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Waggle Dance Effective in Recruiting Foragers and Collection of Food

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Pune, May 3, 2012: Honey bees use a combination of sounds, scents and gestures in their waggle dance to convey information about the location, quality and quantity of food to other nest-mates in the hive. Researchers from the University of Arizona, University of Notre-Dame, Indiana and Carl Hayden Bee Laboratory, USDA, Arizona in the USA have shown1 that waggle dancing Apis mellifera bees produce semiochemicals, that helped in worker recruitment.

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Honey Bees Affected by Anesthesia, like Humans!

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Pune, April 30, 2012 (Thanks to Bhaskar S. Manda, Chicago for the news alert): In an interesting study* on the effects of anesthesia on honey bees, a team of researchers from universities and institutions in New Zealand, Israel and Germany found that the bees treated with isoflurane delayed their post-anesthesia searches and in general showed effects like jet-lag in humans after long air travel. Following is the news released on April 19, 2012 by the Faculty of Medical and Health Services, University of Auckland, New Zealand on the study. See also the article in the Science Now of Science Magazine dated April 16, 2012.

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Multiple Mating Queen Bees Help Maintain Genetic Diversity in Apis dorsata

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Chennai, April 17, 2012: Mattila and other researchers have recently shown that colonies with genetically diverse populations of workers, a result of the highly promiscuous mating behavior of queens, are healthier than colonies with genetically uniform worker bee populations (see news dated March 14, 2012 in this site). A latest study* on the giant honey bee (Apis dorsata) colonies in China published on April 12, 2012 in the journal PLoS ONE demonstrates a similar trend in this bee species.

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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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