Mississippi bee expert explains what research is saying about honey bee risk

In Delta Farm Press

Although the controversy over the role of pesticides in Colony Collapse Disorder is still going strong, “I’ve seen no data, or metadata, linking huge losses of honey bees in the U.S. to any single insecticide, neonicotinoid or otherwise,” says Jeff Harris, Mississippi State University Extension/Research Apiculturist.

“Certainly, you can do experiments in the lab or in semi-field plot tests to show these materials kill bees, or adversely affect their physiology,” says Harris, who spent 15 years as a bee breeder and researcher at the USDA Honey Bee Laboratory at Baton Rouge, La., before coming to MSU three years ago. Continue reading

Honeybee colony collapses have been around for a while, says MSU apiculturalist

In Delta Farm Press

by Hembree Brandon

Environmental and anti-pesticide activists have made honey bee deaths “the poster child” of their ongoing crusade against ag chemicals, particularly neonicotinoids, says Jeff Harris.

But the Mississippi State University Extension/research apiculturist says pesticides are just a part of the cause of colony collapse disorder, which has wiped out thousands of bee colonies in the U.S. and worldwide in recent years. “I would never say pesticides don’t harm bees — that’s what they’re made to do, kill insects — but at the same time I wouldn’t single them out as the predominant cause of bee losses. Continue reading

Bee Health & Stewardship webinar February 16

Pollinators such as the honey bee play an important role in feeding our growing planet by helping to produce the majority of fruits, nuts and vegetables that we eat every day. Take an in depth look at the current status of honey bee health and the steps we can all take to protect the hardest working insects in agriculture. Webinar is held by the American Society of Agronomy. See their website for more information. Continue reading

Discover How to Support Pollinators with Cover Crops

Cover crops can do a lot for your farm. To learn how they can support a thriving community of pollinators and beneficial insects—which in turn can improve crop quality and yield—check out Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education’s (SARE) new 16-page publication, Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects. Continue reading

Honey bee film to be shown in North Carolina theater

In Charlotte Observer

by Lisa Thornton, Charlotte Observer

Do you like apples, watermelon, onions and cherries?

Thank a honeybee, because according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, they, like other pollinators, are responsible for more than 70 percent of those crops and plenty of others.

But honeybee numbers have dwindled in recent years, and although experts don’t agree why it’s happening, advocates such as Concord Wildlife Alliance are taking measures to boost the honeybee population. They’d like the community to join in, too.

The alliance will present the film “Vanishing of the Bees” Nov. 5 at Davis Theater in Concord. The free event will also feature a panel discussion with pollinator experts following the documentary.

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Environmental Protection Agency Celebrates Pollinator Week

Pollinators are a vital part of America’s economy and environment. Without pollinators, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for our fruits and vegetables to grow. From June 15-21, the Environmental Protection Agency encourages you to celebrate Pollinator Week, a week dedicated to highlighting the importance of bees, bats, birds, butterflies and other pollinators.

EPA is continuing to take action to help protect pollinators, as outlined in the Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators. Here are some our current actions. EPA is accepting comments on its Proposal to Protect Bees from Acutely Toxic Pesticides. On Tuesday, June 23 from 3-4:30 Eastern, EPA will hold a webinar to explain the basics of the proposal. You can access the webinar here https://epa.connectsolutions.com/pollinatorproposal/.

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State pollinator communication is best way to help bees

Don Parker, manager of Integrated Pest Management for the National Cotton Council, tells Delta Farm Press editor Forrest Laws that EPA is looking at state pollinator plans to be model for pollinator protection policies. In states like North Dakota and Mississippi, growers and beekeepers have developed ways for both to coexist while protecting both crops and honeybees.

Read the entire story at Delta Farm Press.