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United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Colony Collapse Disorder Progress Report CCD Steering Committee June 2012 Mention of trade names or commercial products providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). recommendations for their use, nor does it imply that uses registered. All uses of pesticides must be agencies before they can be recommended. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial statusgenetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) 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This report is online at www.ars.usda USDA Agricultural ResearMary Purcell-Miramontes USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Colin Stewart Alan Dowdy al Statistics Service Bruce Boess Doug Holy USDA Office of Pest Management Policy U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thomas Steeger Thomas Moriarty Executive Summary .............................................................................................................Background and Highlights of Research ............................................................................ 1Survey and Sample Data Collection ............................................... 2Analysis of Existing Samples ......................................................... 3Research to Identify FactorIncluding Attempts to Recreate CCD Symptomology .................... 3Pesticide Effects .............................................................................. 4Nutrition and Nosema Effects ......................................................... 5Land Use/Pollinator Effects ............................................................ 6Mitigation and Management Measures ........................................... 6Summary ....................................................................................................................... Executive Summary 2011. Mandated by Congress in the 2008 Farm Bill (section 7204[h]), this fourth 8 Federal agencies, 2 State departments of agriculture, 22 universit2006 as a condition named Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), USDA’s Agricultural for characterizing and resolving the problem; A survey of managed honey bee colonies f2012), down from losses of approximately the years since CCD began to be reported, rcent, of which approximately one-third g the mild winter weather in maeconomic viability of pollination by honey bees remains threatened. Although a number of factors cand pathogens, poor nutrition, pesticides, bee management practices, habitat fragmentation, and agricultural practices, no singSome recent scientific evidence appears to indicate that some pesticides may have sublethal effects on honey bees; however, the relevancy of some of these effects to estimating overall risks to honey bees is uncwith the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to discuss how the potential effects of pesticides could be better documented in scientists and others have been examining whether pesticide-related effects may correlate with CCD incidents or other bee health problems. The CCD Steering Committee is examining the current accumulation of knowledge concerning CCD and has begun the process ofneeds to determine the cause or causes of CCD and how other factors or specific combinations of factors contribute to declining pollinator health. Scientists, beekeepers, the CCD Action Plan for the next 5 years meeting will consider the development of strategies to address the multiple factors icides, and bee management practices) associated with diminished pollinator health in general, rather than focus exclusively on Research continued in 2011 in the four topic areas outlined in the 2007 CCD Action Plan. The studies encompassed honey bee and pollinaTopic I: Survey and Sample Data Collection.combination of CCD and declines in pollinator health. Research has shown that weak colonies had overall higher Colonies in comparatively good health Topic II: Analysis of Existing Samples. viruses and other pathogens affecting honey bees. Additional studies to determine whether these new pathogens are involvedTopic III: Research to Identify Factors Affecting Honey Bee Health, Including Attempts to Recreate CCD Symptomology. the rapid loss of adult worker bees from or immediately outside of the hive, aResearchers have observed that the Varroa mite and other pathogens such as may be contributing factors to CCD, are typically considered below economic damage thresholds. Researchers continued their efforts to document whether correlations exist between overall mites, diverse pathogens, and Topic IV: Mitigation and Management Preventive Measures. multi-year projects, the ARS Area-wide Project on Honey Bee Health and a NIFA-funded Coordinated Agricultural management strategies to combat bee losses. The “Bee Informed Partnership” http://beeinformed.org ), sponsored by NIFA, continued to examine bee management practices and facilitate communication among beekeepers of practices that reduce colony losses while promoting bee health. The eXtension disseminate information on honey bee health and management practices. meeting scheduled for October 15–17, 2012, is intended to identify management practices for thhealth. The Natural Resources Conservation Seconservation practices to encourage landowners to provide quality pollinator in response to a requirement in the 2008 Farm Bill, section 7204(h)(4), which directedthe Secretary of Agriculture to— ‘‘submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Fodescribing the progress made by the Department of Agriculture in: ned losses of managed honey bee (Apis melliferaidentified a set of symptoms that were termed “Colony Collapse Disorder” (CCD). In researchers, led by the Department of Agriood and Agriculture (NIFA), mobilized to define an approach to CCD, an effort that resulted in the formation of the CCD Steering Committee and publication of the CCD Action ARS, NIFA, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), and the Office of Pest Management Policy, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs. In addition, many public and private organizations are actively working to remedy CCD. CCD is a complex syndrome that has been hard to define and combeffective solutions to the problem requires a considerable commitment of Federal During the past 5 years (2006–2011), numerous examined. Many potentially associated fcourse of research, a number of which appearand it has become increasingly clear that no singl for the syndrome. termine whether all caseby the same set of factors or the same factors in a particular combination. e exposed to a wide range of pesticides. adversely affect honey bees, to commercial aghoney, and comb for the presence of 170 pesticsidues performed in would be expected if pesticides were a major factor in causing CCD. The pesticides beekeepers to control mites. Pesticide effects on bearea of intense research. Other data indicate that some pesticides atindividual bee mortality rates. Further studies are needed to ascertain whether these synergistic effects occur at etrations or whether managed honey bee colonies are commonly exposedIn addition, some studies have shown that l exposure to some pesticides under experimental conditions, further studies are nto pollinate crops, produce honey, and maintain overall population are compromised by a In an effort to address the multiple factors associated with pollinator declines, the CCD four areas: (1) survey and sample data collection; (2) analysis of existing samples; (3) research to identify factorhealth, including attempts to recreate CCD symptomology; and (4) mitigation and preventive measures. Summaries of research under each of the four topic areas are Topic I: Survey and Sample Data Collection consecutive year by the Apiary Inspectors of America and ARS with additional assistance this year from the Bee Informed Partnership.previous surveys performed between 2007 and 2010. CCD is characterized by a sudden ring with a queen, some brood, and a few nurse bees remaining in the hive, but at levels ar brood. The unusually warm 2011–2012 winter research has been performed to discern whetc Administration reporwas the fourth warmest January on record. Bee Informed, sponsored by NIFA, is an extension project that is trying to decrease the winter mortality of managed honey bee colonies. Average losses were 31 percent during the 2007 winter, 35 percent in 2008, 29 percent in 2009, 34 percent in 2010, and 30 percent in 2011. they lost at least some of their colonies with no dead bees http://beeinformed.org/2012/05/winter2012/ ). the Asiatic mite which is commonly found in Asia on several species of honey bees; so Nosema ceranae, a microsporidial oduced into the United States, was the dominant species of some studies as contributing Topic II: Analysis of Existing Samples A series of colony samples collected fromwas further analyzed using DNA sequencing in anor novel pathogens that might have been oveected hives did not reveal a sole causative agent but rather a host of viral, bacterial, could be a CCD causative agent, but the suggesting that whereas a complex set of pathogens may be involved in the cause of Topic III: Research to Identify FactorAttempts to Recreate CCD Symptomology nd NIFA continue to investigate numerous factors alone or in combination that may play a role in causing CCD. These include ides, poor nutrition, bee management practices, and to a as the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida). mite remains one of the primarSeveral new and existing mite control agents thatresearchers may help to control these mites: Cox-Foster DL, Conlan S, Holmes EC, et al. Metagenomic survey of microbes in honey bee Colony Science. 2007:318;283. Cornman RS, Tarpy DR, Chen Y-P, Jeffreys L, Lopez D, Pettis JS, vanEngelsdorp D, Evans JD. Pathogen webs in collapsing honey bee colonies. PloS One. (In press.) A new chemical product is in the final yunavailable at this time. A new product, Apivar (Véto-pharma, Villebon-sur-Yvette, France), which contains the active ingredient amitraz (a nonsystemic acaricide and insecticide), has been tested by ARS researchers. testing for approval by the EPA to the pesticide in the United States for use during the more major sources of nectar are in bloom). plant acids from hops plants, has been formulated and is now in commercial production. There is no rms bees or broods, and it leaves no ducing mite populations when applied to pupae are present), or in package bees (a screen box that includes a queen and worker bees). Because multiple applications are needed, HopGuard is being used primarily by hobbyists who have more time than commercial beekeepers to attend to colonies; however, research is underwaPesticide Effects Field exposure of pollinator insects, including honey bees, to pesticides at both lethal and media and among researchers about whether pollinators. In particular, exposure to pesticide-contaminated dust from abrasion of in experimental (laboratorcollected from within mechanized planterscontain pesticide concentrations in parts per thousand (i.e., concentrations 1 million times greater than part However, there are no data to indicate that bees are exposed to residue levels in the environment that even approach those measured in the seeding equipment. Researchers have not yet determined how honey bees and other pollinators react when exposed to environmentally relevant levels and whether a significant number of bees would likely be presseeded. Also, recent advances in seeders are reducing the hazard associated with pesticide-contaminated dust. HopGuard is produced by BetaTec Hop Products (Washington, D.C.) under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with ARS. Krupke CH, Hunt GJ, Eitzer BD, Andino G, Given K. Multiple routes of pesticide exposure for honey bees living near agricultural fields. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(1): e29268. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029268. ds resulted in increased suscephealth, population, ability to gather nectar, and pollinate were not affected by these is study does demonstrate that there are complex interactions among various factors thbees and making them more suscep(a large class of man-made pesticides similar to the natural pesticide pyrethrum produced from Chrysanthemum flowers) pose a threefolneonicotinoids, based on mean and frequency of detection in pollen samples and relative mite is tau Because pyrethroids are nonsystemic, adoption of agricultural practices that mitigate exposure should be pursued. Additionally, when honey bees were challenged mites, they showed increased immune response.Nutrition and Nosema Effects rmine the effects and outcomes of feeding honey bee colonies commercial diets and supplements, especially as a support for ial diets were determined sufficient to (MegaBee®, S.A.F.E. R&D, distributed by Dadant & Sons, Inc., Hamilton, Ill.) is now in d in liquid or solid form, it stimulates sponse at levels comparable to those when honey bees Pettis J, vanEngelsdorp D, Johnson J, Dively G. Pesticide exposure in honey bees results in increased levels of the gut pathogen Nosema. Naturwissenschaften. 2012;99:153–158. Frazier JL, Frazier MT, Mullin CA, Ashcraft S. Pesticides and their involvement in Colony Collapse Disorder. Am Bee J. 2011;August:779–784. Mullin C, Frazier M, Frazier J, Ashcraft S, Simonds R, vanEnglesdorp D, Pettis J. High levels of miticides and agrochemicals in North American apiaries: implications for Honey Bee Health. Plos One.2010;5(3):39754. Gregorc A, Evans JD, Scharf M, Ellis JD. Gene expression in honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae exposed to pesticides and Varroa mites (Varroa destructorJ Insect Physiol. 2012;April 9 [Epub ahead of print]. DeGrandi-Hoffman G, Chen Y, Huang E, Huang M. The effect of diet on protein concentration, hypopharyngeal gland development and virus load in worker honey bees (Apis melliferaJ Insect Physiol. 2010;56:1184–1191. study of the epidemiology of the establishment of economic damage thresholds, and the testi At this point, only a single product, the antibiotic fumagillin,available to control Some beekeepers use it as a prophylactic for infections when treatment is not warranted. To date, no treatment thresholds have been established for the use of the antibiotic, and control were tested by ARS scientists in Land Use/Pollinator Effects Honey bees are essential pollinators for many crops, but in light of CCD and other new alternative insects such as bumble bees () to serve as crop pollinators. Unfortunately, even as this research is occurring, new problems in insect management have arisen. For example, a recent study demonstrated a high degree (73–93 percent) of bees and native bumble bees.Topic IV: Mitigation and Management Measures Research to resolve CCD and improve the overall health of pollinator insects is being undertaken primarily through the ARS Area-wiBurt’s Bees, Häagen-Dazs, the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, Project Apis m. (PAm), a Web site ( is providing reliable, research-based informamong other resources. Fumagillin, a complex biological molecule, was isolated in 1949 from the bacterium Aspergillus fumigates. It is used today as an antimicrobial agent. Singh R, Levitt AL, Rajotte EG, et al. RNA viruses in Hymenopteran pollinators: Evidence of inter-taxa virus transmission via pollen and potential impact on non-Hymenopteran species. 2010;5(12): e14357. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014357. The eXtension initiative is an internet-based educational partnership of 74 Land Grant universities in the United States that operates under the auspices of the eXtension Foundation, which broadly functions as part of NIFA’s Cooperative Extension System. A new NIFA-funded CAP, the Bee Informed Partnership (http://beeinformed.org endeavoring to decrease the number of managed honey bee colonies that die each winter by helping determine which management practicesIt will also examine various data collections to assess pest and disease levels in an effort tension and present the best management information. In addition, the Bee Informed Inspectors of America in carrying out the annual survey of winter losses of managed A Bee Team has been established at the Unoffice in Oroville, California, with funding from the CAP program, the University of Minnesota, National Honey Board, and the Almoteam is to help beekeepers monitor diseases and arthropod pests and select for more disease- and mite-resistant breeder stocks. The Bee Team will test for hygienic behavior (i.e., behavior in which mite-infested brood are removed from the hive mites, and operation 3 times each year. Data from the samplings will be provided to each bee breeder to help them make informed appropriate treatments. The bee breeders have agreed to pay a fee for these services so that in the future, the Bee Team can be self sustaining. If this model is determined to milar teams to assist queen producers in the s of the United States. Finally, another NIFA-funded CAP program has published a best management practices ealth bulletins for beekeepers. These materials are also which serves as a repository of peer-reviewed, credible scientific information for the bee for all pollinators, the Natural Resources te conservation practices to encourage landowners to include in their conservation seed mixes and practices vegetation that will provide desired forage for pollinators from early spring to late fall aSummary ic information about CCD and honey bee health and management in general during the past 5 years, the complex problems of maintaining a strong pollinator industry have only grown more complicated. What is st look beyond simple one-factorlosses. This research is multifactoral and more challenging. In light of the complexities involved in pollinator health, research continueultimately to safeguard the health of the country’s critical pollinators.
S Department of Agriculture USDA This publication reports research involv ing pesticides It does not contain recommendations for their use nor does it imply that uses discussed here have been registered All uses of pesticides must be registered by ap ID: 8677 Download Pdf