WASHINGTON, DC, May 2, 2013 (ENS) - Multiple factors are responsible for the steep decline in honey bees across the United States, including parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide exposure, federal government officials...
Emiko Negishi's insight:
factors of steep decline in honey bees --> parasites, disease, genetics, poor nutrition, pesticide exposure.
“Overall losses continue to be high and pose a serious threat to meeting the pollination service demands for several commercial crops,”
"the decline in honey bee health is a complex problem --> caused by a combination of stressors, at EPA we are committed to continuing our work with USDA, researchers, beekeepers, growers and the public to address this challenge" -- acting EPA administrator Bob Perciasepe
federal government agencies + beekeepers, growers, pesticide, seed companies (work team) "new equipment+best management"
link: health of American agriculture + health of our honeybees --> country's long term agricultural productivity
food+beverages(⅓)--pollination($20-30 billion), mainly by honey bees
decline on honey bees -- complex, complicated ---> not a mystery
The Report on the National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health states:
• The parasitic Varroa mite is recognized as the major factor underlying colony loss in the United States and other countries. There is widespread resistance to the chemicals beekeepers use to control mites within the hive. New virus species have been found in the United States, several associated with Colony Collapse Disorder.
• U.S. honeybee colonies need increased genetic diversity. Genetic variation improves bees’ ability to keep body temperature steady even if the surrounding environment is different, as well as disease resistance and worker productivity.
• Honey bee breeding should emphasize traits such as hygienic behavior that confer improved resistance to Varroa mites and diseases such as American foulbrood.
• Nutrition has a major impact on individual bee and colony longevity. A nutrition-poor diet can make bees more susceptible to harm from disease and parasites. Bees need better forage and a variety of plants to support colony health.
• Federal and state partners should consider actions affecting land management to maximize available nutritional forage to promote and enhance good bee health and to protect bees by keeping them away from pesticide-treated fields.
• Best Management Practices associated with bees and pesticide use, exist, but are not widely or systematically followed by members of the crop-producing industry. There is a need for informed and coordinated communication between growers and beekeepers and effective collaboration between stakeholders on practices to protect bees from pesticides.
• Beekeepers emphasized the need for accurate and timely bee kill incident reporting, monitoring, and enforcement.
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