risking a $2,000 fine for engaging in his sticky new hobby. But in March, New York City made beekeeping legal, and in so doing it joined a long list of other municipalities, from Denver to Milwaukee to Minneapolis to Salt Lake City, that have also lifted beekeeping bans in the last two years. Many towns, like Hillsboro, Ore., have done the same, and still other places, like Oak Park, Ill., and Santa Monica, Calif., are reconsidering their prohibitions.
Click here to read the entire story from The New York Times.
Last Updated (Friday, 26 August 2016 15:52)
2010 CCD Progress Report
By Kim Kaplan
December 17, 2010
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released the 2010 Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) Progress Report highlighting current research on this still mysterious disease affecting the nation's honey bees.
The report, which was mandated by Congress in 2008, summarizes research by federal agencies, state departments of agriculture, universities and private organizations to find the cause of CCD and how to stop or mitigate its impact. The report was produced by USDA's Agricultural Research Service(ARS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
"Honey bees are critical to U.S. agriculture, with about 130 crops depending on pollination to add more than $15 billion in crop value annually. It is vital that we find a way to deal with CCD," said ARS Administrator Edward B. Knipling. "This report is an important measure of what we are learning about this serious problem."
CCD, a syndrome characterized by the sudden disappearance of all adult honey bees in a colony, was first recognized in 2006. Since then, surveys of beekeepers indicate that the industry is suffering losses of more than 30 percent annually. Before the appearance of CCD, losses averaged 15-20 percent annually from a variety of factors such as varroa mites and other pests and pathogens.
During the past three years, numerous causes for CCD have been proposed and investigated. Although the cause or causes of CCD are still unknown, research summarized in the report supports the hypothesis that CCD may be a syndrome caused by many different factors, that work individually or in combination. The sequence and combination may not even be the same in every case, explained Kevin Hackett, ARS national program leader for pollination and co-chair of the USDA CCD Steering Committee.
The 2010 CCD Progress Report is available online at:
More information about CCD can be found at http://www.ars.usda.gov/CCD .
Last Updated (Friday, 26 August 2016 15:50)
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