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UC Davis official's rare photo of bee sting captures 1st place award

By Andrea Gallo

Sacramento Bee - June 13, 2012

A photograph of a honeybee stinging a man with its abdominal tissue trailing behind, the first of its kind, was more than 100 years in the making. UC Davis Communications Specialist Kathy Keatley Garvey in the Department of Entomology said she's taken at least 1 million photos of honeybees in her lifetime, but this snapshot won the first-place gold feature photo award in an Association for Communication Excellence competition.

Read more in Sacramento Bee (US)


Colony Collapse of Bees Linked to Pesticides

By Stephanie Pedersen

The International - June 12, 2012

A number of recent studies, including one by scientists from the University of Stirling and one by France’s National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA), claim to have found a link between the use of the household and agricultural pesticide, Cruiser OSR, and a global decline in bee populations.

Cruiser OSR is part of the neonicotinoid class of pesticides and contains Thiamethoxam as the active ingredient. Thiamethoxam has chemically similar effects to nicotine, which has long been used as an insecticide because it blocks neurotransmitters from firing, resulting in paralysis or death.

Link to article in the International


Honey bee see...honey bee do?

By Rachel Bernstein

Everyone - June 11, 2012

Training a dog is hard enough, so just imagine some of the tricks you would have to use to train a honey bee. Despite the difficulties, Scott Dobrin and Susan Fahrbach at Wake Forest University in North Carolina successfully trained honeybees to respond to colored lights for a tasty sucrose treat, reported in the recent PLoS ONE publication “Visual Associative Learning in Restrained Honey Bees with Intact Antennae.”

Link to article on Everyone - PlLoS One community blog


Honeybee virus: Varroa mite spreads lethal disease

By Victoria Gill

BBC - June 7, 2012

A parasitic mite has helped a virus wipe out billions of honeybees throughout the globe, say scientists. A team studying honeybees in Hawaii found that the Varroa mite helped spread a particularly nasty strain of a disease called deformed wing virus. The mites act as tiny incubators of one deadly form of the disease, and inject it directly into the bees' blood. This has led to "one of the most widely-distributed and contagious insect viruses on the planet".

Link to article on BBC

Link to video on BBC

Link to original article in Journal of Science


Honeybee decline 'could be disastrous' for food production

By Martha Moss

TheParliament.com - June 6, 2012

The EU must do more to protect Europe's honeybee population if it wants to secure food production in the years to come, a parliament conference has heard. Tuesday's discussion, organised as part of European bees and pollination week, brought together scientists, industry and policymakers to discuss the link between biodiversity and pollinator decline. Opening the debate, French EPP deputy Gaston Franco warned that "the consequences of the disappearance of bees could be a disaster".

Link to article on TheParliament.com


Poorer neighbourhoods better for bees

By Richard Gray

Telegraph - June 3, 2012

Gardens in poor neighbourhoods are better for bees than those in richer suburban areas, research has revealed. The findings show suggest that the tendency to keep up appearances in richer neighbourhoods by carefully manicuring lawns and maintaining regimented flower beds may actually be hampering attempts to restore bee populations in the UK. Researchers at Leeds University found that gardens in poorer neighbourhoods were visited by twice as many bees as those in richer areas.

Link to article on the Telegraph


Ugly House at Capel Curig becomes cafe and bee haven

BBC - June 1, 2012

A well-known Snowdonia landmark has been turned into a cafe and its garden will become a haven for honeybees. The Ugly House on the A5 at Capel Curig belongs to the Snowdonia Society. The cafe venture is being run by local business couple Tim and Ayla Maddox, while the beehives will be managed by the new National Beekeeping Centre Wales. The society rescued the cottage in the 1980s and until October 2010 it served as the society headquarters.

Link to article on BBC


Winter honey bee losses decline [in US]

By Lee Tune

PhysOrg - June 1, 2012

Total losses of managed honey bee colonies from all causes dropped to 21.9 percent nationwide for the 2011/2012 winter, a decline of some 8 percentage points or 27 percent from the approximately 30 percent average loss beekeepers have experienced in recent winters, according to the latest annual survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership, the Apiary Inspectors of America and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Link to article on PhysOrg


UK butterflies continue to decline

By Victoria Gill

BBC - June 1, 2012

The British butterfly population is continuing a marked downward trend. This is according to a national survey which revealed that numbers of the insects fell by more than 20% between 2010 and 2011. The results, announced by the charity Butterfly Conservation, appear to contrast with a recent study revealing a boom in numbers of rare UK species. But while rare species may thrive in Britain's "pollinator hot spots", the more general outlook appears bleak.

Link to article on BBC


Tree bumblebees: a growing buzz in our gardens

By Ken Thompson

BBC - May 31, 2012

Unless you’ve been on Mars for the last decade, you will know by now that Britain’s pollinating insects are in trouble, and bumblebees are no exception. Of the UK’s 24 species, two have become nationally extinct in the past century, and a further six are cause for serious concern. The problem, as for much of the rest of our native wildlife, is the spread of intensive farming, and especially the loss of flower-rich grasslands. Bumblebees depend particularly on protein-rich pollen from clovers and other members of the pea family.

And yet, curiously, six species of bumblebees (the “big six”) are doing very well indeed, at least partly because they thrive in gardens. You almost certainly have all six in your garden some of the time, even if not all at once. But the big six don’t have our gardens to themselves any more, because Britain has a new bumblebee.

Link to article on BBC


Honey Farming is a real cliffhanger

By Jo Sayer

The Sun - May 29, 2012

AN ANCIENT tribe scale 250ft up a mountain and risk their lives harvesting honey from the world’s largest bee. The Rai people, from Nepal, fashion ladders out of braided bamboo to access the prized nests of the Himalayan honey bee.

Link to article in The Sun


'Extinct' short-haired bumblebee returns to UK

By Rebecca Morelle

BBC - May 28, 2012

A species of bee not seen in the UK for a quarter of a century is being reintroduced to the countryside. The short-haired bumblebee was once widespread across the south of England but it vanished in 1988. However, after a healthy stock of the bees was found in Sweden, conservationists were able to collect some to seed a new UK colony. About 50 queen bumblebees are being released at the RSPB's Dungeness reserve in Kent. Nikki Gammans, from the Short-haired Bumblebee Project, said: "Normally, extinction means a species is gone forever. "But it is magnificent that we can bring back this bee species and give it a second chance here in the UK."

Link to video and article on BBC


App fights to save bees

By Catherine Robinson

CorpComms - May 24, 2012

A new gaming app has been released in an initiative to highlight the plight of the honeybee whose numbers have drastically declined in recent years as part of The Co-operative's Plan Bee Campaign. The Pollinator game features a superhero bee sent back from the future to save the world's honeybees from extinction.

Link to article on CorpComms


Commonly used pesticide turns honey bees into 'picky eaters'

EScience News - May 24, 2012

Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered that a small dose of a commonly used crop pesticide turns honey bees into "picky eaters" and affects their ability to recruit their nestmates to otherwise good sources of food. The results of their experiments, detailed in this week's issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, have implications for what pesticides should be applied to bee-pollinated crops and shed light on one of the main culprits suspected to be behind the recent declines in honey bee colonies.

Link to article in EScience News


The nerve poison harming our bees

By Ken Thompson

Telegraph - May 11, 2012

Neonicotinoids were hailed as safe and effective, but they are far from benign. Victorian gardeners were familiar with the alkaloid nicotine as a pesticide, and very good it is too at killing almost anything that moves. Unfortunately that includes people – the nicotine in three or four cigarettes would kill you if you absorbed all of it. As a result, nicotine has not been available to amateur gardeners for some time, and approval for professional use was withdrawn in 2009. But in the Seventies chemists developed a new class of insecticides that, although not closely related chemically to nicotine, share the same mode of action and were thus christened neonicotinoids.

Link to article on Telegraph


Bee deaths linked to common pesticides

Guardian Blog - May 8, 2012

Two recently published scientific studies show that bee populations are being ravaged by widespread use of a particular type of pesticide, the neonicotinoids. Our love of pesticides has been nothing short of disastrous for our insect friends, the honeybees along with the bumblebees and other wild native bee species. Two recent scientific studies point to modern pesticides as the main culprit for the often dramatic declines in both domestic honeybees, Apis mellifera, as well as native wild bee populations.

Link to article on Guardian blog


Hive and Seek: Domestic Honeybees Keep Disappearing, but Are Their Wild Cousins in Trouble, Too?

By Sarah Fecht

Scientific American - May 8, 2012

Is colony collapse disorder just the visible part of a "global pollinator crisis"? The answer is surprisingly murky. To help answer the question, scientists have created an inexpensive, nationwide wild bee monitoring program

Link to article on Scientific American


Beekeeping diary: rain and bees

Ian Douglas

Telegraph - May 8, 2012

The rain shows no sign of stopping and I’m starting to think the bees might be going hungry, so I’m heading towards their little space beside the allotments again.

Very dry weather is bad (the flowers don’t produce as much nectar, even if they’re not withering away to nothing) and very wet weather is bad because the bees are less likely to leave the hive and can soon run out of food. As we seem to be careering between one extreme and the other this year, I’ve decided to give the hive a helping hand.

Link to article in Telegraph


How UK's humble bee project led to Swedish outrage

By Emma Kasprzak

BBC - May 5, 2012

It all sounded so promising when UK scientists announced "exciting" plans to collect 100 bees from Sweden. The bombus subterraneus or short-haired bumblebee has been extinct in Britain for a quarter of a century. Conservationists planned to travel to Skåne province, in southern Sweden, to collect bumblebee queens for release in a Kent nature reserve. But a "misunderstanding" led to Swedes reacting in anger to the plans to take their bees. The international argument is now thought to have been resolved but how did it happen in the first place?

Link to article on BBC

Kathy Keatley Garvey

UC Davis official's rare photo of bee sting captures 1st place award

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Photo NAL

Honeybee virus: Varroa mite spreads lethal disease

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Ugly House at Capel Curig becomes cafe and bee haven

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photo NAL

UK butterflies continue to decline

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Photo Alamy

Branching out: The tree bumblebee nests in holes in trees and is becoming increasingly common in British gardens

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Photo : The Sun

Honey farming is a real cliffhanger

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Selenium impacts honey bee behaviour and survival

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Invasion! Beware the killer hornet

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Beecraft Asian Hornet Report Oct 2011

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