Where ever you live in the world you should apply the information on working your bees that is given below when the weather conditions in your area are right. So take notes and be ready.

*****Check out the new book link above*****

Cletus Notes

Hello Everyone,

If you stay in beekeeping long enough, you will eventually run into the “Laying Worker”. There are some myths about these unwanted little creatures which makes the subject worth talking about.

Sometimes a hive will go queen-less and fail to re-queen themselves. The worker bee is a female and after the queen’s pheromone has dissipated, a few of these workers will develop their tiny ovaries and begin laying non-fertile eggs. These eggs will produce drones only. The phrase “Laying Worker and Drone Layer” mean the same thing.

There are a few signs to look for when deciding whether a hive has a laying worker. If you begin to see a spotty brood pattern and there is more than one egg in a cell and these eggs are placed on the sides of the cell instead of at the bottom, you have a laying worker. If you notice that all the capped brood on the comb has a raised cap like a drone cell would be, you have a laying worker. If you notice that there are more drones in the hive than normal and the worker population has gone down along with the rise of the drone population, you have a laying worker. If you notice that the drones in the hive a smaller than the standard size drone, you have a laying worker.

It’s just a myth that you can re-queen a laying worker hive. If you try it, you will lose your brand new queen every time. It’s just a myth that you can take all the frames out of the hive, shake them off away from the hive and the laying workers won’t fly back to the hive.

The best way to handle a laying worker hive is to unite the hive with another hive using the newspaper method. Make sure that the hive does not have a disease or a high mite count. You don’t want to transfer any problems to another hive. If you really wanted to keep your hive numbers up, you can split the hive in a couple of weeks and introduce a new queen at that time.

I hope this helps. Enjoy your bees.

Dennis

___________________________________________________________

Bees 'Dumb Down' After Ingesting
Tiny Doses of the Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

University of Otago


Honey bees suffer severe learning and memory deficits after ingesting very small doses of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, potentially threatening their success and survival, new research from New Zealand's University of Otago suggests.

In their study, researchers from the Departments of Zoology and Chemistry collected bees from 51 hives across 17 locations in the province of Otago in Southern New Zealand and measured their chlorpyrifos levels. They detected low levels of pesticide in bees at three of the 17 sites and in six of the 51 hives they examined.

Detecting chlorpyrifos was not a surprise. In 2013, Associate Professor Kim Hageman and her team from Otago's Department of Chemistry showed that chlorpyrifos was detectable in air, water, and plant samples even in non-sprayed areas of the country, because this pesticide has a high ability to volatilize and travel great distances.

In the laboratory they then fed other bees with similar amounts of the pesticide, which is used around the world to protect food crops against insects and mites, and put them through learning performance tests.

Study lead author Dr Elodie Urlacher says they found that chlorpyrifos-fed bees had worse odor-learning abilities and also recalled odors more poorly later, even though the dose they ingested is considered to be "safe".

"For example, the dosed bees were less likely to respond specifically to an odor that was previously rewarded. As honey bees rely on such memory mechanisms to target flowers, chlorpyrifos exposure may be stunting their effectiveness as nectar foragers and pollinators," Dr Urlacher says.

The study identified the threshold dose for sub-lethal effects of chlorpyrifos on odor-learning and recall as 50 picograms of chlorpyrifos ingested per bee, she says.

"This amount is thousands of times lower than the lethal dose of pure chlorpyrifos, which is around 100 billionths of a gram. Also, it is in the low range of the levels we measured in bees in the field."

The current study is the first to establish the threshold at which a pesticide has an effect on memory specificity in bees while also measuring doses in bee populations in the field, she says.

"Our findings raise some challenging questions about regulating this pesticide's use. It's now clear that it is not just the lethal effects on bees that need to be taken into account, but also the serious sub-lethal ones at minute doses," Dr Urlacher says.

----------

International Honey Market

 by RON PHIPPS
President, CPNA International Ltd.
1
Co-Chairman,
Committee for the Promotion of Honey and Health


“Resin technology applied to honey creates products
which cannot be labelled as ‘Honey’”

Introduction
At the end of February, 2016, we received an official letter from U.S. government authorities confirming that the application of resin technology to honey results in creating products which cannot appropriately be labeled or marketed as honey. This is a major development, as it helps to clarify the status of a technology which, it is believed, has been widely used in recent years to disguise honey origin.

The American honey industry is acutely aware of the grave threat imposed upon the market by phenomena associated with the circumvention and adulteration of honey. Prices in the American and international honey markets have been collapsing, to the distress of beekeepers and honest honey exporters, importers and packers throughout America and other countries. During the past 12-14 months honey prices for many important and traditional origins have eroded by 40%-50% of their previous levels.

The balance and integration of the incentives to produce and consume honey have not been reached. Instead a grave imbalance persists, which distresses and threatens the survival of beekeepers throughout America, Canada, Argentina and Europe, putting in jeopardy agriculture, agricultural production, food security, food safety and the sustainability of ecological systems whose fragility and vulnerability are appreciated now more than ever before.

A Point of Inflection in the rise of honey prices was reached in the 4th quarter of 2014. The honey market urgently needs a Point of Stability.

Resin technology
Resin technology has been legally and properly applied to different types of foods to remove various contaminants. But its application to honey is novel. The Chinese manufacturers of the technology began to openly and aggressively offer the technology to producers and exporters of honey about 2-3 years ago. Resin technology can 1) disguise country of origin as assessed by usual scientific methodologies; 2) remove not only pollen but also antibiotics and residues, thereby reducing risks to importers, exporters and packers; 3) remove chemical components which give color to honey, therewith allowing tropical and semi-tropical countries to export large amounts of white honey (Remember when Indonesia, prior to the successful work of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), exported to the U.S. 100% white honey); and 4) remove chemical components of honey which add flavor and aroma, the components which led to the honey’s award in 2015 for Flavor of the Year. By removing or reducing flavor components, such manufactured honey is easy to blend as “hamburger helper” into honey. As an illustration, “sunflower honey” has been reported to have flavor profiles that were not sunflower and which crystallized like rapeseed honey.

The manufacturers, users and sellers of the resin machinery have claimed that resin technology was FDA approved. A letter from the FDA clarified this as follows:

“[The]..resins may be safely used as articles or components of articles intended for repeated use in producing …food, in accordance with …Federal Regulations….the regulation does not address the use of the resin for any specific food products or contaminants, including carbendazim in honey, nor is such specific use elsewhere addressed in FDA regulations.”

“…calling the product that has been treated with the resin technology simply “honey” would not accurately identify the food generally understood to be honey. The product should be labeled with a name that sufficiently describes its characterizing properties in a way that distinguishes it from honey which has not been treated with resin technology.”

The FDA issued draft guidance on April 9, 2014, for the proper labelling of honey and honey products. The FDA is working on finalizing this guidance and is accepting comments.

The above clarification on the use of resin technology is of cardinal importance. Those who genuinely want a level playing field which incentivizes producers and consumers need enforcement of this ruling that requires special labelling for the product that results from the use of resin technology on honey.

New methods of honey analysis and authenticity testing
Currently there are serious discussions regarding cooperative and collaborative international scientific efforts to establish a broad global data base of authentic honey samples reflecting the multiple variables which determine the chemical profiles of honey. American beekeepers are participating in providing authenticated samples.

In an Era of Transparency, as Dr. Daberkow and I described in our Chapter in the new edition of The Hive and the Honey Bee, these international collaborative efforts fulfill and further the FDA Research Protocol for Honey issued by Dr. Michael A. McLaughlin, Samuel W. Page, and Jerome A. Schneidman of the USFDA. Concurrent with the effort to establish that data base are efforts to establish more sophisticated scientific methodologies to better assess and determine country of origin, adulteration, the use of resin technology, and whether or not the honey has been ripened by bees (mature honey).

The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Technology applied to honey is one of the most promising and sophisticated scientific techniques being developed and investigated not only by private-for-profit laboratories, but also by independent academic scientists and governmental laboratories concerned with food safety and food authenticity.
Systems of traceability allow the producing industry to trace not only where, when and from which areas honey was produced, but also the floral sources, climatic conditions and other relevant variables which determine the chemical profiles of honey. Similarly profiles of blends of honey can be relatively easily established. To make an analogy, major teaching and research hospitals in the U.S. are working to establish what has been called “Precision Medicine within the Context of Global and Integrated Medicine.” By establishing the specific nature of individual genomes and understanding those genomes in relation to a global data base with an integration of many variables, more precise ways to predict, diagnose, treat and cure diseases are being developed.The assessment of the purity and authenticity of honey, its method of processing (such as ultra-filtration or resin technology), and country of origin may come by means of the collaborative scientific research now underway to mirror the general theme of “Precision Analysis within the context of Global and Integrated Data.”

Without underestimating the machinations of honey circumvention, we remain more optimistic that new scientific tools and data bases are emerging which will make circumvention and adulteration more difficult. The industry needs such tools to sustain a vital, vibrant and vigorous beekeeping industry and preserve the health of global ecosystems of which the world’s greatest pollinators – the bees – are an essential part.

Statistics and the Situation
Honey consumption in the USA is at least 500 to 600 million pounds per annum. The growth of honey consumption has mirrored the growth of the population with per capita consumption about a half kilo or 1.1 pounds  person. It is important to note that this increasing level of total consumption has been maintained for a decade of substantially rising prices.

Honey is a “small luxury” and a natural, pure, charming and intriguing product. Like many products, when the prices are low consumers perceive a lack of value. Sophisticated marketers are well aware of this marketing fact.

The current collapse of the market price is not due to a decline in consumption because of higher prices. The precipitous collapse in honey prices is a result of other factors. What is occurring is more the Domino Effect or the House of Cards collapsing. Group A surges with low prices and a big quantity of all kinds of honey and steals the market from Group B whose subsequent collapse under the burden of world inventories causes the collapse of Group C whose collapse leads to that of Group D. Group D is the North America Beekeepers.

Please note that the prices of imported honey in 2015 reflect prices of shipments entering US Customs in 2015. The prices of such imported honey often reflect prices from 6,8,9 or even 12 months earlier when the market was firm and there was no expectation of either a tremendous surge of honey imports or a precipitous collapse of prices. Market prices by June 2015 had already sharply dropped creating passivity in the marketplace and everyone thought “next week prices will be lower.” The declining market prices for honey reflected a general malaise in the international economy. China’s economic stagnation and retreat led to a general decline in global commodity prices.

Argentina
Argentina’s new President Macri has offered more liberal, market-oriented economic policies. This has allowed the Argentine peso to be devalued, although that is countered by inflation, which has plagued Argentina for years. International agreements to resolve prior sovereign debts are in place. The bizarre requirement of the preceding government that import rights depend on exports is unlikely to be sustained. That will reduce the artificial incentive for speculation in honey by those
Argentine firms specializing in importing high profile high technology products.

Unsold inventories from the 2015 crop, the removal of export duties, and a plunge in the value of the peso contributed to downward price pressure on honey by mid 2015. The major factor causing these declines was the competitive pressure which emerged from offers of white and ELA honey which were offered at below market prices from a set of countries that are not known as producers or exporters of the type of honey which flooded the market.

Honey exports from Argentina to the U.S. in 2015 were 27,081 metric tons, a decline of 26.5% from 2014. Prices decreased relative to 2014. The previous crop (2014-2015) is estimated to have been between 60-65,000 metric tons and not as white as its preceding crop. Unsold inventories remain in Argentina and also in the U.S. The current crop is very good and may reach 70,000 to 80,000 metric tons.


Brazil
Crop forecasts are optimistic for the main crop of Light Amber, including eucalyptus, which begins in March. Since the early polyflora crop from southern Brazil failed in the 4th Quarter of 2015 due to heavy rains, many shipments were delayed and prices for organic honey were firm and rising slightly in February. We heard the comment “Due to El Nino anything can happen” and that concern has led some exporters to be cautious about forward sales. Volumes from the Northeast and Southeast are expected to be good, however. Honey exports from Brazil to the U.S. in 2015 were 15,459 metric tons, a decline of 20% compared to 2014.

There is growing concern among thoughtful Brazilian exporters that the current large differential between Organic and Conventional honey prices risks reducing demand for Organic honey.

Canada
Production rose by 11.4% to 95.3 million pounds in 2015, and U.S. honey imports from Canada increased by 46.6% to 8,233 metric tons (about 18 million pounds) of primarily white honey. U.S. importers paid an average of US$1.90/lb., the highest overall average, to Canadian sellers. Canadian production has been generally rising since 2008. Reports of honey imported from Spain at very low prices suspected to be primarily of Chinese origin and/or adulterated with sweeteners are circulating. These reports are causing careful scrutiny in Canada.

Mexico
U.S. imports from Mexico were about 10 million pounds in 2015 for mainly white and ELA colors at prices generally higher than other origins. Volumes declined by about 25% while prices for white colors increased compared to 2014.

Vietnam and India
Inventories of Amber and Dark Amber honey are piling up in Vietnam, mostly from the new floral source Acacia mangium. The color of Vietnam honey imports is typically Light Amber, while 57% of imported Indian honey was White or Extra Light Amber in 2015.

Total imports from Vietnam declined from 47,107 metric tons in 2014 to 37,071 metric tons in 2015 (down 21%), while imports from India soared from 20,381 metric tons to 36,123 metric tons in 2015 (up 77%). By value, imports from India reached $114 million in 2015, making India the top exporter to the U.S. by value. This is a remarkable growth from 2001, when total imports from India were 20 metric tons/year at a price of $0.60/lb.

Ukraine
In late 2015 there were reports of rejections in Europe of Ukrainian honey due to widespread contamination with antibiotics, and in early 2016 prices dropped significantly from their average of $1.52/lb. in 2015. The Ukraine government stopped some honey exports from Ukraine to the EU. While Ukraine has considerable sunflower production and many beekeepers, the size of beekeeping operations in Ukraine is extraordinarily small, making effective quality control very difficult.

Ukraine emerged as a very significant exporter of honey to the U.S. despite the fact that the Ukrainian economy is in deep economic distress and the economic, political and military tensions between western Ukraine and eastern Ukraine remain tense. The Chinese are reported to be renting over 10% of the agricultural land in Ukraine, and at least 10 Chinese honey companies and some Polish honey companies, are operating in Ukraine. Ukraine is also importing “imitation honey” according to statistical reports.

The eastern European honey market, along with the EU as a whole, is showing many fissures and conflicts. In 2015 Hungarian beekeepers staged protests at the EU headquarters in Brussels against cheap and possibly adulterated imports which were harming their indigenous honey industry and beekeepers.

Source: Prof. Norberto Garcia, International Honey Exporters Organization


China and the U.S. Honey Market
China is the 800 pound gorilla in the room whose presence must be acknowledged. For the American honey industry this presence revolves more than any other single factor upon whether China will receive official recognition in the USA as a Market Economy which will profoundly influence how anti-dumping petitions against particular industries are handled and how anti-dumping rates, if any, are calculated. This question involves many industries from honey to steel, from tools to solar panels. The same question is before the European Union. The Chinese government undoubtedly hopes if Europe grants market status to China this will put pressure upon the U.S. to do likewise. The issue grows from the 2001 bilateral agreements by which China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO) with the firm expectation (or promise) that in 15 years (2016) China would be granted Market Economy status.

The Chinese government has threatened to bring a law suit before the WTO. Perhaps, if there had not been such an extensive history of circumvention, transshipment and customs fraud, the issue would be easier to resolve and tensions less sharp. But that is water under the bridge and the collusion and circumvention continue to occur and, thus, irritate American industries and the U.S. Congress. The USTR has highlighted China’s large role for state-owned enterprises and the preferences for domestic companies in its evaluation submitted to the World Trade Organization.

Trade tensions are being further intensified by China’s direct and indirect outside investment, resulting in purchases of farm lands, oil fields, factories, buildings, mines and real estate around the world. A recent article in the New York Times was titled: “China’s Acquisitive Ambitions Raise Alarm in Washington.” As Chinese companies try to snap up American tech businesses, they are setting off ripples of unease in the Obama administration and in Congress. In the U.S., Chinese interests have purchased computer units from IBM (Lenovo), the Waldorf Astoria, Smithfield, and are attempting to purchase the Chicago stock exchange. As was quoted by the New York Times, after a Chinese billionaire paid $175 million for a European art treasure, “We have bought your businesses and buildings and now we are buying your art.”

China is currently negotiating to purchase for $44 billion the giant Swiss manufacturer of agricultural chemicals and seeds, including GMO seeds. Either directly or through surrogates China is buying honey companies around the world, including in America.

The fact that China is saddled with enormous redundancies of productive capacities is resulting in huge portfolios of non-performing loans and financial peril. Its economy and stock market are declining and its currency weakening, which is causing a huge movement of money from China to other countries.

Studies of Chinese honey production and consumption have indicated that China is consuming much more honey than it produces, and much more honey than the sum of its production and imports. As reported over the past several years, the Chinese media has indicated in numerous cities over 50% of the honey sampled on the retail level has been found to be adulterated with up to 70-100% of other sweeteners. This has led to consumer complaints and a tendency to buy honey only directly from beekeepers.

In 2015 there was a conference held in China to exchange technical information and discuss analytic technology for honey. China is being invited to participate in the collaborative efforts to establish a global data base of authenticated samples of honey identifying floral source, region, time, and conditions of production. China has many beekeepers and a wide diversity of floral sources suitable to producing high quality honey. There are efforts within China to improve the testing of honey and to prevent both adulteration and illegal activities in exports of honey.

Global Honey Production and Global Beekeeping
Detailed analysis of total honey production and exports indicates serious and obvious contradictions. As the graph below shows, there has been a huge increase in total global honey exports without a corresponding increase in the number of beehives around the world. This aberration is troubling as the global bee populations are under tremendous stress and declining.

In the most advanced and professional beekeeping operations in the world, such as those in America and Argentina, productivity per hive has substantially declined. Areas where 120 pounds/hive were typical are now yielding 50 – 70 pounds/hive and under adverse weather conditions even less. The bee losses related to neonicotinoids, pesticides, mites, colony collapse disorder, reduction of acreage for forage, monodiets, stress, environmental pollution, and climate change have contributed to this loss of productivity per hive. The increase in global honey exports in the context of both a stable number of beehives and declines in productivity per hive in the major producing countries creates an anomaly which suggests widespread honey adulteration.

The fact that Chinese beekeepers extract honey at very high moisture levels of 35-40% and have the moisture reduced in factories may be one factor contributing to this anomaly. The extraction of immature and unripened honey may increase quantities, but decrease qualities and deprive honey of its health benefits and status as a pure and natural product. Fortunately, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) technology may provide an effective tool to distinguish immature and inauthentic honey from natural honey. The biochemical interaction of bees and the nectar bees gather, alter the chemical profiles and benefits of honey. Standards for global professional beekeeping practices and effective testing methodologies for honey need to further evolve to preserve the integrity of honey.

Source: Prof. Norberto Garcia, International Honey Exporters Organization
 

Climate Change
Not only is the global economic system in a prolonged state of stagnation and financial stress, but the past decade has seen the highest concentration of hot years. The past 2 years were the hottest years on record. January 2016 was the hottest month on record. Sea rises throughout the globe were the greatest in 28 centuries! South Africa is suffering the severest drought in a century. Syria’s human tragedies of sectarian violence occur in the context of severe and protracted drought. Plants and animals are gradually migrating away from the Equator in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

How honey and agricultural production will be affected during the coming years remains to be seen. But we’ve seen enough to hear a call for concern and change in the mode of preventative medicine!

Creative Marketing
There have been a series of efforts to bring to honey the Creative Marketing which has transformed and invigorated various food industries including almonds, wine, tea, and cranberries. The opportunities for honey are considerable and the leadership of the National Honey Board is working to craft ways to bring modern creative marketing themes to honey. The general concept is how to create a tapestry whose strands will include the intrinsic attributes and charm of honey, which was awarded “Flavor of the Year” in 2015. The challenge is how to creatively weave together the beauty of honey as “The Soul of a Field of Flowers,” the functional and flavor attributes, the diversity of modes of consumption, the health benefits and the role of honey in a healthy diet, the importance of bees to agriculture and the health of the globe’s interdependent ecological systems. The new Dietary Guideline of the FDA with its analysis of the role of sweeteners creates great opportunities for promoting the numerous health benefits of honey. Interest has been expressed by the American and international honey industries to review scientific studies on honey and health and to bring together these results in a compelling tapestry for honey.

It was very interesting that at the annual convention of the American Honey Producers Association, not only did scientists from the USDA and the EPA attend, but a White House Staff member, Bruce Rodan, assistant director of Environmental Health, Office of Science & Technology, showed pictures of White House beehives, and was very warmly received. He affirmed the importance of bees to agricultural production and the ecological system. At the State of the Union address a member of the honey industry was an invited guest. Interestingly, some premium quality U.S. honey may be served during upcoming state dinners.

----------

57 Different Pesticides Found in Poisoned European Honey Bees

A new method to detect a wide range of pesticides could
help save bee populations

Elsevier


Amsterdam, February 10, 2016 - European honey bees are being poisoned with up to 57 different pesticides, according to new research published in the Journal of Chromatography A. A new method for detecting a whole range of pesticides in bees could help unravel the mystery behind the widespread decline of honey bees in recent years, and help develop an approach to saving them.

Honey bees are under threat globally: in the US, dramatic declines in bee populations due to a condition called colony collapse disorder (CCD) continues to put crops at risk an farmers out of business. Several studies have shown a link between pesticide use and bee deaths and the European Union has banned the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

But it's not as simple as banning one pesticide that's killing bees; the relationship between pesticide use and bee death is complex and scientists are still trying to figure out exactly what's happening. In the new study, researchers from the National Veterinary Research Institute in Poland have developed a method for analyzing 200 pesticides at the same time, to figure out what's really putting honey bees at risk.

"Bee health is a matter of public concern -- bees are considered critically important for the environment and agriculture by pollinating more than 80% of crops and wild plants in Europe," said Tomasz Kiljanek, lead author of the study from the National Veterinary Research Institute in Poland. "We wanted to develop a test for a large number of pesticides currently approved for use in the European Union to see what is poisoning the bees."

With so many pesticides currently in use, it's difficult to work out which ones are harming the bees. Certain combinations of pesticides, or their use over time, could affect honeybees in different ways. In order to understand what's really going on, we need to know which pesticides and at what concentration levels are present in honeybees.

Kiljanek and the team used a method called QuEChERS, which is currently used to detect pesticides in food. With this analysis, they could test poisoned bees for 200 different pesticides simultaneously, as well as several additional compounds created when the pesticides are broken down. About 98% of the pesticides they tested for are approved for use in the European Union.

The team used the method to investigate more than 70 honey bee poisoning incidents. Their findings revealed 57 different pesticides present in the bees -- it's a toxic puzzle they hope their new method will help solve.

"This is just the beginning of our research on the impact of pesticides on honey bee health," said Kiljanek. "Honey bee poisoning incidents are the tip of the iceberg. Even at very low levels, pesticides can weaken bees' defense systems, allowing parasites or viruses to kill the colony. Our results will help expand our knowledge about the influence of pesticides on honey bee health, and will provide important information for other researchers to better assess the risk connected with the mix of current used pesticides."

----------

Starvation as Babies Makes Bees
Stronger as Adults

New insights into colony collapse disorder

Arizona State University

Short-term starvation as larvae actually makes honey bees more resilient to nutritional
deprivation as adults. This suggests they have an anticipatory mechanism like solitary
organisms do. These findings change the current understanding of colony collapse
disorder and provide new avenues to study. Credit: Christofer Bang


Tempe, Ariz. -- A lack of adequate nutrition is blamed as one of many possible causes for colony collapse disorder or CCD -- a mysterious syndrome that causes a honey bee colony to die. Parasites, pesticides, pathogens and environmental changes are also stressors believed responsible for the decline of honey bees.

Since bees are critical to the world's food supply, learning how bees cope with these stressors is critical to understanding honey bee health and performance.

In two new studies, researchers from Arizona State University's School of Life Sciences have discovered that the stress of short-term nutritional deprivation as larvae (baby bees) actually makes honey bees more resilient to starvation as adults.

"Surprisingly, we found that short-term starvation in the larval stage makes adult honey bees more adaptive to adult starvation. This suggests that they have an anticipatory mechanism like solitary organisms do," said Ying Wang, assistant research professor with the school and lead author of the two investigations. Wang said they found evidence of this mechanism in several areas such as behavior, endocrine physiology, metabolism and gene regulation.

The anticipatory mechanism, also called "predictive adaptive response," explains a possible correlation between prenatal nutritional stress and adult metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes in humans. Yet, Athese findings show for the first time that social organisms can have this mechanism.

Since most research on bee nutrition has focused on using adult honey bees, rather than their young, this new information changes the current understanding of colony collapse disorder and provides new avenues to study.

The findings are published in two papers appearing today in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Interestingly, Wang and her colleagues also found that when bees experienced starvation as larvae, they could reduce their metabolic rate, maintain their blood sugar levels, and use other fuels faster than the control bees during starvation. This increased the probability of their survival under a starvation situation.

"These studies show how the fundamental physiology of animals separated by hundreds of millions of years of evolution maintain central, common features that allow us to learn more about ourselves from studying them and about them by looking to ourselves," said Rob Page, University Provost Emeritus and co-author of the paper. "They reveal key features of honey bee physiology that may help us find solutions to the serious problems of bee health world wide."

Managed honey bee colonies have declined worldwide, down to 2.5 million today from 5 million in the 1940s. This comes at a time when the global demand for food is rising to meet the nutrition needs of 7.4 billion people. Since multiple stressors are negatively impacting bee health, Wang's new findings may provide a different strategy to help solve the problem of colony collapse disorder.

"Manipulations during development may be able to increase the bees' resistance to different stressors, much like how an immunization works," added Wang. "However, we are at a starting point with this new discovery and we will have many questions to be answered."