Scientists Find Evidence of 27 New Viruses in Bees

We’ve all heard of Deformed Wing Virus and most of you can probably list another 3 or 4 honey bee viruses. But what other viruses still lurk undiscovered? An international team of researchers uncovered evidence of 27 previously unknown viruses in bees. The finding could help scientists design strategies to prevent the spread of viral pathogens among these important pollinators. "Populations …

Raiding the Rape Field

Honey bees can produce vast amounts of honey off canola, known as oilseed rape in Europe. It’s an early flow that can crystallize in the comb if the weather turns cool. Some beekeepers lately have become hesitant about placing their colonies near canola, worried that the pollen from treated fields is negatively impacting honey bee health. New research shows that …

What Gives Bees their Sweet Tooth?

Scientists have discovered bees linger on a flower, emptying it of nectar, because they have sugar-sensing taste neurons which work together to prolong the pleasure of the sweetness. Newcastle University researchers report that the bees' taste neurons found on their proboscis - their mouthparts - fire intense signals for up to 10 seconds - much longer than the taste neurons found …

Honey Bees Struggle to Find Enough Good Bacteria

Modern monoculture farming, commercial forestry and even well-intentioned gardeners could be making it harder for honey bees to store food and fight off diseases, a new study suggests. Human changes to the landscape, such as large areas of monoculture grassland for livestock grazing, and coniferous forests for timber production, is affecting the diversity of the 'microbiome' associated with the long-term food …

New Pesticide as Alternative to Neonicotinoids

In February 2018, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirmed that the pesticide group of neonicotinoids is harmful to bees. A novel pesticide manufactured by Bayer AG is therefore being discussed as an alternative; it contains flupyradifurone from the class of butenolides. The product goes by the brand name of Sivanto. Sivanto is assumed to be effective against various sucking insects …

Commercial Pesticides: Not as Safe as They Seem

Lack of information on the effects of all pesticide ingredients makes them appear safer than they are — potentially causing serious harm to people and the environment. New regulations are needed to protect people and the environment from toxic pesticide ingredients that are not currently subject to safety assessments. This is the conclusion of the first comprehensive review of gaps in …

The ‘Weapon of Mass Destruction’ That’s Killing Honey Bees

The magnified photographs of the pinhead-sized mite, aptly named Varroa destructor, were captured by Dr. Jonathan Salvage of the University of Brighton (UK), using a state-of-the-art scanning electron microscope (SEM). Dr. Salvage, a Research Fellow in the University’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, has been working with Adam Leitch, a Master Beekeeper, on both a study of plant pollen that …

Sick Bees Eat Healthier

Good nutrition can help us ward off illness. But what happens when we’re already sick? In honey bees, sick bees appear to make smarter nutritional choices. A new study compared the feeding habits of healthy bees to those infected with the gut parasite Nosema ceranae. In the study, published recently in the journal Microbial Ecology, the researchers first gave groups of …