Iowa State Researchers Are Piecing Together Causes of Decline in Honey Bee

Iowa State University   1/30/14

AMES, Iowa – Last spring, when Mary Harris started looking for particular pesticides in the pollen carried by honey bees in northwest Iowa, she didn’t find any. But that changed the week tractors hit the fields to plant crops.

That week, every pollen sample she took tested positive for the presence of neonicotinoids, pesticides often used to coat seeds before they’re planted.

Harris, an Iowa State University adjunct assistant professor of natural resource ecology and management, was part of a research team formed by the nonprofit Pollinator Partnership to monitor the level of neonicotinoid pesticides found in plant pollen collected by honey bees. The research, released on Thursday, indicates that the pesticides also contaminate nearby plants that are visited by a range of helpful pollinating insects.

Harris’s effort to study pesticides is one thread in a patchwork of research at Iowa State to identify the factors that have led to steep declines in the populations of pollinating insects in Iowa and...

Read more at: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2014/01/30/beedecline#sthash.j0YzcgtD.dpuf

Corn Dust Research Consortium (CDRC) Calls for Cooperative Measures to Support Honey Bees, Beekeepers, and Farmers

Bee Culture's CATCH THE BUZZ by Kim Flottum   1/30/14

R. Thomas (Tom) Van Arsdall, Director of Public Policy

The non-profit Pollinator Partnership (P2) today released the 2013 Preliminary Report and Provisional Recommendations of the Corn Dust Research Consortium (CDRC), a multi-stakeholder initiative formed to fund research with the goal of reducing honey bee exposure to fugitive dust emitted from planter fan exhaust during mechanical planting of treated corn seed. The report can be found at http://www.pollinator.org/PDFs/CDRCfinalreport2013.pdf with provisional recommendations starting on page 23.

The CDRC participating organizations include the American Seed Trade Association, the American Honey Producers Association, the American Beekeeping Federation, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Bayer CropScience, the Canadian Honey Council, the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association, the National Corn Growers Association, the Pollinator Partnership, Syngenta, and the University of Maryland. These organizations came together to fund and oversee research projects in 2013 to better understand ideas for mitigating risks to honey bees from exposure to fugitive dust emitted from fan exhaust from machinery during corn planting.

The CDRC funded three research teams, led by Dr. Reed Johnson of Ohio State University, Dr. Mary Harris of Iowa State University, and Dr. Art Schaafsma, University of Guelph on behalf of the Grain Farmers of Ontario. It is hoped that the preliminary results and provisional recommendations will inform best practices for the 2014 planting season. Additional research in subsequent seasons will be needed to replicate and...

Read more at: http://home.ezezine.com/1636/1636-2014.01.30.16.10.archive.html

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