Featured Backgrounders on Bees

Below is the complete archive of articles related to this topic, sorted by date.

Could we control bee-killing Varroa mites by exploiting their genetic vulnerabilities?

Could we control bee-killing Varroa mites by exploiting their genetic vulnerabilities?

Seemingly indestructible Varroa mites have decimated honeybee populations and are a primary cause of colony collapse disorder, or CCD. Michigan ...
Recent increase in honeybee population does not necessarily mean health stress crisis over

Recent increase in honeybee population does not necessarily mean health stress crisis over

Honeybee colonies -- specifically for operations with five or more colonies in the U.S. -- were up in April 2017 ...
Why Scotts Miracle-Gro decided to phase out neonicotinoid insecticides

Why Scotts Miracle-Gro decided to phase out neonicotinoid insecticides

Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. made an unusual move last year when the company announced it would remove a class of insecticides ...
Lab study shows ‘no impact’ of thiamethoxam neonicotinoid pesticide exposure on mature bumblebees

Lab study shows ‘no impact’ of thiamethoxam neonicotinoid pesticide exposure on mature bumblebees

In this experiment, we chronically exposed whole mature bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) colonies to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam (2.4ppb ...
Micro RNA: Genetic suppression might control insect-borne diseases and limit pesticide use

Micro RNA: Genetic suppression might control insect-borne diseases and limit pesticide use

New methods of controlling mosquitos without chemicals include releasing sterile males, spreading confusing pheromones and, most recently, disrupting egg development ...
Bumblebee queens exposed to neonicotinoid insecticide less likely to lay eggs, lab study finds

Bumblebee queens exposed to neonicotinoid insecticide less likely to lay eggs, lab study finds

A group of scientists in the United Kingdom decided to look at how bumblebee queens are affected by some widely ...
Kenya to provide farmers with insect resistant Bt cotton seeds in pilot trials

Kenya to provide farmers with insect resistant Bt cotton seeds in pilot trials

A genetically modified cotton seed variety with high resistance to the Boll worm infestation is due to be released to ...
Central bee health threat—Varroa mite parasite—may be manageable using oregano oil

Central bee health threat—Varroa mite parasite—may be manageable using oregano oil

The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is responsible for the death of millions of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies worldwide. Testing ...
Census shows monarch butterfly population not in decline, but scientists challenge findings, blaming milkweed loss

Census shows monarch butterfly population not in decline, but scientists challenge findings, blaming milkweed loss

Monarch butterfly populations have taken a nosedive over the last 20 years, according to researchers who monitor the number of ...
Why hobby beekeepers may present the biggest threat to honeybee health

Why hobby beekeepers may present the biggest threat to honeybee health

The much-publicized decline of the nation’s honeybee population is greatly exaggerated, according to the organizers of a new [Indiana] beekeeping ...
Epigenetics Around the Web: Should farmers use vinegar, instead of genetically engineered solutions, to protect crops from drought?

Epigenetics Around the Web: Should farmers use vinegar, instead of genetically engineered solutions, to protect crops from drought?

A new study being peddled by anti-GMO activists suggests that table vinegar may be equal or superior to advanced breeding ...
Dannon embraces controversial Non-GMO label for all its products, claiming ‘transparency'

Dannon embraces controversial Non-GMO label for all its products, claiming ‘transparency’

By the end of 2018, all Danimals, Dannon and Oikos branded products for sale in the U.S. will feature the ...
Viewpoint: Greenpeace, environmental activists spread misinformation on honeybees and pesticides

Viewpoint: Greenpeace, environmental activists spread misinformation on honeybees and pesticides

Bloomberg reports some good news: Honeybee hive health has improved and so-called colony collapse disorder (CCD) is less of a problem ...
Protecting growing population of honeybees may threaten vulnerable, more critical wild bees

Protecting growing population of honeybees may threaten vulnerable, more critical wild bees

The honeybee, a single managed species, often occupies the headlines and most of the campaigns to raise awareness about the ...
Antisocial bees could aid the study of autism in humans

Antisocial bees could aid the study of autism in humans

A new study reveals that [antisocial bees] share a genetic profile with people who have autism spectrum disorders, which can ...
US honey bee population rose 3 percent in last year as colony collapse disorder concerns ease

US honey bee population rose 3 percent in last year as colony collapse disorder concerns ease

The number of U.S. honeybees, a critical component to agricultural production, rose in 2017 from a year earlier, and deaths ...
Viewpoint: Canadian monarch butterfly and bee populations thrive as glyphosate use increases

Viewpoint: Canadian monarch butterfly and bee populations thrive as glyphosate use increases

What happened to the monarchs? The popular story is that genetically modified crops and an evil herbicide called glyphosate (also ...
GMOs are not an either/or debate

GMOs are not an either/or debate

On the one hand, GM crops can help us feed poor people in far-flung parts of the world by making ...
House Democrats push for neonicotinoid insecticide ban in next farm bill

House Democrats push for neonicotinoid insecticide ban in next farm bill

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) wants to include a ban on pesticides linked to declining bee health in next year’s farm ...
'True blue' chrysanthemum flowers created using genetic engineering

‘True blue’ chrysanthemum flowers created using genetic engineering

Roses are red, but science could someday turn them blue. That’s one of the possible future applications of a technique ...
UK expected to follow EU policy on neonicotinoid insecticides

UK expected to follow EU policy on neonicotinoid insecticides

Newly proud “environmentalist” Michael Gove is promising to deliver a “green Brexit” which will set global gold standards on policies ...
Quebec's plan to prohibit neonics and other pesticides upsets grain producers

Quebec’s plan to prohibit neonics and other pesticides upsets grain producers

Grain producers are not digesting the concept of pesticide regulation announced on [July 19] as part of the Quebec Pesticide ...
Making the case for sustainability in 'industrial agriculture'

Making the case for sustainability in ‘industrial agriculture’

Attacks on GMOs are often a proxy for criticisms of globalization, synthetic chemicals and what has come to be called ...
Lead author of bees and neonicotinoids study: 'I don't appreciate' Bayer, Syngenta 'calling me a liar'

Lead author of bees and neonicotinoids study: ‘I don’t appreciate’ Bayer, Syngenta ‘calling me a liar’

The lead author of a major study which found that neonicotinoid pesticides harm honey bees has hit back against criticism ...
Too much inbreeding? Can diversifying honeybees' gene pool increase survival?

Too much inbreeding? Can diversifying honeybees’ gene pool increase survival?

Since 2008, [Susan] Cobey [a honeybee breeder on Whidbey Island, Wash.] has done her share of bee abdomen rubbing as ...
How 'pollinator entrepreneurs' helped stave off 'beepocalypse'

How ‘pollinator entrepreneurs’ helped stave off ‘beepocalypse’

[Editor's note: Shawn Regan is a research fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) in Bozeman, Montana.] Despite ...
Scientists skeptical EU neonicotinoid ban would help bees

Scientists skeptical EU neonicotinoid ban would help bees

As the EU prepares to rule on extending a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, a large-scale study opened the door for industry to argue ...
Milkweed: Mother's milk for monarch butterflies, but yield-robbing weed for farmers

Milkweed: Mother’s milk for monarch butterflies, but yield-robbing weed for farmers

Can we encourage a resurgence in butterfly-friendly milkweed populations without making farming even more challenging? ...