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Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought

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Stiffy 

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The talk on May 14th might be of interest especially if you live locally.
S


Hi!

I wanted to let you know that theFalmouth Aquarium, in collaboration with the University of Exeter, will be hosting a series of talks from January until May for the community which will see lead researchers in their field discussing topical issues. Guest speakers will include Nick Baker, BBC Broadcaster and Naturalist, among others. The first event is on Wednesday January 22nd with Senior Scientist for Greenpeace, Dr David Santillo, discussing their ‘Save the Arctic Campaign’. His talk will touch on several key issues behind the campaign including climate change, the search for oil, international policies and possible solutions

David is a Senior Scientist with the Greenpeace Research Laboratories, where he has represented Greenpeace International at technical and policy meetings of various international conventions for protection of the marine environment for more than 15 years, and has contributed to UK, European and now global research programmes on ocean acidification, as well as to numerous stakeholder and expert groups addressing climate engineering research and its governance.

Please join us in this opportunity to learn about this important, exciting topic. Come for a tour of the Aquarium beforehand. Doors open at 5.00pm. The talk starts at 7:00pm Tickets are £5.00 for adults and £4.00 for students, children and seniors, and £3.00 for members (Includes the Aquarium entrance fee). Refreshments will be available. Talks generally last 30 minutes, with Questions and Answers to follow. If you would like to reserve tickets please email us at falmouthaquarium@gmail.com, or call us at 01326 212111.

Spring Event Series


January 29: Arctic lakes help scientists understand climate change a clearer picture of climate change is emerging from the sediment drawn from the bottom of Arctic lakes. The Falmouth Aquarium welcomes Professor of Geography Chris Caseldine, University of Exeter 7:00pm. January 29th to discuss this ground breaking research.

February 5: How climate change is affecting wetland species on the lizard, Dr Ilya Maclean, Lecturer in Natural Environment, University of Exeter

February 12: Governance, Innovation and the Transition to a Sustainable Energy System. Special Guest Speaker Matt Lockwood will discuss energy and climate policy in the changing political environment. He has worked on energy and climate policy in the UK, Europe an emerging economies in Africa. He has helped draft the government’s strategy on smart grids, and worked as a consultant and adviser the Deputy Mayor of London, the Department for International Development (DfID) and several other large policy groups. March 19: Fish decline and food security – Are Marine Protected Areas the answer? Dr Kirsten Abernethy, Lecturer in Environmental Social Science, University of Exeter, will discuss the complex and controversial issues that arise from community based management of fisheries

February 26: Glaciers in Chilean Patagonia tell a story of climate change, Patagonia is a crucial region to understand the patterns and timing of global climate change in the past and present. Since the early 1990s, Dr. Stephan Harrison has been working on and around the Patagonian ice fields reconstructing the glacial and climatic history of this area and in this talk he discusses his research and its implications.

March 19: Fish decline and food security – Are Marine Protected Areas the answer? Dr Kirsten Abernethy, Lecturer in Environmental Social Science, University of Exeter, will discuss the complex and controversial issues that arise from community based management of fisheries, and her work in Africa and Asia.

March 26: Why we aren't more resistant to disease, and how pathogen evolution is both our friend and our enemy. Dr Britt Koskella, Evolutionary Biologist with the University of Exeter will be discussing how we can Figure out disease - every organism on earth is plagued by disease – so why haven’t they evolved to become resistant?

May 7: Transforming our energy demand towards a more sustainable future Dr Shane Fudge, Lecturer in Energy Policy, University of Exeter will be discussing how we can improve our own individual energy usage, and what affects our change in behaviour? Dr. Fudge has been involved in a variety of projects looking the relationship between technology and behavioural practices around household energy use.

May 14: Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought; Professor Juliet Osborne, Chair in Applied Ecology discusses her research on how insects and plants interact within the environment, and their role in the provision of ecosystem services. Her work includes the study of pollination and pest regulation in crops. She works closely with beekeepers and conservation organisations.

May 21: Survival of the sexiest - a look at reproductive fitness Dr Michelle Taylor, University of Exeter, will be discussing the evolution of genital morphology, the economics of sexually selected fitness, including female mating preferences, polyandry, and male investment in sexual attractiveness and sperm competition.

May 28: Nasty or nice - it's all in your hormones Why are some animals selfish when others choose to cooperate? Dr. Jenni Sanderson, University of Exeter, discusses how hormones can predict cooperative behaviour in animal societies.


Please be aware that the dates may be subject to change, so keep updated through our website, on www.falmouthaquarium.com or through facebook.

The Falmouth Aquarium is looking for volunteers!
To be a part of the Aquarium team, you don’t have to be an oceanographer or an animal expert—everyone's welcome. If you meet the age requirement and are able to commit to the position, Aquarium staff will train you to do the rest. The Falmouth Aquarium is looking for volunteers for a variety of different jobs from helping us in look after the fish, to admin tasks, to front desk reception and other projects.
Are you retired or semi-retired and looking to be active in the community? This is a new and different opportunity for you. We would tailor our needs around your skills set. Do you love marine life and want to get involved, and have a day to spare? Come get involved.
If you can’t commit to a weekly volunteer position, you can always come in for a day and help the Falmouth Aquarium feed their fish. It will cost 0.50 pence more than your admission price and you will be trained by one of our marine biologists on how we feed all of the fish in the Aquarium! (children are more than welcome as long as they are accompanied by an adult).
Looking forward to seeing you at your local charity run Aquarium,

Warm Regards,

Johanna




Falmouth Aquairum
23 Church Street, Falmouth TR11 3EG
01326 212 111
Registered Charity No. 1145423.
(operated by the Sustainable Conservation Trust)

Our mission is to increase awareness on Cornwall’s marine life heritage and international marine conservation. We work with local communities to increase their knowledge about the diverse marine life that Cornwall’s ocean has to offer.



 

itma 

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Aaah, so it really is all the fault of BigPestCo & BigAg ...



Interesting statistic there, in passing. It was said that it takes 60% of the USA (honey) bee population to pollinate the California Almond crop. I knew millions (truly millions) of hives were trucked to the Almonds, but 60%? If so ... wow!
 
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Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought;

http://qz.com/107970/scientists-discover-whats-killing-the-bees-and-its-worse-than-you-thought/
Although this article is from last July I hadn't seen it ... amongst other things it's suggesting that the mix of pesticides and fungicides is causing bees to have a reduced resistance to Nosema and that this is a contributory factor in CCD.

Whilst we don't have any serious evidence of CCD in Europe (yet) ... I find it extraordinary that something like Nosema could be considered as a cause of CCD in the USA - it's such a simple problem to diagnose and resolve ? Am I missing something ? Surely they would have seen evidence of Nosema ?
 

derekm 

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Although this article is from last July I hadn't seen it ... amongst other things it's suggesting that the mix of pesticides and fungicides is causing bees to have a reduced resistance to Nosema and that this is a contributory factor in CCD.

Whilst we don't have any serious evidence of CCD in Europe (yet) ... I find it extraordinary that something like Nosema could be considered as a cause of CCD in the USA - it's such a simple problem to diagnose and resolve ? Am I missing something ? Surely they would have seen evidence of Nosema ?

you have to combine it with beekeeping practice.

Nosema Ceranae is very strongly correlated to nest temperature. So are other diseases and somewhat indirectly varroa. (low insulation => low humidity)

In general, North American bee keepers use top entrances and top ventilation in winter as well as the rest of the year. the uptake of polystyrene hives is much lower. They focus on low humidity and low nest temperature beekeeping compared to Europe.

They rely on very high stores consumption to see their colonies through.

IMHO N. America beekeeping was perched on the edge of a cliff by its bee keeping practices, pesticides and big ag has just kick over the edge.

references:
Chen, Y. et al., 2012. Nosema ceranae infection intensity highly correlates with temperature. Invertebr Pathol, pp. 264-7
Flores, J. et al., 1996. Effect of temperature and humidity of sealed brood on chalkbrood development under controlled conditions. Apidologie 27, p. 185–192
Hossam, F., 2012. Tolerance of two honey bee races to various temperature and relative humidity gradients. Environmental and Experimental Biology 10, p. 133–138.
Kraus, B. & Velthuis, H., 1997. High humidity in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) brood nest limits reproduction of the parasitic mite Varroa jacobsoni. Oud.Natur- wissenschaften 84, pp. 217-218.
http://www.uco.es/dptos/zoologia/Ap...mperature_and_climate _chalkbrood_disease.pdf
http://www.backyardbees.ca/files/winteringbeaverlodge.pdf
 
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Hivemaker. 

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Am I missing something ? Surely they would have seen evidence of Nosema ?
They have suspected nosema ceranae as one of the main causes in the mix for a long time, lots of research about that.
Ceranae is a world wide problem, seems to be worse in the hotter regions of the world like Spain, Italy,California etc, so best to keep the bees cool perhaps, and sterilise every puddle/drinking place that can be found around/near to the apairy.

The microsporidium Nosema ceranae (Fig. 1) was
detected in the European honeybee at the same time in
Europe and Asia (Higes et al., 2006; Huang et al., 2007),
and it is now one of the most globally prevalent honeybee
pathogens worldwide (Fries, 2010; Higes et al., 2010;
Bernal et al., 2011; Traver and Fell, 2011; Medici et al.,
2012; Martínez et al., 2012). Moreover, N. ceranae has
been implicated in the global phenomenon of colony loss,
although its role remains controversial. Given the direct
relationship between N. ceranae and colony losses in
Spain (Higes et al., 2009a; 2010), Spanish research
groups have actively sought to develop strategies to minimize
the economic losses inflicted upon the professional
sector by this microsporidium. Some studies have suggested
a link between this pathogen and bee colony
depopulation/loss in other countries with similar climatic
conditions (Higes et al., 2005; 2006; 2008; 2009a; Bacandritsos
et al., 2010; Borneck et al., 2010; Hatjina et al.,
2011; Invernizzi et al., 2011; Soroker et al., 2011). By contrast,
in countries from colder climates, the role for this
microsporidium in colony loss has been ruled out (Gisder
et al., 2010; Hedtke et al., 2011; Stevanovic et al., 2011;
Dainat et al., 2012a,b), suggesting that specific conditions
are required to promote these pathogenic effects of
N. ceranae.

http://www.step-project.net/files/D...oney bee pathogen, Higes et al., 2013 EMR.pdf
 
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you have to combine it with beekeeping practice.

Nosema Ceranae is very strongly correlated to nest temperature. So are other diseases and somewhat indirectly varroa. (low insulation => low humidity)

In general, North American bee keepers use top entrances and top ventilation in winter as well as the rest of the year. the uptake of polystyrene hives is much lower. They focus on low humidity and low nest temperature beekeeping compared to Europe.

They rely on very high stores consumption to see their colonies through.

IMHO N. America beekeeping was perched on the edge of a cliff by its bee keeping practices, pesticides and big ag has just kick over the edge.

http://www.uco.es/dptos/zoologia/Ap...mperature_and_climate _chalkbrood_disease.pdf
http://www.backyardbees.ca/files/winteringbeaverlodge.pdf
Couple of interesting articles giving a perspective on US beekeeping ... Thanks.
 

derekm 

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complex relationship N.apis vs N.Ceranae both dont like high temperature but N.Ceranae can take it a bit higher than N.Apis

from Chen et al
Reaching a high pathogen load earlier than N. apis may be a
competitive advantage for N. ceranae in warmer climates. Co-infection
with N. apis and N. ceranae in individual bees was detrimental
in laboratory tests (Z. Huang, American Bee Research Conference,
2012). If co-infection kills the host before maturation of spores, it
is deleterious for both pathogens; the pathogen that produces intense
infections earlier could out-compete a species that peaks later
and explain the replacement of N. apis by N. ceranae in Taiwan.
High temperature apparently negatively affected nosematosis, and
the pathogen load was at the lowest level in July–September when
average temperatures were highest (Figs. 2 and 3A). The lowest
levels for N. apis were recorded for July and August (An and Ho,
1980). N. ceranae infection levels did not increase at the end of
the summer and peak in the fall season like N. apis, and did not correspond
to laboratory temperature trials in Spain (Martin-Hernandez
et al., 2009).
Our hypothesis that changes in N. ceranae pathogen load are
correlated with temperature changes is corroborated when data
are normalized for site differences (Fig. 3B). Pathogen load decreases
when the temperature rises, and is lower than the annual
average infection levels when the temperature exceeds 23.8 C.
These results may allow us to predict the infection dynamics of
N. ceranae using average temperatures. Our monitored temperature
records were identical to the locally recorded monthly average
temperature (Central Weather Bureau, Taiwan) in our research
locations. Prediction of N. ceranae pathogen load by temperature
records may provide a management tool that reduces the effort
of local surveys needed for disease control.
 
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itma 

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... I find it extraordinary that something like Nosema could be considered as a cause of CCD in the USA - it's such a simple problem to diagnose and resolve ? Am I missing something ? Surely they would have seen evidence of Nosema ?
Nosema ceranae isn't "simple" to detect without a microscope. It isn't associated with overt symptoms such as Dysentery like Nosema apis (which in any case is itself an unusual novelty in North America - going by Randy Oliver's comments).
As to 'resolving' the problem of N ceranae ... it ain't entirely simple, even for the hobbyist that knows individual hives - for a commercial operator with many, many thousands of hives, it'd be pretty hard.
 
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Nosema ceranae isn't "simple" to detect without a microscope. It isn't associated with overt symptoms such as Dysentery like Nosema apis (which in any case is itself an unusual novelty in North America - going by Randy Oliver's comments).
As to 'resolving' the problem of N ceranae ... it ain't entirely simple, even for the hobbyist that knows individual hives - for a commercial operator with many, many thousands of hives, it'd be pretty hard.
See ... you learn something every day in beekeeping ... When I did my bee health course the two varieties were more or less classed as one, with a comment that, under the microscope, they look almost identical and the 'treatment' for Nosemosis was the same - ie: requeening and good husbandry/maintaining strong colonies. Fumidil B no longer being permitted for treatment.

It appears that NA and NC are quite different when you dig deeper. Thanks ITMA ... keep 'em coming.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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When I did my bee health course the two varieties were more or less classed as one, with a comment that, under the microscope, they look almost identical
We were taught that although the spores were similar Nosema c was more or less round whilst Nos.a were shaped like rice grains (there were a few frowns when I asked whether that was long grain, basmati or pudding!)
 

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We were taught that although the spores were similar Nosema c was more or less round whilst Nos.a were shaped like rice grains (there were a few frowns when I asked whether that was long grain, basmati or pudding!)
N.a is more of a cylinder and N.c more of an elliptical shape (IIRC ?!) so one is basmati and the other risotto rice, neither is pudding, and isnt long grain the same as basmati ? and why cant I find big sago anymore ?
 

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, so best to keep the bees cool perhaps, and sterilise every puddle/drinking place that can be found around/near to the apairy.
As its highly unlikely we could ever eradicate either Nosema now, wouldnt it be better to breed bees who shrug it off ?
 

itma 

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...
Interesting statistic there, in passing. It was said that it takes 60% of the USA (honey) bee population to pollinate the California Almond crop.
It could actually be even worse than that.

In the course of another discussion Randy Oliver wrote the following in August 2013
The Two Worlds of Beekeeping

What really struck me at the Summit was that hobby beekeepers are barely considered as stakeholders in the economic analyses of the bee industry. The reason was made clear by Gene Brandi, who did some quick math for our benefit. Gene pointed out that there are about 2.5 million managed hives of bees in the U.S. The average winter loss rate is running about 30%. That leaves about 1.7 million strong colonies for almond pollination. This winter the demand was for 1.6 million hives. And in the next few years, an additional 200,000 hives will be required for new orchards reaching bearing age. You do the math!

Few hobby beekeepers pollinate almonds, so as far as agriculture is concerned, the commercial migratory beekeepers are the only stakeholders of interest.
http://scientificbeekeeping.com/reflections-on-the-honey-bee-health-summit/
// I think by "managed hives" Gene Brandi & Randy Oliver would mean commercially managed (excluding hobby/sideline) hives ...

And in the same article, there was another missing piece of my jigsaw -- $150/hive is currently paid for almond pollination.


/// ADDED
There is also this thought-provoking quote
American agriculture used to rely upon the “free” pollination services provided by native insects and honey bees. Change in land use practices has now created a market for a pollination service industry. This industry initially relied upon natural forage to support its bees. But some of the same land use practices that created the need for migratory pollinators are now eliminating this natural forage, forcing the large commercial beekeepers to adopt the artificial feeding practices of the livestock industry. Change is the name of the game, and the Big Boys are having to adapt.

And how about that surplus honey crop? I was recently going over figures with various commercial California-based migratory beekeepers. Last season it was not unusual to feed 100 lbs of syrup per hive plus several pounds of protein supplement. The fed syrup far exceeded the weight of any honey crop! And the income to those beekeepers from almond pollination clearly exceeded any “profit” from the honey harvest. Commercial beekeeping is largely becoming a service industry to the almond growers.
 
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...And how about that surplus honey crop? I was recently going over figures with various commercial California-based migratory beekeepers. Last season it was not unusual to feed 100 lbs of syrup per hive plus several pounds of protein supplement. The fed syrup far exceeded the weight of any honey crop! And the income to those beekeepers from almond pollination clearly exceeded any “profit” from the honey harvest. Commercial beekeeping is largely becoming a service industry to the almond growers...
you would think they would seize anything that reduced feed costs, like insulating the hives, to reduce the food bill. AAh but that doesnt happen because in the U.S. insulating the hives doesnt work. (they have top vents)
 

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See ... you learn something every day in beekeeping ... When I did my bee health course the two varieties were more or less classed as one, with a comment that, under the microscope, they look almost identical and the 'treatment' for Nosemosis was the same - ie: requeening and good husbandry/maintaining strong colonies. Fumidil B no longer being permitted for treatment.

It appears that NA and NC are quite different when you dig deeper. Thanks ITMA ... keep 'em coming.
The "pollen virius "new CCD theory has been going around twitter for the last two days has now been reported by the Daily Mail

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...nfected-pollen-startling-decline-insects.html

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3025221/is-this-virus-causing-bees-to-disappear
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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I stopped reading at climate change
Got that far! I do like perserverance

The "pollen virius "new CCD theory has been going around twitter for the last two days has now been reported by the Daily Mail
Phew! thank goodness for that,I can stop worrying now - if the Suburban man's Beano is publishing it - it can't be true!
 

MuswellMetro 

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Got that far! I do like perserverance



Phew! thank goodness for that,I can stop worrying now - if the Suburban man's Beano is publishing it - it can't be true!
Probably you are right, it is on twitter and the Daily mail now but lets wait until it is on Wiki as the cause of CCD then we will know it is definitely wrong
 

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