New Demons Found.
The CCD Trail Gets Much Warmer.
In 2007 a team* was formed to search for the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder. Using mass spectrometry-based proteomics, a technique modified by the military for screening samples for pathogens, they found a fungus and an unusual virus associated with samples from colonies with CCD symptoms.
An insect iridescent virus (IIV) in bees from CCD colonies is new to the U.S. It shows similarities to an IIV first reported in India 20 years ago, as well as to an IIV found in moths. The method of its introduction to bees in North America remains a mystery but it probably arrived in infected bees, or it crossed over to bees from another insect.
The entire paper is published in the online Journal Plos One. Find it at:
October 29th Update!
Check out Ron's update on his Nature's Corner page.
French Beekeepers hold mass demonstrations in the street to say:
NO! to Syngenta's neonicotinoid insecticide 'Cruiser'.
Read the story HERE.
Beekeeping Merit Badge is NOT reinstated says BSA!
As you may be aware, Christopher Stowell, a Boy Scout and 14 year old beekeeper from Oklahoma, recently led a campaign to reinstate the Beekeeping Merit Badge.
BSA recently announced its response to Christopher's request, and the news is mostly good. While BSA is not agreeing to reinstate the Beekeeping Merit Badge, it is agreeing to incorporate beekeeping activities into several different existing merit badges.
Emphasis of the importance of bees and beekeeping will be added to or enhanced in eight existing merit badge pamphlets: Bird Study, Forestry, Gardening, Nature, Plant Science, Pulp and Paper, Environmental Science, and Insect Study. All of this will be accomplished by the end of 2015. One of those badges, Environmental Science, is needed for a scout to attain Eagle rank. Although the BSA is not reinstating a merit badge specific to beekeeping, it is making changes that provide opportunities to expose over 100,000 boys a year to the joys of beekeeping.
Beekeeping projects, such as working with a colony or harvesting honey, will be considered for addition to one or more of those merit badges so that interested scouts can earn advancement recognition for their beekeeping activities. The BSA believes this will increase the awareness of honeybees and their critical impact on our environment, and training America's young people about caring for this important natural resource.