The September 25, 2016 issue of the Apis Information Resource News has been published. It contains information on National Honey Month, honey bee viruses, nutrition and predatory publishing among other topics:
September is National Honey Month, originally proclaimed by the National Honey Board. A few others have clambered aboard. If more folks were involved it might be International Honey Month in the future.
A recent report in Aberta Bee News by Ron Phipps concludes: “The incentive to produce honey is eroding. The integration of the initiatives to produce honey is elusive. Someone is benefiting. The consequences extend to agriculture and ecology. The number of beehives around the world has increased by 8 percent in the last ten years, but the volume of honey has increased by 61%. Rather than price wars, which ultimately will erupt on all levels of the industry, the international honey industry needs integrity and creative marketing.” One way to do this in the U.S. according to a Catch the Buzz is to flaunt foreign honey in the market place. This lends further credence to formally establishing International Honey Month.
Viruses are becoming more and more prominent in honey bee health issues.
The field of honey bee virology is growing according to a recent Catch the Buzz, concluding: “…this is an exciting time in honey bee virology. Important research topics include (1) understanding honey bee antiviral responses, including those triggered by dsRNA and siRNA, at the cellular and molecular levels, and identifying viral counter measures; (2) identifying the most pathogenic virus strains and determining what factors govern their virulence and transmission; (3) investigating the role of the bee microbiome on virus infection and bee health; and (4) determining how synergistic variables, including agrochemical exposure and nutritional stress, impact viral pathogenesis. Further investigation of these and other topics will advance our understanding of bee biology, host—pathogen interactions, colony health, and may lead to the development of strategies that limit colony losses.”
Nutrition is one of the several possibilities researchers think is the cause of honey bee losses. A North Carolina study concludes: “In the first large-scale and comprehensive study on the impacts of transporting honey bees to pollinate various crops, research from North Carolina State University shows that travel can adversely affect bee health and lifespan. Some of these negative impacts may be reduced by moving bee colonies into patches with readily available food or by providing supplemental nutrition when there are few flowers for honey bees to visit.” This reminds me of studies in Australia by nutritional apicultural researcher Graham Kleinscmidt and others who pioneered moving bees from eucalyptus to better pasture during honey flows as those trees provided little pollen. The bees were monitored for their protein levels and via measuring nitrogen levels, and were relocated accordingly. Other research in both Australia and Brazil confirms the importance of nutrition and its monitoring via the haemolymph analysis. The Bee Health Extension site also provides in-depth information on nutrition by Zachary Wang.
Thanks to reader Al Summers for sending me an interesting post on something called “predatory” publishers. This is really an eye-opener for anyone attempting to figure out the facts when it comes to journals and publications. Jeffrey Beall has published this list from 2011 (81 suspect publishers) to 2016 (923 suspect publishers). Now he is adding a list of “misleading metrics,” and “hijacked” journals, which also is growing: 2015 (30) and 2016 (101). “These include companies that ‘calculate’ and publish counterfeit impact factors (or some similar measure) to publishers, metrics the publishers then use in their websites and spam email to trick scholars into thinking their journals have legitimate impact factors. The hijacked journals list includes those for which someone has created a counterfeit website, stealing the journal’s identity and soliciting articles submissions using the author-pays model (gold open-access).” This is another version of “caveat emptor.”
See the full newsletter here.