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Obama launches efforts to save honey bees Honey bees not only contribute to food sustainability, they also boost the economy. Honey bees pollinate fruit, nuts and vegetablesPollination is crucial for the food industry Honey bees have declined sharply due to pesticides, mites and other factorsIn California, the almond industry is at risk because it relies on bees for pollination (CNN) -- The United States is launching an effort to save some of its busiest workers: honey bees. 2008: Why are the honeybees dying? President Barack Obama created a task force comprising various agencies to address the issue of rapidly diminishing honey bees and other pollinators. Bees swarm woman's truck ECOWATCH 14/07/14 How the EPA’s Inaction on Bee-Killing Neonicotinoids Cripples Our Economy As pesky as you might find bees, they play a vital role in our food supply and the agricultural jobs that go along with it. They’re dying rapidly, leaving many of our essential crops without a key pollinator. In its latest episode, the investigative team at Earth Focus reveal that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allowed neonicotinoids—nerve toxins used on most of the country’s crops—on the market without adequate tests to determine their impact on bees.

FARMERS GUARDIAN 25/09/14 Defra approves two neonicotinoid sprays for autumn use DEFRA has approved two neonicotinoid pesticides for autumn use in a move that may bring some relief to farmers struggling to establish oilseed rape crops this autumn. The two pesticides - Bayer’s Biscaya and InSyst, made by Certis Europe - had been awaiting approval since July. The products are both neonicotinoid crop sprays not affected by the current EU suspension of certain neonicotinoid seed treatments in flowering plants and were licensed only for spring use Following Defra’s approval, Biscaya can now be used all-year-round . MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY 04/05/15 MSU virologist receives grants for research on honeybee health May 4, 2015 -- Jenny Lavey, MSU News Service A Montana State University virologist recently was awarded three grants to study why honeybees, the primary pollinator force of the nation’s food supply, are experiencing high losses. Michelle Flenniken, assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology in MSU’s College of Agriculture, recently received three grants to investigate the role of viruses and other pathogens on honeybee health.

FOOD OF FUTURE 05/06/14 Neonicotinoids: Role Of Pesticides In Bee Decline An international panel of scientists is calling for an evidence-driven debate over whether a widely used type of insecticide is to blame for declines in bees and other insect pollinators. The Oxford Martin School published on May 21st the second in its "restatement" series. Restatements take an area of current policy concern and controversy and attempt to set out the science evidence base in as policy neutral way as possible. They also provide a commentary on the nature of the evidence base. The restatement, from a group of nine scientists led by Professor Charles Godfray and Professor Angela McLean from the Oxford Martin School, attempts to clarify the scientific evidence available on neonicotinoids to enable different stakeholders to develop coherent policy and practice recommendations.

PLOS 04/06/15 Bumblebee Pupae Contain High Levels of Aluminium Abstract The causes of declines in bees and other pollinators remains an on-going debate. While recent attention has focussed upon pesticides, other environmental pollutants have largely been ignored. Aluminium is the most significant environmental contaminant of recent times and we speculated that it could be a factor in pollinator decline. Herein we have measured the content of aluminium in bumblebee pupae taken from naturally foraging colonies in the UK.

Honey Bees and Colony Collapse Disorder Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a serious problem threatening the health of honey bees and the economic stability of commercial beekeeping and pollination operations in the United States. Despite a number of claims in the general and scientific media, a cause or causes of CCD have not been identified by researchers. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA's internal research agency, is leading several efforts into possible CCD causes and striving to enhance overall honey bee health by improving bee management practices, as well as studying honey bee diseases and parasites and how best to control them. In addition, a number of other Federal agencies and State departments of agriculture, universities, and private companies are conducting studies to seek the cause or causes of CCD. Contents CCD History

HORTI DAILY 10/02/14 Syngenta seeks new uses for neonicotinoid pesticide If approved, Syngenta’s bid to use thiamethoxam as a foliar application on crops such as alfalfa, corn and wheat would significantly boost the allowable residue tolerances of the pesticide Syngenta hopes to boost allowable residues of the neonicotinoid pesticide, thiamethoxam, in various crops, including alfalfa, buckwheat, corn, wheat and vegetable legumes, a recent announcement of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says. Syngenta Crop Protection LLC of Greensboro, South Carolina, is among several current petitioners to the EPA seeking new tolerances for residues, amendments or exemptions to existing rules for 20 separate, pesticide products. Announced Sept. 5 on the U.S. Federal Register online, the petitions remain open for public comment until Oct. 6.

PLOS 23/02/12 Predictive Markers of Honey Bee Colony Collapse Abstract Across the Northern hemisphere, managed honey bee colonies, Apis mellifera, are currently affected by abrupt depopulation during winter and many factors are suspected to be involved, either alone or in combination. Parasites and pathogens are considered as principal actors, in particular the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, associated viruses and the microsporidian Nosema ceranae. Here we used long term monitoring of colonies and screening for eleven disease agents and genes involved in bee immunity and physiology to identify predictive markers of honeybee colony losses during winter. The data show that DWV, Nosema ceranae, Varroa destructor and Vitellogenin can be predictive markers for winter colony losses, but their predictive power strongly depends on the season.

Northern Europe hit by most bee deaths - EU study 7 April 2014Last updated at 10:17 ET There is much concern about the widespread collapse of bee colonies A new study covering 17 EU countries says that far more honeybees are dying in the UK and other parts of northern Europe than in Mediterranean countries. The European Commission says it is Europe's most comprehensive study so far of bee colony deaths. Winter mortality was especially high for bees in Belgium (33.6%) and the UK (29%) in 2012-13. But in spring-summer 2013 France was highest with 13.6%.