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AUSTRALIA- HONEY BEES AND POLLINATORS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT NEWS

Apinews - 25. august 2014 - 16:59
AUSTRALIA- HONEY BEES AND POLLINATORS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT NEWS

Issued today

 

 

 

CHAIRMAN'S FOREWORD

As foreshadowed in the previous newsletter, RIRDC is streamlining its management processes and moving to reduce administration costs. To increase efficiency the Honey Bee and Pollination Programs have been amalgamated to form the Honey Bee and Pollination Program and RIRDC will keep the Program’s administration costs as low as possible.

Other measures the Program will adopt to minimise costs will be to favour fewer and larger projects, and not calling for projects every year (where enough suitable projects have been submitted in one year to use the budget for two years).
The members of the new committee, which is called the Honey Bee and Pollination Advisory Panel are:

Michael Hornitzky – Chair; Ben Hooper - Beekeeper, South Australia; James Kershaw - Beekeeper, New South Wales; Ben Brown – Almond Board of Australia; Angus Crawford – Apple & Pear Australia Ltd; Saul Cunningham – Pollination Researcher, CSIRO; Boris Baer – Bee Researcher, University of Western Australia; Greg Murdoch - Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) representative; and Dave Alden – Senior Program Manager, RIRDC.

The members have been appointed for three years.

To accommodate the merger of the Honey Bee and Pollination Programs, a Five Year Plan has been developed which was published as a draft in July. The Five Year Plan draws heavily on the Honey Bee RD&E Plan 2012-2017 and the review of the Pollination 5-Year R&D Plan 2009-2014. The Plan has been prepared in consultation with HAL, the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) and members of Honey Bee and Pollination Advisory Panel. It is available for download on the RIRDC website

On the 9th of April the “Neonicotinoids and other insecticides – research and stewardship symposium” was held in Canberra.

Funded by RIRDC, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority and the Grains Research and Development Corporation, the symposium brought together 90 representatives from the honey bee industry, crop industries that rely on honey bees for pollination, researchers and government agencies to examine information gathered globally on the effects of neonicotinoids on insect pollinators.

The overall message conveyed at the symposium was that neonicotinoids are unlikely to be presenting any greater threat to honey bees and crop pollination than other pesticides that have been used for many years.

The full report and presentations can be found with the following link to the PHA website.

The issue of neonicotinoid use remains controversial. In December 2013 the European Commission suspended the use of neonicotinoid insecticides on flowering crops such as corn, canola sunflowers and cotton. The suspension does not apply to crops that are not attractive to bees or to winter cereals.

Michael Hornitzky – Chair, Honey Bee and Pollination R&D Program

COMPLETED PROJECTS

Development of an Australian Bee Health and Management website
Principal Investigator: Sam Malfroy

The BeeAware website,  which is a hub of information for beekeepers and growers about honey bee biosecurity and pollination of agricultural and horticultural crops, was formally launched at the Victorian Apiarist Association Conference on the 8th of July.

The site contains an extensive range of information about exotic and established pests and diseases of honey bees, and helps beekeepers to identify and respond to these pest threats. It also contains information about the pollination of crops and how beekeepers and growers can work together to provide and receive best practice pollination services.

Screened bottom boards
Principal Investigator: Dr Doug Somerville

The results of this research demonstrate no difference in the productivity of honey bee colonies when using conventional bottom boards or using screened bottom boards and beekeepers should consider trialing screened bottom boards as a possible varroa mite readiness strategy without prejudice that they may affect productivity.
This report can be downloaded from the RIRDC website

Inter-specific matings between A.cerana and A. mellifera?
Principal Investigator: Professor Ben Oldroyd

This project addressed two of the most important issues confronting the beekeeping industry: do interspecific matings occur between the invader and endemic A.mellifera and if matings do occur, does it matter? Previous studies in Japan showed that if there are no other males to mate with, A. mellifera queens will mate with A.cerana drones.

After such matings eggs either fail to hatch, hatch into drones, or, rarely, into female clonal offspring of the queen. A summary of the final report is due to be published soon. For the full report of this project see: Remnant, E. J., A. Koetz, K. Tan, E. Hinson, M. Beekman, and B. P. Oldroyd. 2014. Reproductive interference between honey bee species in Australia and China Molecular Ecology 23:1096-1107. 


NEW R&D PROJECTS ANNOUNCED

Five new projects have been approved for funding in the current financial year:

Active Australian Leptospermum Honey: new sources and their bioactivity
Professor Elizabeth Harry – University of Technology, Sydney

The objectives of the project are to (i) perform a comprehensive, Australia-wide survey of Leptospermum honeys to identify floral sources and geographic locations that yield honey with antimicrobial activity, (ii) to determine whether antibacterial activity in Australian Leprospermum honeys correlate with methylglyoxyl (MGO) / dihydroxyacteone (DHA) levels, as is the case for Manuka honey from New Zealand and (iii) determine the range and  spectrum of activity and characteristics of any highly active Australian Leptospermum honeys.

Genetic Evaluation of Australian Honeybees BLUP (Best Linear Unbiased Prediction) procedures
Dr Robert Banks – University of New England

This project is aimed at contributing to the genetic improvement of honey bees in Australia. This will be achieved through (i) the analysis of paper-stored data, from a
well-known queen breeder, relating to genetic parameters amongst the range of production, bee, hive health, and hygienic traits, (ii) an estimation of the genetic progress achieved over the past (up to 25 years) for these traits and (iii) an estimation of the genetic merit of the current queens on hand, allowing more accurate selection for production and health traits, better decisions on matings, and an indication of the genetic merit of external sources of queen bees.

Compatibility of Management Objectives on Public Lands with Beekeeping
Ms Sue Salvin – GHD Pty Ltd

This project will evaluate which types of public lands have management objectives compatible with access by managed European honey bees and those that do not have such objectives. The different public land tenures in each state and territory will be identified  and the management objectives will be reviewed along with any policy documents relating more generally to the use of public land by apiarists. The project will also collate all state policies on beekeeping on public land into a single document.

Chemical Residue in Beehives Post Canola Flowering
Dr Robert Manning – West Australian Agriculture Authority

The aim of this project is to carry out a survey for chemical residues in wax, honey and pollen from hives working canola. The research will be based on a study carried out in the US. The project will also compare the pesticide residues from hives working seed treated and non-seed treated canola. Feral hives in close proximity to canola will also be tested.

External Attractant Trap for Small Hive Beetle (SHB)
Dr Diana Leemon – Agriscience Queensland

This project will involve two key areas. Firstly, the identification of compounds that are attractive to the SHB. This will involve testing compounds from fermenting hive products, determining the presence and identification of aggregation hormone and hive volatiles. The second key area will be to develop the most suitable trap design to house the attractants.

 

USA- 90 YEARS OLD BEEKEEPING COMPANY IS ACQUIRED BY A CORPORATION

Apinews - 25. august 2014 - 16:55
USA- 90 YEARS OLD BEEKEEPING COMPANY IS ACQUIRED BY A CORPORATION

Press release of Frandsen Corporation Announcing the acquisition of The Walter T. Kelley Company, LLC. Please download attached document

 

 

 

The Frandsen Corporation (Frandsen) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire The Walter T. Kelley Company, LLC of Clarkson, KY. The acquisition is scheduled to close on September 9, 2014. After close of the  acquisition the company will be known as Kelley Beekeeping Company (KBC).

 

Kelley will join the Frandsen Corporation family of companies and become a “sister company” to Miller Manufacturing Company (Miller). Kelley is a current supplier to Miller and a strategic partner in  expanding the availability of beekeeping supplies to the retail channel.

 

Although formally an acquisition, the intent and spirit of the transaction is to create a partnership among KBC, Frandsen, and Miller. Frandsen is excited to bring additional resources and investment to KBC in  support of the important and growing industry of beekeeping, both for commercial beekeepers and hobbyists. This partnership provides the opportunity to further strengthen the synergy between KBC and  Miller.

 

“The beekeeping industry has exploded with growth in recent years and is expected to continue growing and evolving rapidly,” said Dan Ferrise, EVP of Frandsen and CEO of Miller. “We will provide the KBC team with resources that will allow them to continue to grow to meet the needs of beekeepers throughout North America.”

 

Ferrise went on to say, “It’s been great to work with KBC on this transaction. The commitment to the industry and community that its owners and leadership team have demonstrated is clear. We are thrilled  to work with them to continue the rich heritage of KBC and embrace the legacy that was created by Walter T. Kelley and has been carried on by its employees and the Clarkson community. Frandsen is  built on a legacy of similar commitments, and we are proud to associate with a company of like values.”

 

Joe Papalia, majority owner of the Walter T Kelley Company, said, “Being a part of the Kelley legacy has been a great experience. As we go through this change, we are happy to be working with an organization that is committed to the beekeeping industry and is committed to investing in the community, the employees, and the continued growth of the company.”

SPAIN- NEW BEAUTY CREAMS BASED IN BEE VENOM

Apinews - 25. august 2014 - 16:50
SPAIN- NEW BEAUTY CREAMS BASED IN BEE VENOM

Creams based in bee venom have become a natural alternative to botox and the most exclusive beauty centers and offer as treatment with the claim that many celebrities use them to eliminate wrinkles and provide greater sensitivity and smoothness to your skin.

MEXICO- GROWS HONEY PRODUCTION IN CAMPECHE

Apinews - 25. august 2014 - 16:46
MEXICO- GROWS HONEY PRODUCTION IN CAMPECHE

Campeche beekeeping production this year, which places second at national level, is 6,868 tons and value of 240.3 million pesos ($ 18.2 million), as reported by the  head of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development,  Evelia Rivera Arriaga.

SWEDEN- ACCORDING TO A NEW STUDY HONEYBEES ARE ORIGINATING IN ASIA AND NOT AFRICA AS THOUGHT

Apinews - 25. august 2014 - 16:40
SWEDEN- ACCORDING TO A NEW STUDY HONEYBEES ARE ORIGINATING IN ASIA AND NOT AFRICA AS THOUGHT

The first comprehensive analysis of genomic variety of honey bees (Apis mellifera) has resulted in some surprises; as bees show a surprisingly high level of genetic diversity and that the species originated in Asia and not in Africa as previously thought

ARGENTINA- DELIVERS HELP TO A CHACO PROVINCE BEEKEEPING COOPERATIVES

Apinews - 25. august 2014 - 16:35
ARGENTINA- DELIVERS HELP TO A CHACO PROVINCE BEEKEEPING COOPERATIVES

The Ministry of Production has signed agreements with several Beekeeping  Cooperatives delivering economic aid with  the ANR (No Repayable Contributions)

ARGENTINA- HONEY EXPORTS JULY 2014

Apinews - 25. august 2014 - 16:28
ARGENTINA- HONEY EXPORTS JULY 2014

In the month were exported 4,865 tons (+ 1.4%) . In the year were exported 39,172 tons (-18.5%) . All percentage values refer to the same period last year. Please download the attached report prepared by SENASA.

Elva Mesinike Seltsi õppe- ja teabepäev - 12.10.2014

MP teabepäevad - 24. august 2014 - 22:20
Pühapäev, 12 Oktoober, 2014 - 10:00

12.10.2014      Sügisesed tööd mesilas. Kärjemajandus korda. Vastused küsimustele.

                         Lektor: Tõnu Hiiemäe

Täpsem info Tõnu Hiiemäe tel. 5049020

Õppe- ja teabepäevade korraldamist toetab Euroopa Liit Mee tootmise ja turustamise arendamise Eesti riiklik programm 01.09.2013 – 31.08.2016 kaudu. Osavõtt on tasuta.

Hiiumaa Mesinike Seltsi teabepäev - 04.10.2014

MP teabepäevad - 24. august 2014 - 22:11
Laupäev, 4 Oktoober, 2014 - 10:00

Hiiumaa Mesinike Seltsi korraldusel toimub Käina kultuurikeskuses Hiiumaal, algusega kell 10.00, järgmine mesinike teabepäev:

04.10.2014     Mahemesinduse olemus ja selle arendamise võimalused Hiiumaal

                       Lektor: Aili Taal

Täpsem info Uku Pihlak tel. 5052736

Õppe- ja teabepäevade korraldamist toetab Euroopa Liit Mee tootmise ja turustamise arendamise Eesti riiklik programm 01.09.2013 – 31.08.2016 kaudu. Osavõtt on tasuta.

Põltsamaa Mesinike Seltsi õppe- ja teabepäev - 04.10.2014

MP teabepäevad - 24. august 2014 - 22:01
Laupäev, 4 Oktoober, 2014 - 10:00

Põltsamaa Mesinike Seltsi korraldusel toimub Põltsamaa Kultuurikeskuses Põltsamaal J.Kuperjanovi 1, algusega kell 10.00 järgmine mesinike õppe- ja teabepäev:

04.10.2014    Müügikunst. Kuidas edukalt toime tulla müügisituatsioonidega ja mõjutada müügiprotsessi.

                        Lektor: täpsustamisel

Täpsem info Ain Seeder tel. 5250204 ja veebilehel www.poltsamaamesi.eu

Õppe- ja teabepäevade korraldamist toetab Euroopa Liit Mee tootmise ja turustamise arendamise Eesti riiklik programm 01.09.2013 – 31.08.2016 kaudu. Osavõtt on tasuta.

Pärnumaa Mesinike Seltsingu õppe- ja teabepäev - 13.09.2014

MP teabepäevad - 24. august 2014 - 21:54
Laupäev, 13 September, 2014 - 11:00

Pärnumaa Mesinike Seltsingu ja EML koolituskeskuse korraldusel toimub Allika 2A, Pärnu (Pärnu AMS maja), algusega kell 11.00 järgmine mesinike õppe- ja teabepäev:

13.09.2013    Vaha sulatus, raamide sorteerimine jms. tööd.

                        Lektor:  Vahur Talimaa

                      Mesilaste haiguste ennetamine ja ravi

                        Lektor:  Aleksander Kilk

                      Sügistööd mesilas: inventari korrastamine ja ettevalmistus talveks.

                        Lektor:  Jorma Õigus


Täpsem info Marianne Rosenfeld tel. 5029006

Õppe- ja teabepäevade korraldamist toetab Euroopa Liit Mee tootmise ja turustamise arendamise Eesti riiklik programm 01.09.2013 – 31.08.2016 kaudu. Osavõtt on tasuta.

Keila Aiandus- ja Mesindusseltsi õppe- ja teabepäev - 07.09.2014

MP teabepäevad - 24. august 2014 - 21:46
Pühapäev, 7 September, 2014 - 11:30

Keila Aiandus- ja Mesindusseltsi korraldusel toimub Keilas Ohtu tee 5 II korruse saalis algusega kell 11.30 järgmine mesinike õppe- ja teabepäev:

07.09.2014    Mesilasperede talvitumiseks ettevalmistamine ja varroatoositõrje.

                        Lektor: Arvi Raie

Täpsem info Aivi Jakobson tel. 51945876

Õppe- ja teabepäevade korraldamist toetab Euroopa Liit Mee tootmise ja turustamise arendamise Eesti riiklik programm 01.09.2013 – 31.08.2016 kaudu. Osavõtt on tasuta.

SWEDEN- EVOLUTIONARY HISTORY OF HONEYBEES REVEALED BY GENOMICS

Apinews - 24. august 2014 - 17:00
SWEDEN- EVOLUTIONARY HISTORY OF HONEYBEES REVEALED BY GENOMICS

Press release of the Upsala University

 

 

 

In a study published in Nature Genetics, researchers from Uppsala University present the first global analysis of genome variation in honeybees. The findings show a surprisingly high level of genetic diversity in honeybees, and indicate that the species most probably originates from Asia, and not from Africa as previously thought.

 

The honeybee (Apis mellifera) is of crucial importance for humanity. One third of our food is dependent on the pollination of fruits, nuts and vegetables by bees and other insects. Extensive losses of honeybee colonies in recent years are a major cause for concern. Honeybees face threats from disease, climate change, and management practices. To combat these threats it is important to understand the evolutionary history of honeybees and how they are adapted to different environments across the world.

 

“We have used state-of-the-art high-throughput genomics to address these questions, and have identified high levels of genetic diversity in honeybees. In contrast to other domestic species, management of honeybees seems to have increased levels of genetic variation by mixing bees from different parts of the world. The findings may also indicate that high levels of inbreeding are not a major cause of global colony losses”, says Matthew Webster, researcher at the department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University.

 

Another unexpected result was that honeybees seem to be derived from an ancient lineage of cavity-nesting bees that arrived from Asia around 300,000 years ago and rapidly spread across Europe and Africa. This stands in contrast to previous research that suggests that honeybees originate from Africa.

 

“The evolutionary tree we constructed from genome sequences does not support an origin in Africa, this gives us new insight into how honeybees spread and became adapted to habitats across the world”, says Matthew Webster.

 

Hidden in the patterns of genome variation are signals that indicate large cyclical fluctuations in population size that mirror historical patterns of glaciation. This indicates that climate change has strongly impacted honeybee populations historically.

 

“Populations in Europe appear to have contracted during ice ages whereas African populations have expanded at those times, suggesting that environmental conditions there were more favourable”, says Matthew Webster.

 

The researchers also identified specific mutations in genes important in adaptation to factors such as climate and pathogens, including those involved in morphology, behaviour and innate immunity.

 

“The study provides new insights into evolution and genetic adaptation, and establishes a framework for investigating the biological mechanisms behind disease resistance and adaptation to climate, knowledge that could be vital for protecting honeybees in a rapidly changing world”, says Matthew Webster.

NICARAGUA- ARE EXPECTING A LOWER HONEY PRODUCTION

Apinews - 24. august 2014 - 16:57
NICARAGUA- ARE EXPECTING A LOWER HONEY PRODUCTION

The lack of natural feeding for the  bees, due to  the lack of rain is causing emigration of hives, a situation that will drop to 30% honey exports for the period 2014 to 2015, said the president of the National Commission beekeeping Nicaragua, CNAN Fabricio Mendoza.

PERU- BLAME THE PESTICIDES FOR THE BEE DEATHS IN ISLAY

Apinews - 24. august 2014 - 16:54
PERU- BLAME THE PESTICIDES FOR THE BEE DEATHS IN ISLAY

The indiscriminate use of pesticides on crops killed more than 180 thousand bees in the fields of industry in the district La Ensenada Cocachacra. Fernando Oporto Lazo, representing the Association of Peru Pollinators (Aspol), said 300 remained uninhabited hives because the bees wanted to feed quinoa flower pollen, however farmers sprayed their fields and killed insects.

ARGENTINA- CORRIENTES PROVINCE BEEKEEPING COOPERATIVES JOIN THEIR EFFORTS TO MARKET THEIR HONEY

Apinews - 24. august 2014 - 16:47
ARGENTINA- CORRIENTES PROVINCE BEEKEEPING COOPERATIVES JOIN THEIR EFFORTS TO MARKET THEIR HONEY

The group members Consortium Beekeeping cooperatives of the province made ​​a new concentration on the drums of honey extraction room belonging to the Cooperative Agricultural and Electricity "Monte Caseros" (CAEMC). The operations consisted of sampling was in charge of the CAEMC: 250 grams of the product were taken per drum to send laboratory to determine the moisture content, total acidity and eventual adulteration. Under this transaction 10,890 kilos of honey were analyzed, being able to be sold 9,240 kilos (85%) .

ITALY- THE UNITED KINGDOM WILL MAKE A VIRTUAL BEEHIVE FOR THE NEW YEAR TRADE SHOW

Apinews - 24. august 2014 - 16:39
ITALY- THE UNITED KINGDOM WILL MAKE A VIRTUAL BEEHIVE FOR THE NEW YEAR TRADE SHOW

A team led by the resident in Nottingham artist Wolfgang Buttress, has been selected among seven proposals to build a hive that will represent the UK in the next Expo Milan 2015 Titled BE, this "virtual hive" will highlight the plight bees following the decline of the global population and the consequences on the natural pollination and agriculture, providing an 'immersive sensory experience "that leave visitors with a" lasting taste of the British countryside. "

SWEDEN- A WORLDWIDE SURVEY OF GENOME SEQUENCE VARIATIONS PROVIDES INSIGHT INTO THE EVOLUTIONARY HISTORY OF THE HONEYBEE APIS MELLIFERA

Apinews - 24. august 2014 - 16:29
SWEDEN- A WORLDWIDE SURVEY OF GENOME SEQUENCE VARIATIONS PROVIDES INSIGHT INTO THE EVOLUTIONARY HISTORY OF THE HONEYBEE APIS MELLIFERA

Paper prepared by Andreas Wallberg, Fan Han, Gustaf Wellhagen, Bjørn Dahle, Masakado Kawata, Nizar Haddad, Zilá Luz Paulino Simões, Mike H Allsopp, Irfan Kandemir, Pilar De la Rúa, Christian W Pirk and  Matthew T Webster

 

 

 

Abstract

The honeybee Apis mellifera has major ecological and economic importance. We analyze patterns of genetic variation at 8.3 million SNPs, identified by sequencing 140 honeybee genomes from a worldwide sample of 14 populations at a combined total depth of 634×. These data provide insight into the evolutionary history and genetic basis of local adaptation in this species. We find evidence that population sizes have fluctuated greatly, mirroring historical fluctuations in climate, although contemporary populations have high genetic diversity, indicating the absence of domestication bottlenecks. Levels of genetic variation are strongly shaped by natural selection and are highly correlated with patterns of gene expression and DNA methylation. We identify genomic signatures of local adaptation, which are enriched in genes expressed in workers and in immune system– and sperm motility–related genes that might underlie geographic variation in reproduction, dispersal and disease resistance. This study provides a framework for future investigations into responses to pathogens and climate change in honeybees.

USA- INSECT NEUROBIOLOGY: HOW SMALL BRAINS PERFORM COMPLEX TASKS

Apinews - 24. august 2014 - 16:26
 HOW SMALL BRAINS PERFORM COMPLEX TASKS

Paper prepared by Jamie Theobald

 

Summary

A new study finds that bumblebees, like primates, can perform simple tasks that rely on rapid visual assessment, but unlike primates, require longer views for complex tasks. This suggests a fundamental difference in the way bees process visual information.

USA- HYDROCARBONS EMITTED BY WAGGLE-DANCING HONEY BEES INCREASE FORAGER RECRUITMENT BY STIMULATING DANCING

Apinews - 24. august 2014 - 16:19
USA- HYDROCARBONS EMITTED BY WAGGLE-DANCING HONEY BEES INCREASE FORAGER RECRUITMENT BY STIMULATING DANCING

Paper prepared by David C. Gilley. Please download attached document

 

 

 

Abstract

Hydrocarbons emitted by waggle-dancing honey bees are known to reactivate experienced foragers to visit known food sources. This study investigates whether these hydrocarbons also increase waggle-dance recruitment by observing recruitment and dancing behavior when the dance compounds are introduced into the hive. If the hydrocarbons emitted by waggle-dancing bees affect the recruitment of foragers to a food source, then the number of recruits arriving at a food source should be greater after introduction of dance compounds versus a pure-solvent control. This prediction was supported by the results of experiments in which recruits were captured at a feeder following introduction of dance-compounds into a hive. This study also tested two nonexclusive behavioral mechanism(s) by which the compounds might stimulate recruitment; 1) increased recruitment could occur by means of increasing the recruitment effectiveness of each dance and/or 2) increased recruitment could occur by increasing the intensity of waggle-dancing. These hypotheses were tested by examining video records of the dancing and recruitment behavior of individually marked bees following dance-compound introduction. Comparisons of numbers of dance followers and numbers of recruits per dance and waggle run showed no significant differences between dance-compound and solvent-control introduction, thus providing no support for the first hypothesis. Comparison of the number of waggle-dance bouts and the number of waggle runs revealed significantly more dancing during morning dance-compound introduction than morning solvent-control introduction, supporting the second hypothesis. These results suggest that the waggle-dance hydrocarbons play an important role in honey bee foraging recruitment by stimulating foragers to perform waggle dances following periods of inactivity.

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