Bluegrass Beekeepers Association

Beekeepers in the Bluegrass

Association Meeting Information

The Bluegrass Beekeepers meet monthly throughout the year excluding January and August. The meetings are the second Monday of each month and include an always fabulous potluck starting at 7:00 p.m. The meetings are held at the Fayette County Extension Office in Lexington, Kentucky.

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Minnesota Cracks Down On Neonic Pesticides, Promising Aid To Bees

(via Beevangelist )

Minnesota’s governor has ordered new restrictions on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been blamed for killing bees. Many details of the plan, however, remain to be worked out.

Source: www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/08/31/491962115/minnesota-cracks-down-on-neonic-pesticides-promising-aid-to-bees

Since concern about widespread honey bee colony losses began 10 years ago, there have been surveys carried out to assess winter losses in North America and many European countries. So far, the picture in China, the largest beekeeping country in the world, has been unclear. Now for the first time, information about winter losses from a large-scale survey carried out from 2010-13 has been published.

Source: phys.org/news/2016-08-china-honey-bee-losses-west.html

via Beevangelist

 

Neonicotinoid insecticides can serve as inadvertent insect contraceptives | Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences

There is clear evidence for sublethal effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on non-target ecosystem service-providing insects. However, their possible impact on male insect reproduction is currently unknown, despite the key role of sex. Here, we show that two neonicotinoids (4.5 ppb thiamethoxam and 1.5 ppb clothianidin) significantly reduce the reproductive capacity of male honeybees (drones), Apis mellifera. Drones were obtained from colonies exposed to the neonicotinoid insecticides or controls, and subsequently maintained in laboratory cages until they reached sexual maturity. While no significant effects were observed for male teneral (newly emerged adult) body mass and sperm quantity, the data clearly showed reduced drone lifespan, as well as reduced sperm viability (percentage living versus dead) and living sperm quantity by 39%. Our results demonstrate for the first time that neonicotinoid insecticides can negatively affect male insect reproductive capacity, and provide a possible mechanistic explanation for managed honeybee queen failure and wild insect pollinator decline. The widespread prophylactic use of neonicotinoids may have previously overlooked inadvertent contraceptive effects on non-target insects, thereby limiting conservation efforts.

Source: rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/283/1835/20160506

 

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