The Garden Club of America Board of Associates Centennial Pollinator Fellowship
Graduate Student Fellowship
Deadline: February 1, 2014
Purpose and History
The Garden club of America (GCA) Board of Associates Centennial Pollinator Fellowship provides funding to a current graduate student to study the causes of Pollinator decline, in particular bees, bats, butterflies and moths, which could lead to potential solutions for their conservation and sustainability. The selection criteria are based on the technical merit of the proposed work and the degree to which the work is relevant to this objective
Pollinators—bees, bats, butterflies and moths—help our prairies, gardens, orchards, blueberry barrens, farmers’ fields and desert cacti reproduce and maintain genetic diversity. One-third of the food we eat has been fertilized by pollinators. An alarming decline in the number of pollinators in recent decades—through chemicals, diseases, mites, loss of habitat, and global climate change—has international repercussions.
The GCA Board of Associates Centennial Pollinator Fellowship was established in spring 2013 to facilitate independent research in this field. This fellowship was made possible by generous gifts given in honor of the GCA Centennial by members of the Board of Associates.
The GCA Board of Associates Centennial Pollinator Fellowship annually funds one or more graduate students enrolled in U.S. institutions. funding may vary in amount, but normally will be in the range of $4,000 for study and research that will advance the knowledge of pollinator science and increase the number of scientists in the field. A recipient may reapply for an additional year of funding.
The categories under which applicants may apply are:
1. Effects of nutrition, genetics, pesticides, pathogens, parasites and disease on
2. Pollinator habitat development, assessment or monitoring
3. Plant-pollinator interactions and pollination biology
4. Research that examines other aspects of pollinator health, including cutting-edge, original concepts
1. Only one GCA scholarship may be applied for annually.
2. GCA fellow will provide an interim 250-word report, two high quality photos, and an expense summary to GCA and P2 by September 1st. A final report and final expense summary will be due
3. Research excerpts (text and photos) may be published in GCA’s and P2’s publications and websites.
4. GCA fellow agrees to share research with members of the Garden club of America.
Pollinator Partnership - 423 Washington St., 5th Floor - San Francisco, CA 94111-2339 - (415) 362-1137 - info@pollinator. org, www.pollinator.org
The Bee’s Natural Lactic Acid Bacteria Have Become Its Own medicine
In 2005 in Sweden, Dr. Tobias Olofsson and his beekeeper grandfather Tage Kimblad and fellow researcher Alejandra Vásquez made a discovery: honey bees carry the largest collection of beneficial lactic acid bacteria (LAB) found in their honey stomach. There are nine different types of lactobacilli and four kinds of bifidobacteria.
We started our own research group at Lund University, Sweden, in 2007 based on this discovery. Today, both Lund University Innovation System AB and SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) Holding AB are partners in the company.
Our research has shown that these bacteria are always present in the honey stomach of honey bees worldwide. It is an on going symbiotic relationship between bees and their LAB during millions of years. The purpose of the LAB is to fight bee diseases and protect the nectar from destruction by other microorganisms while it is being converted into honey. The lactic acid bacteria are also involved in the fermentation and preservation of the beebread.
Development of bee medicine
Lactic acid bacteria require nutrients in order to grow and to combat other microorganisms that threaten them and their nutrients. The LAB and bees share the same nutritional source, nectar and pollen. We have developed an excellent product for bees and their LAB, called SymBeeotic. We strive to mimic nectar insofar as possible to attract the bees, while maintaining optimal nutrient composition for the bacteria and bees. The bee medicine ‘SymBeeotic’ (Figure 1) should be given shortly before and after the bees cluster for winter. The purpose of the active LAB is to prevent disease among bees and their larvae, or cure them, while providing a small nutritional supplement. These probiotic bacteria can hopefully replace antibiotics in the future.
Previous results and ongoing studies
Our research tests on diseases affecting bees and their larvae have to date demonstrated in the laboratory that LAB are effective against both American and European foulbrood disease.
In ongoing international collaborations we have tested SymBeeotic on colonies that were heavily infected with Nosema apis and N. ceranae. The colonies were given either SymBeeotic or placebo and the results were highly encouraging. The spore counts among almost all colonies that received SymBeeotic were sharply reduced after 2–3 months (forthcoming publication). These findings are as yet preliminary, but we are continuing to test SymBeeotic in the laboratory and in field studies against Nosema, American foulbrood, the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and deformed wing virus (DWV) virus.
More information about SymBeeotic is available online through www.apicellae.se.
In the future it is planned to make the product available in beekeeping stores in US through a large and well-known bee medicine company.
IBRA Journals Receive International Recognition
At the XXXIIIth International Apicultural Congress (Apimondia) held in Kiev, Ukraine, which ended in September of 2013, IBRA’s two journals were honored with awards. The Journal of Apicultural Research won a Gold Medal, and Bee World won a Silver Medal.
The Journal of Apicultural Research is IBRA’s peer-reviewed scientific journal, which publishes original research papers, short notes and authoritative review papers on all aspects of research involving all species of bees. Recent highlights have included a Special Issue on bee colony losses, and the publication of the review papers which form the COLOSS BEEBOOK, the definitive guide to how to carry out research involving honey bees, written by 243 of the world’s key researchers from 34 countries worldwide. For 2014, a Special Issue on the interactions between honey bee genotype and environmental factors is planned. JAR is edited by a team from Argentina, Greece, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK and the USA. Over the last few years, the number of high quality submissions to the journal has increased, as has the journal’s Impact Factor.
Bee World is IBRA’s popular journal, and fills a unique niche, bringing science in an accessible form to the thinking beekeeper. It also features articles on beekeeping techniques, on the history of beekeeping and news and topical information. Again, a truly international journal, it brings contributions from authors in many countries, four times a year.
IBRA Science Director and JAR Senior Editor Norman Carreck says: “As a small independent publisher, IBRA is delighted that our two journals have been rewarded by our international audience in this way. We see this as recognition of the high standards that we try to attain, publishing in JAR only high quality original research of international interest. Bee World fully complements JAR, by bringing science to the beekeeper in an accessible form”.
Bees: A Natual History
There are more species of bees than birds and mammals combined. With at least 20,000 described species and with many new species being described annually, bees comprise a major component of our planet’s biodiversity. They play a vital role in human ecology, a fact underlined by the estimate that every third mouthful of our food is dependent on the pollination services of bees.
Bees: A Natural History (Firefly Books, $40,00 hardcover, November 2013) immerses readers in the world of a group of insects whose diversity of form and behavior is eloquent testimony to the fine-tuning of natural selection. This book aims to introduce readers to bees and their impressive diversity of size, form and behavior.
Sophisticated computing skills, fail-safe sun-compass orientation, a true sense of time and enviable fuel efficiency are just some of bee’s remarkable characteristics. They can be found in high alpine and sub-arctic regions, rainforest, savannahs, steppes and deserts. The greatest diversity of species occurs in shrub communities in regions with a Mediterranean-type climate: short mild winters, warm springs and hot dry summers.
Written by a respected entomologist and specialist in bees, the book’s topics include:
● What are bees? (The Wasp Inheritance) - Bees as foragers, their nesting instinct, on-board computing facility, sun-compass orientation and sense of time
● The many ways of being a bee - Solitary versus social, Miners and masons, Leafcutters and carpenters
● Bees and flowering plants
● The male of the species - Mating strategies, patrols, competition, territoriality, the role of scent
● The enemies of bees - Cleptoparasites, cuckoo bees
● Bees and People - historic and contemporary
● Bees in Folk and Modern Medicine
● The conservation of Bees - the decline of bees and honeybees, bees in human ecology, bee conservation, urban bees
● Bee projects - the backyard bee scientist.
Bees can be found throughout history in roles poetic and military, in medicine and agriculture, in the kitchen and in the kit of a traditional healer. They have played a bigger role in human existence than is often recognized. This beautiffully illustrated, appreciative tribute will be welcomed by entomologists, students and all naturalist readers
About the Author:
Christopher O’Toole is an entomologist, author and speaker. Formerly based at the Hope Entomological Collections of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, his research has centered on the systematics, biogeography and floral relations of solitary bees. He has published widely, including 20 books on insects for the general reader. His books include Bees of the World and for children, discovering Bees and Wasps.
Christopher O’Toole has been scientific consultant to many television projects, including The Birth of the Bees for the BBC and on the David Attenborough series Life on Earth and was scientific consultant on the feature film Angels and Insects.
Title: Bees: A Natural History
Author: Christopher O’Toole
Specs: 240 pages, 8 1/2” x 11”, 125 color photographs, 3 appendixes, index; $40.00 Hardcover
Pub Date: November 23, 2013
Publisher: Firefly Books
Available at bookstores, online booksellers and www.fireflybooks.com
Monsanto Announces Clinton Global Initiative Commitment on Honey Bee Health
By Jerry Hayes
My goal in life and work is continuous improvement. And, it has happened here since coming to Monsanto with lots of help from like-minded people who have really engaged and seen the vision of what Monsanto can offer to honey bee health.
I’m a firm believer that everything should build on the previous effort. Back in June, we were able to sponsor a first-of-its-kind Honey Bee Health Summit, hosted by Project Apis m. (PAm) and Monsanto’s Honey Bee Advisory Council. The leaders in the world of honey bee health were here and shared how we could help them reenergize this industry. The presentations are available at the site. After most meetings, workshops and conferences, everybody leaves with optimism and excitement and then nothing happens. Well, after this meeting, building to the next goal was to get honey bees positioned in front of global leaders who create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. One of the only places where you can do that and stand in front of the world is at the Clinton Global Initiative. We did it.
Group Launches Coalition to Research the Challenges Facing Honey Bees
ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Monsanto recently announced its commitment to honey bee health at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting with support from the Keystone Center, American Honey Producers Association, American Beekeeping Federation, World Wildlife Fund, Project Apis m. (PAm), and commodity groups. The multi-stakeholder coalition will include individuals involved in honey bee health, as well as new stakeholders, which include agriculture commodity groups, industry groups, government agencies, environmental NGOs, and agriculture companies, all focused on improving honey bee health.
The coalition will have four priority areas of focus: 1) improving honey bee nutrition; 2) providing research investment in novel technology for varroa and virus control; 3) understanding science-based approaches to studying pesticide impacts on honey bees and increasing awareness of pesticide best management practices among growers and beekeepers; and 4) enabling economic empowerment of beekeepers.
“One-third of our diet is made up of vegetables, fruits and nuts that depend on pollinators like honey bees,” said Jerry Hayes, Monsanto’s Commercial Bee Health Lead. “Honey bees play an essential role in ensuring crop yields – a critical need for global food security. The coalition will take an action-oriented approach to improve and sustain honey bee health.”
A significant decline in the honey bee population is posing a threat to agricultural sustainability and food security, as well as to ecosystem health and biodiversity. In the United States, beekeepers have seen an average winter loss of more than 30 percent of honey bee colonies every year since 2006 as a result of CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder), a phenomenon in which bees disappear abruptly from an otherwise healthy colony. The low survival rate of honey bee colonies is leading to a significant decline in the overall honey bee population. Historically, approximately 6 million colonies existed in the United States; today approximately 2.5 million colonies exist.
Monsanto has been involved with bee research since 2011 when it acquired Beeologics, an organization focused on researching and testing biological products to provide targeted control of pests and diseases in order to provide safe, effective ways to protect the honey bee. Monsanto also has collaborated with PAm to assist in forage projects in order to provide more nutritious food for bees, and is doing extensive research on the varroa mite, which may be one factor in the decline of honey bee health.
New Hive Tool - The Shizel
You are probably asking yourself what’s a Shizel? A Shizel is one of the most useful multi-purpose hand tools ever invented! A Shizel is whatever you want it to be. It’s a scraper, pry tool, nail-puller, leveler, chisel, can opener, hammer, trowel, bee hive tool, putty knife, box opener, and whatever else you can find to do with it! The Shizel has been patented, tested, and proven. Use it with carpentry repairs and remodeling. Great for fixing doors, flooring, painting surfaces, and window repair. Ideal for the lawn and garden. Clean shovels, remove grass under lawn mowers, dig weeds, transplant flowers, straighten pavers and retaining wall brick. The tool is professionally manufactured and has a lustrous stainless steel satin finish that will last for years. That’s the Shizel!
The Shizel will not be ready for sale until late December or mid January.
PINE RIDGE TOOLS
P.O. Box 342
#14 Stockade Road
Chadron, NE 69337
Phone (308) 430-5099
Groeb Farms, Inc. Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Normal Business Operations to Continue Under Chapter 11 Process
ONSTED, Mich. – Groeb Farms, Inc., a major U.S. honey packer, has announced that it has reached an agreement with its lender, a private equity firm, to recapitalize the company and invest additional capital into the business. The transaction will be consummated through a plan of reorganization (the “Plan”) which was filed Oct. 1 along with the company’s voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Upon confirmation of the proposed Plan, the company’s debt will be restructured, and the company’s capitalization will be dramatically improved. The Plan already has the support of the company’s major constituents, including its pre-petition lender and certain of its subordinated debt holders. The company expects to emerge from bankruptcy within 90 days, in a stronger, financially sound position.
The private equity pre-petition lender will financially support the company through the reorganization process. This lender was identified through an extensive marketing process conducted by Houlihan Lokey, an international investment banking firm.
Groeb Farms CEO Rolf Richter commented, “First and foremost, we want to indicate how pleased we are to be able to recapitalize the company. We also want to assure customers, vendors, employees and all other stakeholders that the company will continue normal business operations during the reorganization process, which is expected to last approximately 90 days. This is a very desirable outcome for Groeb Farms. It allows us to restructure with strong financing in place. The bankruptcy is based on a prepackaged reorganization that releases the company from its legacy liabilities, allowing us to emerge as a strong, well-capitalized company, under new ownership, with a continued commitment to world class products and services, customer satisfaction and supply chain integrity.”
In conjunction with its filing, the company is seeking approval of its debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing. The DIP financing provides ample capital to successfully execute the Plan. It also provides greater liquidity such that the company expects to be able to satisfy all future customary obligations associated with the normal course of business, including employee wages and benefits and payment of post-petition obligations to vendors.
Calif. Honey Broker Sentenced To Three Years in Prison for Avoiding $39.2 Million in Tariffs on Chinese-Origin Honey
U.S. Department of Justice,
United States Attorney,
Northern District of Illinois
CHICAGO — A California woman was sentenced Sept. 30 to three years in federal prison for illegally transporting hundreds of container loads of Chinese-origin honey through the Chicago area after it entered the country illegally. The defendant, HUNG YI LIN, also known as “Katy Lin,” 42, of Temple City, Calif., pleaded guilty in May to three counts of violating U.S. importation laws by falsely declaring that the honey shipments contained sugars, syrups, and apple juice concentrate to avoid $39.2 million in anti-dumping duties.
Lin, who owns and operates KBB Express Inc., of South El Monte, Calif., and served as the U.S. agent for at least 12 importers that were controlled by Chinese honey producers and manufacturers, was sentenced to a year in prison on each of the three counts, to be served consecutively, by U.S. District Judge Milton Shadur. Lin was ordered to begin serving her sentence on Nov. 12. She was also ordered to pay restitution of $512,852 in unpaid tariffs.
“This sentence is the result of an extensive worldwide investigation that successfully dismantled the largest food fraud scheme in U.S. history,” said Gary Hartwig, Special Agent-in-Charge of HSI Chicago. “Lin’s illegal business practices cheated the U.S. government of nearly $40 million, while also inflicting damage on the domestic honey marketplace. We remain committed to protecting U.S. businesses from fraudulent trade practices, while fostering and facilitating the movement of legitimate trade across our borders that is critical to our economy.”
According to court documents, between 2009 and 2012, Lin schemed to falsify the importation documents for hundreds of containers of Chinese-origin honey by misrepresenting the contents as sugars and syrups. As a result, the honey, which had an aggregate declared value of nearly $11.5 million when it entered the country, avoided antidumping duties and honey assessments totaling $39.2 million.
The sentence was announced by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and Mr. Hartwig, as well as officials with Field Operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Chicago, and the Chicago Field Office of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations. Lin was among a group of individuals and companies who were charged earlier this year in the second phase of an investigation led by agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HIS).
In December 2001, the Commerce Department determined that Chinese-origin honey was being sold in the United States at less than fair market value, and imposed antidumping duties. The duties were as high as 221 percent of the declared value, and later were assessed against the entered net weight, currently at $2.63 per net kilogram, in addition to a “honey assessment fee” of one cent per pound on all honey. In October 2002, the Food and Drug Administration issued an import alert for honey containing the antibiotic Chloramphenicol, a broad spectrum antibiotic that is used to treat serious infections in humans, but which is not approved for use in honey. Honey containing certain antibiotics is deemed “adulterated” within the meaning of federal food and drug safety laws.
In 2008, federal authorities began investigating allegations involving circumventing antidumping duties through illegal imports, including transshipment and mislabeling, on the “supply side” of the honey industry. The second phase of the investigation involved the illegal buying, processing, and trading of honey that illegally entered the U.S. on the “demand side” of the industry.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew S. Boutros.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE AMERICAN BEE RESEARCH CONFERENCE NOW AVAILABLE!
The 2012 American Bee Research Conference was held February 7-8 at APHIS Headquarters in Greenbelt, MD in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Apiary Inspectors of America. The twenty-sixth American Bee Research Conference will be held in Hershey, PA in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Honey Producers Association in January 2013. To access these abstracts now, click on the link below. These abstracts represent some of the latest bee research being conducted in the United States. Enjoy!