This rare insect had been seen for the last time in the Netherlands in 1998.
This video from the USA says about itself:
EPA Finally Discovers What’s Killing The Bees
10 January 2016
The EPA has concluded what is causing the phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder in bees. To no ones real surprise it was a chemical pesticide that has caused the mass die-off of this important species. Ana Kasparian, Jimmy Dore (The Jimmy Dore Show), Jayar Jackson, and Becca Frucht hosts of The Young Turks discuss.
“Bees are dying in record numbers—and now the government admits that an extremely common pesticide is at least partially to blame. For more than a decade, the Environmental Protection Agency has been under pressure from environmentalists and beekeepers to reconsider its approval of a class of insecticides called neonicotinoids, based on a mounting body of research suggesting they harm bees and other pollinators at tiny doses. In a report released Wednesday, the EPA basically conceded the case. The report card was so dire that the EPA “could potentially take action” to “restrict or limit the use” of the chemical by the end of this year. Marketed by European chemical giants Syngenta and Bayer, neonics are the most widely used insecticides both in the United States and globally. In 2009, the agency commenced a long, slow process of reassessing them—not as a class, but rather one by one (there are five altogether). Meanwhile, tens of millions of acres of farmland are treated with neonics each year, and the health of US honeybee hives continues to be dismal.”
Read more here.
By Felicity Collier in Britain:
Bee fans welcome government pesticide ban
Friday 10th November 2017
ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners welcomed the government’s announcement yesterday that it will ban a certain type of pesticide to save bees but warned it against “repeating past mistakes” by the use of other harmful chemicals.
The EU Commission has since proposed restricting the use of three neonicotinoids to plants in greenhouses, which would extend the ban to crops such as sugar beet and some cereals.
In a reversal of the previous position held by his department, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said new evidence indicated that the risk to bees and other insects from the chemicals was “greater than previously understood.”
Britain will now support a total EU-wide ban on bee-harming pesticides in the countryside, a position it will maintain after leaving the bloc.
Mr Gove claimed he wanted to see a “green Brexit” in which environmental standards were improved, but the decision appears to have been taken on purely economical grounds as he described bees as a “key part in our £100 billion food industry.”
However, they are also a key part of wildlife food chains and environmental campaigners fear that farmers may use other harmful chemicals instead.
Professor Dave Goulson, of the University of Sussex, said: “If the pesticide industry simply replace neonicotinoids with some new generation of pesticides, we will not have made progress but will simply be repeating mistakes we have made over and over again for 70 years.”
Friends of the Earth chief executive Craig Bennett welcomed the decision, but said: “We now need to move away from chemical-intensive farming and instead boost support for less damaging ways of tackling persistent weeds and pests.”
Tories adopt Labour’s policy to back total ban on bee-harming pesticides: here.
This video says about itself:
People, Plants and Pollinators | Nat Geo Live
19 September 2011
Emerging Explorer Dino Martins says that from long-tongued bees to hawk moths, pollinators are the hidden workers that keep the planet running.
By Maria Temming:
Pollen hitches a ride on bees in all the right spots
Hard-to-groom zones line up with where flower reproductive parts touch the insects
2:00pm, September 6, 2017
Bee bodies may be built just right to help pollen hitch a ride between flowers.
For the first time, scientists have identified where and how much pollen is left behind on bees’ bodies after the insects groom themselves. These residual patches of pollen align with spots on bees’ bodies that touch flowers’ pollen-collecting reproductive parts, researchers report online September 6 in PLOS ONE.
Typically, when honeybees and bumblebees visit flowers for nectar, they brush much of the pollen that powders their bodies into pocketlike structures on their legs to carry home for bee larvae to eat. In fact, bees are so good at stashing pollen that less than 4 percent of a flower’s pollen grains may reach the pollen-receiving parts of a second flower of the same species. Given bees’ pollen-hoarding prowess, researchers wondered how they came to play such a significant role in plant reproduction.
So biologist Petra Wester and colleagues put buff-tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) and European honeybees (Apis mellifera) into jars containing pollen grains. As the bees whizzed around, they stirred up the pollen, evenly coating themselves in just a few minutes. When placed in clean jars, the insects groomed themselves. Even after a half hour of grooming, the insects still had pollen caked on some areas of their bodies, including the tops of their heads, thoraxes and abdomens.
“They cannot reach these spots so easily,” says Wester, of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf in Germany, “similar to the fact that people cannot reach their back so easily.”
Wester and colleagues placed other bees in cages with flowers whose pollen-producing anthers and pollen-collecting stigmas had been stained with fluorescent dyes. When the researchers later examined these bees, they found dye smeared on the same ungroomed areas. These findings suggest that these “safe sites” for pollen on bees’ bodies play an important role in pollination.
Scientists discover the secret to bees’ flawless navigation: here.
Increased agricultural production has likely led to loss, fragmentation, and degradation of flower-rich habitats for pollinators. To counteract these negative effects of modern agricultural practices, efforts to maintain and restore diverse plants in agricultural landscapes — called agri-environmental schemes — have been implemented in numerous European countries: here.
This 25 august 2017 video is about a Megachile versicolor bee at its nest.
Henk Brem from the Netherlands made this video.
This video says about itself:
5 August 2017
The success of Save The Elephants’s Elephants and Bees project is being felt far beyond Africa’s shores. The Phuleung Wildlife Research Station in Thailand has built several beehive fences using Dr Lucy King’s manual instructions and are seeing astonishing results.
The elephants are coming out of a reserve in Thailand and these beehive fences are protecting small holder farms from raids, hence reducing conflict between elephants and farmers. However, the elephants have plenty to eat in their park.
Watch this amazing film to see how elephants react to the live beehive fence.
This video says about itself:
3 April 2016
Here you can see the magnitude of the deaths. Bees lay dead and dying in the grass in front of the hive. We believe that these bees found a food source that had, unfortunately, been treated with pesticides containing neonicotinoids. They brought the food back and fed it to the whole colony. We watched as even newly hatched worker bees crawled to the hive door and collapsed, unable to orient and fly. This is a tragic and preventable loss.
By Peter Frost in Britain:
There is no plan bee
Friday 16th June 2017
HONEY bees and other pollinating insects are at risk from killer chemicals called neonicotinoids and not enough is being done about it. You know it, the government knows it, both the EU and the UN know it, but not enough is being done to stop the slaughter.
Bees and other insects play a crucial part in the survival and success of our native plants both wild and cultivated. They are a vital and fundamental part of the complicated structure that is our natural countryside.
The role they play is global, not just here in Britain.
Honey bees don’t just flit from flower to flower collecting the nectar they need to make their honey. Together with bumblebees, other species of bee and many other pollinating insects, they fertilise over three quarters of our wild and agricultural flowering plants. Without them we would all starve and so would all animals and birds.
Back in 2012, I wrote an article for this paper warning of a terrible sickness then being found more and more among bee colonies.
That article described a growing problem for bee farmers called colony collapse disorder (CCD).
This is a worldwide phenomenon that sees worker bees disappear abruptly from the hive — and without the workers, the colony collapses.
CCD was originally found in the USA in late 2006. It spread to Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and Germany. By 2007 it had reached our British hives.
So what causes it? In my earlier article I reported a number of suspected causes. Mobile phone signals disrupting bee navigation; wild African bee swarms; mite-borne viruses and of course climate change.
Chief suspect, however, was the increasing use of a new breed of virulent insecticide chemicals known as neonicotinoids.
Neonicotinoid insecticides are among the most widely used by a profit-hungry agribusiness for coating all sorts of seeds.
The residues from these seed coatings were turning up in all parts of plants including the sexual organs of flowers where the bees collect their honey.
By 2013 the case against neonicotinoids was so strong the EU introduced a temporary ban on their use across Europe.
This was despite opposition from our government, which was bowing to pressure from both the National Farmers Union and big, often US-based agribusiness.
The ban would be in place until the end of May 2017 when it would be made permanent. So far we have heard nothing officially from the Agricultural Commission of the EU. Nothing, that is except a number of special cases to use the chemicals that it has allowed.
These cases were supposed to be limited and controlled and only in exceptional emergencies where pest outbreaks posed an imminent economic danger that could not be treated any other way.
In fact 82 per cent of these notifications did not provide any economic evidence of a threat to plant production, and around the same percentage did not list any alternative means of pest control.
Most countries provided no evidence that the neonicotinoids would be used in a limited and controlled way.
Virtually half of these requests for derogations were filed solely by pesticide manufacturers, their trade associations or seed producers. Only 14 per cent were filed by actual growers working alone.
Romania was the leading EU applicant for these derogations, with 20 notifications, closely followed by Finland and Estonia, with nine each. Britain notified Brussels of three emergency authorisations.
Now of course Brexit, when completed, will mean that Britain will be able to set its own bans and permissions about any farm chemicals.
Meanwhile more and more scientific evidence has come to light showing the danger of neonicotinoids to honey bees and other pollinating insects.
This new evidence seems to have convinced the EU Commission to introduce a complete ban and cite high acute risks to bees. This ban could be in place this year if the proposals are approved by a majority of EU member states.
Here in Britain, a fierce battle has been fought between environmental campaigners and farmers and the multi-million pound pesticides industry. This industry argues the insecticides are vital for crop protection.
Anti-neonicotinoid groups, like Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and Pesticide Action Network Europe, tell us the amount of scientific evidence on the toxicity of these insecticides is so high that there is no way these chemicals should remain on the market.
Nearly four and a half million people have signed an online petition to ban neonicotinoids.
Earlier this year, UN food and pollution experts issued a severely critical report on the more general use of pesticides arguing that it was a myth they were needed to feed the world and calling for a new global convention to control their use.
As the colours of our fields change, our native honey farmers move their hives around the country.
It is bright yellow rape fields this month, fruit orchards at blossom time very soon; later it will be heather uplands. In fact it will be anywhere the busy, hard-working bees can help farmers achieve heavy fruitful harvests.
So we need to take very seriously the fact that Britain’s honey bee population has been cut in half over the last 25 years. If that scale of decline continues it spells disaster for our countryside and our agricultural and horticultural industries.
It also means no more delicious British honey, still one of the most evocative products of our wonderful wildlife.
Rupert Brook remembered it in his poem The Old Vicarage, Grantchester written while in Berlin in 1912: “Stands the church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?”
Bees still buzz among the willow catkins on the water-meadow at Granchester and in the huge yellow fields of rape nearby.
Later this year soft fruit bushes and our many orchards will also need these buzzing sex machines to carry out the complicated process of moving pollen from anthers to stamens deep inside flowers thus starting the production of seeds or fruit.
Without bees, quite simply much of our countryside would die and if we let it happen ultimately the human race will die with it.