Method, apparatus and compositions for the prophylaxis and treatment of colony collapse disorder

This invention concerns a method for preventing and treating Colony Collapse Disorder, consisting in the use of an automated device that delivers a diet specifically calibrated for consumption by farm colonies of bees to be treated. The apparatus comprises a box-like container accommodating in its interior at least one reservoir for liquid-tight, accessible from outside through a nozzle, an atomizing device of a liquid solution or suspension contained in the reservoir, means for the delivery of the liquid atomized solution or suspension into micrometric drops outside the apparatus, and a control unit programmed for timing the delivery of the solution or suspension to the outside, for the determination of the quantity of solution or suspension delivered and for emitting alarm signals in case of malfunction, the apparatus being powered DC with the energy supplied by a solar panel located outside of the container. The liquid solution or suspension comprises tonic and nutrient ingredients, mainly consisting of milk powder, sugars and lower organic acids, antioxidant and antiseptic ingredients contained in plant extracts and healing ingredients to bees, such as essential oils of thyme and oxalic acid.

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Bee afraid, bee very afraid - Neonicotinoids and the nAChRs family

The reasons for the decline are currently not clear. However, some studies have linked the reduction in bee numbers to a widely-used class of pesticides, neonicotinoids, that have been broadly administered in large-scale crop production since the mid 1990’s – the same time that mass bee disappearances started to be reported 2. These nicotine-like chemicals, which include three key neonicotinoids: thiamethoxam 3, clothianidin 4,5 and imidacloprid 6,7,8, are considered safe for mammals, but are highly toxic to insects.

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Methods for controlling Varroa mites

The present invention relates to methods and compositions comprising cyromazine for the control of bee mites and for the reduction of bee mite infestations, such as the control and reduction of infestations of parasitic bee mites, such as Varroa destructor in bee, preferably honey bee, colonies, and to the treatment of varroatosis in bees.

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Disappearing bees and reluctant regulators

Imagine this: You're a commercial beekeeper, who relies entirely on keeping honeybees for making a living. You head out one morning to examine your bees and find that thousands of your previously healthy hives have "collapsed" mysteriously, after your bees pollinated crops in the fields of one of the farmers with whom you contract. Your bees have abandoned their hives, and they've not returned.

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The use of neonicotinoids in pest control

In reference to a US patent by Lee et al. filed on March 19, 2013, there is now described a method of controlling pests with nitroimino- or nitroguanidino-compounds; more specifically a method of controlling pests in and on transgenic crops of useful plants, such as, for example, in crops of maize, cereals, soya beans, tomatoes, cotton, potatoes, rice and mustard, with a nitroimino- or nitroguanidino-compound, especially with thiamethoxam, characterized in that a pesticidal composition comprising a nitroimino- or nitroguanidino-compound in free form or in agrochemically useful salt form and at least one auxiliary is applied to the pests or their environment, in particular to the crop plant itself.

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Neonicotinoids, a class of neuro-active insecticides

Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine.The development of this class of insecticides began with work in the 1980s by Shell and the 1990s by Bayer.The neonicotinoids were developed in large part because they show reduced toxicity compared to previously used organophosphate and carbamate insecticides.Most neonicotinoids show much lower toxicity in mammals than insects, but some breakdown products are toxic.

ChEBI: The database and ontology of Chemical Entities of Biological Interest

Federal agency stands firm against importing U.S. bees

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has completed a risk assessment report that concludes Canada's beekeeping industry, worth nearly $2 billion a year, remains exposed to four serious risks from the U.S., including Africanized honeybees and medication-resistant pests. The CFIA released the report late last week and asked for comments. It ordered the report after commercial beekeepers in Manitoba and Alberta asked the federal government to open the border after devastating winter losses that put Canada's pollination industry in peril.

Canada closed the border to U.S. packages in 1987 as a result of the outbreak of two different mites. In 1993, it began allowing honeybee queens to be imported from the U.S. but has banned starter packages, which contain upwards of 10,000 bees.

Canada allows package and queen imports from New Zealand, Chile and Australia, which CFIA says do not have problems of Africanized bees, small hive beetle, medication-resistant mites and American Foulbrood, a virulent spore disease.

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Bee-friendly plants put to the test

Researchers have used an experimental garden to put pollinator-friendly plants to the test. The University of Sussex scientists counted the number of insects visiting the plants in their garden. They say their findings show that insect-friendly plants are just as pretty, cheap and easy to grow as less pollinator-friendly varieties. Their results are published in the Journal of Functional Ecology.

PhD student Mihail Garbuzov used 32 different varieties of popular garden plants. These included some nectar-rich and highly scented plants he thought would be attractive to insects and some that seemed to be less attractive.

While the small-scale study did not produce an exhaustive list of the best plants for pollinating insects, the team says the data has put a number on just how many more pollinators the right plants can attract.

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