Globalization had carried the mite from Asia, where it evolved as a parasite of Apis cerana, an Asian honeybee. The parasite reproduces in the honeybee brood cell, where bee larvae grow. Adult female varroa mites then latch onto adult bees, sucking out hemolymph—bee blood—and spreading diseases such as the virus that causes so-called deformed wing disease.
by Melody M. Bomgardner | March 28, 2011
—Bee-Linked Pesticide Under Fire “Honeybee Crisis: France acts on study that shows adverse effects of a neonicotinoid on bee behavior” A Syngenta pesticide, thiamethoxam, is likely to be banned in France because of concerns about the compound’s effects on honeybees. Thiamethoxam is an active ingredient in the Swiss firm’s Cruiser OSR neonicotinoid pesticide, which is used as a seed coating for the oilseed crop rapeseed.
by Melody M. Bomgardner | June 11, 2012
—Natural Products Give New Hope For The Honeybee “Small molecules help explain how a devastating bee-killing bacterium works” The deadly disease American foulbrood threatens honeybees—and therefore human food supplies—across the globe. But new hope may come from a set of natural products recently discovered by chemists in Germany: The compounds they isolated from the bacterium responsible for American foulbrood give clues about how the disease kills and point to molecular targets for combating it.
by Katharine Sanderson | August 18, 2014
—Neonicotinoid Boosts Viral Levels In Bees “Controversial pesticide impairs bee immunity, hikes infections often seen in collapsed colonies” One phenomenon that has increasingly stung honeybee hives is colony collapse disorder (CCD), which is characterized by worker bees abandoning the hive. Environmental activists have linked neonicotinoid pesticides to CCD, but scientists have said it is likely caused by multiple factors, because afflicted colonies often suffer infections from deformed wing virus (DWV) and other pathogens.
October 28, 2013
—USDA To Collect More Data On Bees “” USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service plans to collect more data to get a better handle on the number of honeybee colonies that are lost each year. Multiple factors—including pesticides, lack of habitat, and mites—have been implicated in recent reports of honeybee losses, but it is unclear which factors are the biggest culprits and how many bees have been lost.
by Britt E. Erickson | November 03, 2014
—Middle School Students’ ‘Bee Aware’ Campaign Lands At White House Science Fair “Science Fair: Dozens of students present projects at event hosted by President Obama” A team of North Carolina middle school students who developed a public outreach campaign to help protect honeybees shared their work at the annual White House Science Fair this week. Claudia Button (from left), Kate Fitzpatrick, Nathan Button, and Maria Melissaris (not pictured) studied the decline in honeybee populations and its possible causes, which include migratory stress, mites, poor nutrition, and some pesticides. They developed a plan aimed at educating the public and business owners about the potentially harmful effects of pesticides on bees.
by Jessica Morrison | March 27, 2015
—Curtailing Honeybee Losses “Stakeholders seek to reduce the amount of pesticide-contaminated dust generated during corn planting” The Midwest U.S. and parts of Canada experienced unusually high numbers of dying honeybees associated with last year’s corn planting. The culprit is believed to be contaminated dust, generated when seeds treated with neonicotinoid pesticides rub against each other inside planters that use air to enable uniform planting of seeds.
by Britt E. Erickson | March 25, 2013
—When good bees go bad “Researchers identify neuropeptides linked to aggression in Africanized honeybees” Researchers in Brazil have identified peptides in the brains of Africanized honeybees that are linked to aggressive behavior and can cause docile bees to attack (J. Proteome Res. 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.8b00098). Mario Sergio Palma of São Paulo State University and colleagues collected aggressive and nonaggressive bees from a research colony of Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera). They used matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectral imaging to map the locations and relative abundances of two proteins in the insects’ brains known to be important in bee brain signaling, plus four fragments of those proteins.
by Emma Hiolski | June 22, 2018
—Eating Honey Protects Bees “Molecules in honey help guard bees from pesticides” As declining honeybee populations threaten crop pollination, much attention has focused on commercial pesticides and bee pathogens as causative agents for bee death. Now researchers report that four molecules found in honey can activate the production of enzymes that break down pesticides and kick-start the bee immune system (Proc.
by Sarah Everts | May 06, 2013