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Bee Health

Cruiser OSR Pesticide Used for Rapeseed to be Banned in France

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Chennai, June 3, 2012: A Reuters report in Yahoo News dated June 1, 2012 says that France is going to ban the pesticide Cruiser OSR, used in that country to treat rapeseed crop. France's decision to withdraw permit to Syngenta, a Swiss agro-chemical group, based on a recent study that showed thiamethoxam, a chemical component in Cruiser OSR coould harm honey bee colonies. Syngenta is given a two-week period to submit its evidence on the safety of the pesticide to honey bees.

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Imidacloprid - Widely Used in India - Found to Cause Honey Bee Colony Collapse

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Chennai, April 6, 2012: Closely following the reports of the deleterious effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees in the journal Science, comes another report of "convincing evidence" of the connection between imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid, and the honey bee losses found in the colony collapse disorder (CCD). While the earlier report observed the effect of the insecticide on bumble bees in the UK (see Abstract of this report) the latest work*, to be published in the June 2012 issue of the Bulletin of Insectology, relates to the effect of imidacloprid on honey bee colonies in field conditions. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Boston,  Massachusetts, USA exposed bee colonies to doses of the insecticide and found 94 per cent of the treated colonies w ere lost with symptoms similar to the CCD. Following is the Press Release dated April 5,2012 by the HSPH on this research.

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Propolis Used by Honey Bees to Control Pathogens

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Chennai, April 4, 2012: Propolis or bee glue is a resinous substance collected by cavity nesting bees to close the cracks and crevices of their nest as a means of protection from attacks of pests and predators. The Indian honey bee does not use propolis as much as the European bee does. A recent study shows that bees use propolis also to control pathogens.

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Neonicotinoid Pesticides Cause Honey Bee Deaths - Field Studies Show -- Indian Nutritional Security Can Also Be Affected

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Chennai, April 2, 2012 (Thanks to Arun Subramanian, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA and Sridhar Rao, Beekeeping Industry, KVIC, Mumbai for the news alerts): "A widely used insecticide can threaten the health of bumblebee colonies and interfere with the homing abilities of honeybees, according to a pair of new studies," reports the American Association for the Advancement of Science, USA (AAAS), publishers of the journal Science in its news release dated March 29, 2012. Both the studies - one on bumble bees* and the other on honey bees** - are  published online on March 29, 2012 at the Science Express Web site of the journal Science.

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Genetically Diverse Honey Bee Colonies are Healthier - Latest Study Reveals

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Chennai, March 14, 2012: A research paper* in the latest issue of the journal PLoS ONE gives interesting information on the association of the microbial communities and genetic constitution of the worker bees in a colony. Researchers from Wellesley College, Massachusetts, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA and from the Microbiology and Systems Biology Group, TNO, Zeist, the Netherlands in their study characterized active bacterial communities in genetically diverse and uniform honey bee colonies. They report in the Abstract of the paper: "Colony microbiotas differed substantially between sampling environment and were dominated by several anaerobic bacterial genera never before associated with honey bees, but renowned for their use by humans to ferment food. Colonies with genetically diverse populations of workers, a result of the highly promiscuous mating behavior of queens, benefited from greater microbial diversity, reduced pathogen loads, and increased abundance of putatively helpful bacteria, particularly probiotic genus Bifidobacterium". Following is reproduced from the News Release dated March 12, 2012 by Indiana University Newsroom, that gives details of the research and the findings.

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