Fungus provides powerful medicine in fighting honey bee viruses.

Mycelium extract reduces viruses in honey bees.  A mushroom extract fed to honey bees greatly reduces virus levels, according to a new paper from Washington State University scientists, the USDA and colleagues at Fungi Perfecti, a business based in Olympia, Washington. In field trials, colonies fed mycelium extract from amadou and reishi fungi showed a 79-fold reduction in … More Fungus provides powerful medicine in fighting honey bee viruses.

Discovery of RNA transfer through royal jelly could aid development of honey bee vaccines.

Researchers have discovered that honey bees are able to share immunity with other bees and to their offspring in a hive by transmitting RNA ‘vaccines’ through royal jelly and worker jelly. The jelly is the bee equivalent of mother’s milk: a secretion used to provide nutrition to worker and queen bee larvae. The findings suggest … More Discovery of RNA transfer through royal jelly could aid development of honey bee vaccines.

Pesticides influence ground-nesting bee development and longevity.

A study explores the little-understood effects of soil exposure on subterranean colonies. Results from a new study suggest that bees might be exposed to pesticides in more ways than we thought, and it could impact their development significantly. The study, published in Nature’s Scientific Reports, looks at the non-target effects of pesticides on ground-nesting bees, a group that actually makes … More Pesticides influence ground-nesting bee development and longevity.

Pesticide exposure causes bumblebee flight to fall short. Bees exposed to a neonicotinoid pesticide fly only a third of the distance that unexposed bees are able to achieve.

Flight behaviour is crucial for determining how bees forage, so reduced flight performance from pesticide exposure could lead to colonies going hungry and pollination services being impacted. Foraging bees are essential pollinators for the crops we eat and the wildflowers in our countryside, gardens and parks. Any factor compromising bee flight performance could therefore impact … More Pesticide exposure causes bumblebee flight to fall short. Bees exposed to a neonicotinoid pesticide fly only a third of the distance that unexposed bees are able to achieve.

Common weed killer linked to bee deaths.

Scientists believe this is evidence that glyphosate might be contributing to the decline of honey bees and native bees around the world. “We need better guidelines for glyphosate use, especially regarding bee exposure, because right now the guidelines assume bees are not harmed by the herbicide,” said Erick Motta, the graduate student who led the … More Common weed killer linked to bee deaths.

Microscopy research helps unravel the workings of a major honey bee pest.

Varroa mites do not feed on bee blood (hemolymph fluid) Research by scientists at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the University of Maryland released today sheds new light and reverses decades of scientific dogma regarding a honey bee pest (Varroa destructor) that is considered the greatest single driver of the global honey bee colony losses. Managed honey … More Microscopy research helps unravel the workings of a major honey bee pest.

Common pesticide damages honey bees’ ability to fly

Biologists at the University of California San Diego have demonstrated for the first time that a widely used pesticide can significantly impair the ability of otherwise healthy honey bees to fly, raising concerns about how pesticides affect their capacity to pollinate and the long-term effects on the health of honey bee colonies. Previous research has … More Common pesticide damages honey bees’ ability to fly