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September 20, 2021
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Why Is Honey Fraud Such a Problem?

By Karen Everstine, Ph.D., Gina Clapper, Norberto Luis Garcia

 

There are challenges with defining and authenticating honey.

 

Honey is a deceptively simple product. According to Codex Alimentarius, it is the “natural sweet substance produced by honey bees from the nectar of plants or from secretions of living parts of plants or excretions of plant sucking insects on the living parts of plants, which the bees collect, transform by combining with specific substances of their own, deposit, dehydrate, store and leave in the honey comb to ripen and mature.” The result of this extensive process is a substance that consists primarily of fructose and glucose and, therefore, is prone to adulteration with sugars from other sources. Unlike sugars from other sources, honey contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and other micronutrients, which makes it uniquely valuable.1

 

Honey is much more expensive to produce than other sugar syrups, particularly those from plants such as corn, rice, sugarcane and sugar beets. As a result, there is a strong economic advantage for replacement of honey with other sugar syrups. Honey consistently rates as one of the top five fraudulent food products based on public sources of data (see Figure 1).

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Testing to ensure honey authenticity is not always straightforward.2 Traditionally, analytical methods could detect C4 sugars (from corn or sugarcane) but not C3 sugars (from rice, wheat or sugar beets). Testing methods have evolved, but there are still many challenges inherent in authenticating a sample of a product labeled as “honey.” One promising area of authentication is based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, which is a method that can identify and quantify a large number of substances in a sample. Instead of trying to detect one particular adulterant, this method allows comparison of the results of a sample to a range of verified honey samples for authentication (similar to “fingerprinting”).

 

Read the rest of the article here: https://foodsafetytech.com/column/why-is-honey-fraud-such-a-problem/

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Guide to Varroa Mite Controls

 

The Honey Bee Health Coalition has published a guide detailing how commercial beekeepers are finding success treating Varroa without relying exclusively on off-label chemical treatments. The guide is pivotal to the industry as Varroa mites are already showing signs of widespread resistance to off-label varroacides.

 

Guide to Varroa Mite Controls for Commercial Beekeeping Operations lays out a vision that addresses the risks of resistance created by off-label use. Widespread resistance to products like amitraz poses a serious threat to the long-term financial health of every commercial beekeeping business. Continuous use of off-label amitraz, with increasing dosages (as it becomes less effective), is likely to cause amitraz to lose its effectiveness, just as other products like coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate have become largely ineffective for controlling Varroa mites.

 

This guide aims to help commercial beekeepers evaluate a variety of Varroa control methods that can be integrated into a management plan to protect their bees and their business. It highlights the experiences of beekeepers who are having success as they explore alternative strategies to limit their reliance on off-label amitraz and avoid using unregistered products.

 

In addition to documenting six case studies examining various approaches to Varroa treatment, the guide also reviews the causes and impacts of Varroa mite resistance to varroacides. It also highlights control methods that can be used in an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy or a highly specific, knowledge-driven approach, referred to as precision apiculture.

 

https://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/varroacontrolsguide/

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Angelina Jolie to establish the next Women for Bees program in Cambodia

 

Angelina named the Godmother of Women for Bees

 

By Web Desk

September 18, 2021

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Angelina Jolie would return to Cambodia soon to establish the next Women for Bees program in the region of Samlout where she has a home.

 

The Maleficent actress feels proud to raise awareness about bee conservation and the importance of investing in women's education as part of her ongoing partnership with Guerlain.

 

As an ambassador of the luxury French beauty house, the 46-year-old was named the Godmother of Women for Bees — a female beekeeping entrepreneurship program that Guerlain launched last year in partnership with UNESCO.

 

"We wanted to make sure there was at least 50x women from 25 biospheres, to understand the biospheres and why it was important to map out and build the team," Brad Pitt's ex-wife tells People.

 

Angelina Jolie says it's "insane" that the importance of it is still being discussed. "It's angering, really, isn't it? That we somehow have to keep explaining this — it's their right."

 

On providing education opportunities for girls and women around the world, the Oscar winner said: When a young girl is born, she has the right to education, it's her life.

 

Watch the video here: https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/893407-angelina-jolie-to-establish-the-next-women-for-bees-program-in-cambodia

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Mechanical buckling of petals produces iridescent patterns visible to bees

by Kathy Grube, University of Cambridge

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This optical effect is produced by an intricate pattern of nano-scale ridges on the surface of petals that diffract light to cause iridescence, like that seen on the surface of CDs or soap bubbles, but how the plant develops these ridges was not known.

 

Research from the University of Cambridge has demonstrated that plants employ buckling to precisely alter the deformation of the surface of petals in hibiscus flowers. The findings are published in Cell Reports today.

 

"The petal striations on hibiscus flowers develop during petal growth, and Professor Beverley Glover's team, who were the first to discover the iridescence properties in flowers, suspected that they may be caused by mechanical properties as the petals expanded", said Dr. Sarah Robinson in the University of Cambridge's Sainsbury Laboratory and lead of the research.

 

Working with members of Professor Glover's team, Dr. Robinson was able to test this model by using a robotic system, called ACME (automated confocal micro-extensometer) that she had earlier developed to measure mechanical properties in plants. They applied a specific force to stretch immature hibiscus (Hibiscus trionum) petals that had not yet developed striations to see if it was possible to mechanically induce the patterns. "The ACME developed by Dr. Sarah Robinson gave us the unique chance to investigate if Hibiscus striation patterns could be mechanically induced.'' said Dr. Chiara Airoldi, in the University of Cambridge's Department of Plant Sciences and first author.

 

"We saw striations appear almost instantaneously when a mechanical stress was applied. This told us that it was buckling that was causing a wrinkling of the petal surface and not a slower biological process.

 

We were able to measure the striations and show that they had the same properties as they do when they develop naturally. One of the big surprises was that we could also induce striations at 90 degrees to the striations that naturally occur, which indicates that the orientation of the striations is not pre-patterned. However, we could not induce striations in other parts of the petals, suggesting that the ability to form striations is under genetic control," said Dr. Robinson.

 

The buckling occurs in the cuticle, which is a waxy surface covering made up of two layers. It is these two layers with different mechanical properties that makes the buckling possible.

 

"Using buckling theory we postulated a model and recreated the experiment. This allowed us to illustrate why some cuticles wrinkle and others do not, emphasizing the role of layers." said Dr. Carlos Lugo, in the University of Cambridge's Department of Plant Sciences.

 

"Using cryo-SEM (scanning electron microscopy) fractures we have been able to show that the cuticle that striates has two physically distinct layers. We are further investigating the development of hibiscus petal striations through a combined approach of mathematical modeling and measurements of physical properties of the layers," said Dr. Airoldi.

 

An estimated 35 percent of the world's crop harvest relies on animal pollinators and with pollinator populations in decline, understanding how the relationships and signaling operate between plants and pollinators is of growing importance.

 

https://phys.org/news/2021-09-mechanical-buckling-petals-iridescent-patterns.html

Flowers are employing a materials science phenomenon typically associated with failures in structural engineering to produce exquisite three-dimensional petal patterns to lure pollinators.

 

In civil engineering "buckling" is a dirty word with the buckling of beams and columns leading to mechanical failure—and is something that engineers want to avoid.

 

But for some plants, buckling is being employed to advantage.

 

Flowers use several different strategies to lure pollinators. Chemical color from pigments is just one of these strategies and recent research is finding that iridescence could be just as important for attracting pollinators like bees.


 

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Tax Deductions for Vehicles Over 6,000lbs

Author: Bojan Radulovic

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If you operate a business, searching for tax deductions is probably something that becomes a part of your daily regime as the April 15th deadline approaches each year. In case your business is or includes some form of transportation, however, there is a good chance that you ran into specific deductions for vehicles weighing over 6,000 pounds. If not, this will be an opportunity to learn the basics of this seemingly complex tax benefit that millions of taxpayers are unaware of. So, how much are you allowed to take as an expense on heavy vehicles placed in service?

 

How Section 179 Works

 

The easiest way to get some money back is to rely on something known as accelerated depreciation. In general, the IRS allows your business to deduct $1 million worth of Section 179 deductions in any given tax year. While this is subject to a slew of strict requirements, it remains one of the most beneficial tax breaks that a business relying on heavy assets could get. Before getting into the various limits, let us analyze the exact types of assets that are eligible under this category:

 

  • Acquired for business use

  • Acquired by purchase (not gifts)

 

Once you get past those first few requirements, you will drill down into the details of the asset to truly ascertain if you can deduct it or not. Those details are based on determining whether the asset is:

 

  • Tangible personal property such as machinery and equipment, livestock, property in a building

  • Off-the-shelf computer software

  • Storage facilities

  • Qualified real property including improvements to the building or internal structures of it

 

The maximum deduction that you can claim under Section 179 is $1 million. Additionally, you cannot deduct more than the amount of income that you have before the deduction. The reason why the IRS established this rule is to prevent companies from going into a loss for the year due to the accelerated depreciation. Also, there is a threshold for the amount of money you can spend on all of your combined property. This is known as the phase-out that happens whenever your total purchases exceed $2.5 million. If so, you must reduce the maximum $1-million deduction by every dollar that goes above your $2.5 taxable limit.

 

Guidelines Concerning Vehicles That Weight More Than 6,000lbs

 

Since a vehicle that weighs over 6,000 pounds can certainly be considered a business asset, it is reasonable to expect a Section 179 allowance to exist for it. A few examples of the assets that may fall within this section include everything from traditional vans like GMC Savanna 2500 to pick-up trucks like Ram 3500. Note that the gross weight of the vehicle in question must exceed the 6,000-pound threshold while unloaded. Thus, loading a Ford F-150 with a trailer will not allow you to claim a deduction on that piece of your business equipment even though the combined weight of each will easily exceed 6,000 pounds.

 

According to the IRS, the maximum tax break that you will receive for placing a “heavy” vehicle in use will be $25,000. Namely, any SUV, pick-up truck, or another transportation tool that weighs between 6,000 and 14,000 pounds will qualify for a Section 179 deduction that carries a $25,000 ceiling. Therefore, if your GMC Savanna 2500 costs $40,000, the remaining $15,000 over the accelerated depreciation will have to follow a regular depreciation schedule.

 

Expectedly, the IRS has several exceptions that will apply here. For instance, even though some of the following vehicles have a gross weight exceeding 6,000 pounds, businesses do not have to adhere to the $25,000 limit. These include:

 

  • Any vehicles that are designed to seat more than nine people behind the driver’s seat

  • Any vehicles that have interior cargo area of at least six feet

 

While the list goes on to include a few more exceptions, these two represent the most common ones. After all, companies that operate buses or semi-trucks would rarely be able to accelerate their expenses for newly purchased assets if their weight was limited to 6,000 pounds.

 

Bonus Depreciation

 

Outside of the $25,000 allowed for Section 179 depreciation of vehicles over 6,000 pounds, the IRS also permits something known as bonus depreciation. Unlike Section 179, it only applies to assets that were purchased new. Anything that you buy used or pre-owned will not be eligible. Also, unlike most deductions, this one does not carry a dollar-based limit. On the contrary, you are eligible for a tax benefit amounting to 50% of the purchase price. If you buy a $100,000 truck, that means that $50,000 can be immediately expensed under bonus depreciation in the first year, so long as it was solely used for business.

 

Detailed List of Qualifying Vehicles

 

Finally, click on the following link to find the list of every passenger vehicle that you can claim as a deduction based on their gross weight. Finally, click on the following links to get a free consultation or get pricing on our virtual tax prep services.

 

https://www.gettaxhub.com/tax-deductions-for-vehicles-over-6000lbs/

**Please note-this article is a general outline. You should talk with a tax professional for advice for your company**

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We Still Need Your Support!

On April 21, 2021, the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA) and Sioux Honey Association (SHA) filed petitions with the ITC and DOC for relief from dumped imports of raw honey from Argentina, Brazil, India, Ukraine, and Vietnam.  The American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) also supports the trade cases.
 
On May 18, 2021, the DOC published a notice initiating the investigations in the Federal Register, with estimated dumping margins of 9.75 to 49.44 percent for Argentina, 83.72 percent for Brazil, 27.02 to 88.48 percent for India, 9.49 to 92.94 percent for Ukraine, and 47.56 to 138.23 percent for Vietnam. 
 
DOC is scheduled to issue preliminary determinations of dumping in mid-November, at which point preliminary duties will go into effect, and importers will be obligated to begin paying cash deposits at the time of importation.

On June 4, 2021 the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) unanimously determined that there is a reasonable indication that unfairly traded imports of raw honey from Argentina, Brazil, India, Ukraine, and Vietnam are injuring the U.S. industry producing raw honey.
 
Today’s unanimous decision means that the ITC will continue to investigate the injury inflicted on the U.S. raw honey producers by low-priced imports, and the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) will investigate the extent to which imports from the five countries are being sold below fair value in the U.S. market.  

We truly appreciate all of the donations that we have received to cover legal fees. The good fight isn’t over yet, and we still need your support.

To donate to the Antidumping Fund, please contact


Cassie Cox: cassie@ahpanet.com
281-900-9740

Or donate on our secure website: https://www.ahpanet.com/donations-1

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27 April 2021

 

Hello Honey Industry Partners!

 

We would appreciate your assistance spreading the word on our continuing research project. We are collecting samples of citrus blossom honey from locations in North America. There is a sample collection form included (download here: https://803a53c6-072b-4f8f-960b-bf8520169c2b.usrfiles.com/ugd/803a53_0bd8b373e75d4d7f98e8bb7e67f97fbb.pdf). We are requesting 118 mL/4 oz samples. Senders are not responsible for costs related to testing. These samples will be collected by QSI America and the testing will be used to support a future identity standard for citrus blossom honey.

Timing is a bit urgent to obtain samples this season. The sooner you are able to share this opportunity with your constituents, the better this project will be. Thank you for your support!

 

The USP Honey Expert Panel On behalf of

Norberto Garcia, Chair and

Gina Clapper, Senior Scientific Liaison with FCC and US Pharmacopeia

 

Please contact Gina with any questions or comments (gina.clapper@usp.org)

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AHPA App


As AHPA continues to work on behalf of all beekeepers, one of our initiatives is advocating with the FDA in Washington D.C. to update honey labeling guidelines.  As part of this effort, we need your help to collect pictures of honey labels from around the United States.  Our goal is primarily to find honey that is mislabeled according to current FDA guidelines.  Secondarily, we need examples of any labels which misrepresent country of origin or are purposefully confusing to consumers so that we can advocate for positive changes and updates. 

Search the App Store or Google Play for "AHPA app”.  We need to collect as many pictures from honey on the store shelf as possible.  Please take a few minutes to help collect this data.

The materials and information included in this newsletter are provided as a service to you and do not reflect endorsement by the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA). The content and opinions expressed within the newsletter are those of the authors and are not necessarily shared by AHPA. AHPA is not responsible for the accuracy of information provided from outside sources.

September 8, 2021
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We Still Need Your Support!

On April 21, 2021, the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA) and Sioux Honey Association (SHA) filed petitions with the ITC and DOC for relief from dumped imports of raw honey from Argentina, Brazil, India, Ukraine, and Vietnam.  The American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) also supports the trade cases.
 
On May 18, 2021, the DOC published a notice initiating the investigations in the Federal Register, with estimated dumping margins of 9.75 to 49.44 percent for Argentina, 83.72 percent for Brazil, 27.02 to 88.48 percent for India, 9.49 to 92.94 percent for Ukraine, and 47.56 to 138.23 percent for Vietnam. 
 
DOC is scheduled to issue preliminary determinations of dumping in mid-November, at which point preliminary duties will go into effect, and importers will be obligated to begin paying cash deposits at the time of importation.

On June 4, 2021 the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) unanimously determined that there is a reasonable indication that unfairly traded imports of raw honey from Argentina, Brazil, India, Ukraine, and Vietnam are injuring the U.S. industry producing raw honey.
 
Today’s unanimous decision means that the ITC will continue to investigate the injury inflicted on the U.S. raw honey producers by low-priced imports, and the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) will investigate the extent to which imports from the five countries are being sold below fair value in the U.S. market.  

We truly appreciate all of the donations that we have received to cover legal fees. The good fight isn’t over yet, and we still need your support.

To donate to the Antidumping Fund, please contact


Cassie Cox: cassie@ahpanet.com
281-900-9740

Or donate on our secure website: https://www.ahpanet.com/donations-1

Honey Investigations - Press Release

 

Preliminary Determinations in Raw Honey Trade Case Extended

 

(September 1, 2021) – Last week, following a request from the petitioning domestic industry, including the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA), the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) postponed the preliminary determinations in the dumping investigations of imports of raw honey from Argentina, Brazil, India, Ukraine, and Vietnam are injuring the U.S. industry producing raw honey.  The preliminary determinations are extended to November 17, 2021. The additional time is necessary to allow DOC to continue to collect necessary pricing and cost information from the foreign producers and exporters that will form the basis of the dumping calculations.

 

The extension of the preliminary determinations means that the imposition of preliminary cash deposit rates will also go into effect at the end of November, approximately one week after the preliminary determinations are issued.  At that point, importers will be obligated to begin paying cash deposits at the time of importation. 

 

Background

 

On April 21, 2021, the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA) and Sioux Honey Association (SHA) filed petitions with the International Trade Commission (ITC) and DOC for relief from dumped imports of raw honey from Argentina, Brazil, India, Ukraine, and Vietnam.  The American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) also supports the trade cases.

 

On May 18, 2021, the DOC published a notice initiating the investigations in the Federal Register, with estimated dumping margins of 9.75 to 49.44 percent for Argentina, 83.72 percent for Brazil, 27.02 to 88.48 percent for India, 9.49 to 92.94 percent for Ukraine, and 47.56 to 138.23 percent for Vietnam. 

 

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Join the National Honey Board in Celebrating National Honey Month with the Return of Honey Saves Hives!

Posted by National Honey Board on September 01, 2021

Have you heard the buzz? We’ve partnered with author, chef, and TV personality Jocelyn Delk Adams, founder of Grandbaby Cakes, to help celebrate National Honey Month! The National Honey Board is celebrating all September long by bringing back the Honey Saves Hives program to support the honey bees, who are responsible for pollinating more than 35 percent of the foods we eat and producing the honey we enjoy!

For the entire month of September, you can show your support by purchasing participating made with honey products from Companion Baking, Justin’s, Lost Cause Meadery, Melle Water, and Purely Elizabeth, and the companies will donate to Project Apis m., the largest honey bee non-profit in the U.S., who are committed to enhancing the health and vitality of honey bee colonies through research.

For more information on the Honey Saves Hives program and how you can help, visit www.honeysaveshives.com.

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National Honey Bee Day: These foods could disappear if pollinator populations continue to dwindle

Some of the most loved produce on grocery shelves could be lost.

ByJulia Jacobo

August 21, 2021

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Bees -- whether wild or managed --are integral to the production of the world's food supply. But as populations continue their steep decline, the crops that rely on pollination could become more scarce and even cease to exist in the future, according to scientists.

There are more than 4,000 species of bees in America, a large proportion of which are experiencing widespread decline, Scott McArt, assistant professor of pollinator health at Cornell University, told ABC News. In New York, 53 species, about 13%, are either experiencing population declines or range contractions over the past three or four decades, McArt said.

The honey bee population decreased 40% in the winter of 2018 to 2019 alone, and the

annual rate loss for the 2019 to 2020 winter was also 40%, declines that experts described as "unsustainable."

The situation "isn't good," and most likely is even worse than researchers are estimating, he added.

"It's likely an underestimate of the true scope of population declines, simply because we don't have great historical records on a lot of these species," McArt said.

The production of crops that depend on pollinators generates more than $50 billion a year in the U.S., researchers say. Managed bee populations, which involve a beekeeper arriving to put down hives just as the crops are flowering, alone contribute to about $20 billion worth of U.S. agricultural production, Matthew Mulica, senior project manager at the Keystone Policy Center, a consulting company that works with the Honey Bee Health Coalition, told ABC News.

A "large proportion of what we eat" relies to some extent on pollinators, McArt said. An estimated 87% of angiosperms, or flowering plants, are reliant on pollinators, while around 75% of those are crops that rely on pollination, he added. The commercial production of more than 90 crops relies on about 3,600 bee species, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Some of the crops that rely most on pollinators include almonds, blueberries, pears, apples, cherries, peppers, cucumbers and broccoli, Mulica said.

The bees also oil seeds in other crops, such as corn and soybean, Mulica said.

"It's an amazing service that honey bees and beekeepers provide for for agriculture," Mulica said.

Conservationists and scientists who study food security alike are concerned about how the downward trend of bee populations will affect food supply going forward, McArt said.

In the short term, food prices could rise if the number of bees pollinating crops continue to die off.

Read the rest of the article here: https://abcnews.go.com/US/national-honey-bee-day-foods-disappear-pollinator-populations/story?id=79545939

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Pursuant to CFS Litigation Settlement, EPA Releases Evaluations Showing Severe Risk to Endangered Species from Neonic Pesticides

August 26, 2021

Washington, D.C. – For the first time, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released new nationwide endangered species analyses and draft determinations for neonicotinoids pesticides, a class of systemic pesticides known for their harm to bees and ubiquitous seed coatings. The review was not done of EPA's own volition, but pursuant to a settlement won by Center for Food Safety (CFS) in litigation, which required a dozen products be cancelled as well as the ESA determinations be made by court-ordered deadlines. Under the settlement, EPA must finalize today's draft Endangered Species Act conclusions by June 2022. EPA will be accepting public comment on the drafts the next 60 days.

"Today's evaluations confirm what scientists have told EPA and industry for over a decade: These extremely toxic pesticides are causing drastic ecological harm, both the collapse of bee populations as well as putting literally hundreds of endangered species at extinction risk across the country," said George Kimbrell, Legal Director of Center for Food Safety. "The Biden administration needs to complete its process with all due speed in order to start protecting these iconic species."

In today's decision, EPA found remarkable levels of harm to endangered species from the three neonicotinoid pesticides it examined. For thiamethoxam, EPA concluded that of all 1821 endangered species nationwide, 88% of them (1600) might be affected, and 77% of them (1396) were "likely to be adversely affected." This included, for example, making "likely to adversely affect" (the highest level of harm finding possible at this stage) for 71 of 108 endangered birds, 177 of 194 protected fish, and 135 of 161 of endangered insects.

EPA made similar draft conclusions for the other two major neonicotinoids it examined: for imidacloprid, where it found "may affect" for 89% of all species (1612 of 1821) and "likely to adversely affect" for 79% (1445 of 1821); and for clothianidin, where it found "may affect" for 86% of all endangered species (1562 of 1821) and "likely to adversely affect" for 67% (1224 of 1821).

In addition to the species themselves, for the 791 protected species with designated critical habitats, EPA determined their habitats separately are likely to be adversely modified by imadicloprid for 88% of those species, by thiamethoxam for 83% of species, and by clothianidin for 53% of species.

Background:

Neonicotinoids (neonics) are a relatively new class of insecticides, related to nicotine. These pesticides interfere with the nervous system of insects, causing tremors, paralysis, and eventually death at very low doses. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that exposure to neonics is one factor in the decline of bee populations around the world over the last decade or two.

Unfortunately, neonics are now the most widely used insecticides in the world. When used as coatings on corn, soybean and other seeds, they are distributed throughout the growing seedling, making the entire plant toxic. Bees and other pollinators are exposed to these toxic chemicals through pollen, nectar, dust, dew droplets on plant leaves, and in the soil where many native bee species nest.

Center for Food Safety's mission is to empower people, support farmers, and protect the earth from the harmful impacts of industrial agriculture. Through groundbreaking legal, scientific, and grassroots action, we protect and promote your right to safe food and the environment. Please join our more than one million advocates across the country at www.centerforfoodsafety.org. Twitter: @CFSTrueFood, @CFS_Press

https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/6443/pursuant-to-cfs-litigation-settlement-epa-releases-evaluations-showing-severe-risk-to-endangered-species-from-neonic-pesticides

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September 2, 2021

Pesticide Combinations Bad for Honey Bees

Pesticides might be worse for bees than we thought

Combos of agrichemicals pose compounding risks for pollinators.

BY ULA CHROBAK 

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Cocktails of agricultural chemicals may have a synergistic effect on bee mortality. Pixabay

The plight of pollinators is growing more visible than ever before. Increasingly, scientists are documenting the decline of bees and butterflies, evidence that the loud hum of buzzing insects on many landscapes is turning to a whisper.

For bees, the threats are numerous, including habitat loss, climate change, and intensive agriculture. As fields of flowering plants are converted to roads and row crops, sources of food for wild pollinators dwindle. And when insects forage in farms, they suffer from poor nutrition due to a lack of diverse food sources and become exposed to agricultural chemicals. Honey bees—a managed, non-native species in the US—are transported into many farms to provide pollination, but still face threats from poor nutrition, pests, and pathogens.

A new analysis in the journal Nature shows that some of these threats, when put together, kill

more bees than the combination of each threat alone. It turns out, cocktails of agricultural chemicals may have a synergistic effect on bee mortality. In other words, more bees die than would have if the effects of the chemicals simply added to each other.

The authors of the paper analyzed 90 studies that in total documented 356 effects from interacting bee stressors, such as combinations of chemicals, nutritional problems, and parasites. Each study included at least two factors harming bees. They categorized whether the stressors negated each other, added to each other, or compounded to cause extra damage— compounding would indicate a synergistic effect. For example, if one pesticide used alone caused 10 percent of bees to die, and another pesticide killed 15 percent, the two combined would have a synergistic effect if more than 25 percent of bees died.

Across the studies, the researchers repeatedly found that when bees were exposed to multiple agrichemicals, the combination had a synergistic effect on mortality. Meanwhile, combos of other stressors, like parasites and nutrition, tended to have effects that just added together.

Its still unclear why pesticides would have such an effect. In the analysis, the bee stressors didn’t have synergistic effects on non-lethal health measures, like colony growth rates. In other research, however, scientists have found that certain pesticides can weaken a bee’s immune system,…….

To read the complete article go to;

Pesticides might be worse for bees than we thought | Popular Science (popsci.com)

 

https://www.beeculture.com/pesticide-combinations-bad-for-honey-bees-2/

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The PSC is hiring a Program Director

Apply today!

Description and instructions below.

 

The PSC is hiring a Program Director – on a contract basis- responsible for fundraising, external communications, campaign coordination, and ongoing overall non-profit administration. 

 

Contractor will report to the Pollinator Stewardship Council Board of Directors.

Pollinator Stewardship Council (PSC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit private research and education organization focused on defending managed and native pollinators vital to a sustainable and affordable food supply, from adverse impacts of pesticides.  As pollination is required for one-third of the world’s food supply, we strive to accomplish our mission by:

  • Changing the regulatory process for pesticide risk assessment, labeling, and enforcement;

  • Providing advocacy, guidance, and tools to document the detrimental effect of pesticides on pollinators;

  • Raising awareness about the adverse impact of pesticides on pollinators critical to both the supply of food and the ecosystem.

 

Contracted work to begin November 1, 2021, with some flexibility if required. Contracted tasks projected around 30 remote hours a week. We will provide a work cell phone and computer if needed. Starting contract payment commensurate with skills and experience. Contract term will be revisited annually.

To apply, please email a cover letter that describes your personal story and interest in the position, original writing sample, resume, and contact information for three references to progdirector@pollinatorstewardship.org with “Program Director Position” in the subject line. Application deadline is September 10th, 2021. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Fundraising (40%) Fundraising activities may involve soliciting donors and commercial partners, developing online fundraising campaigns, donor and member database management, applying for grant funding and other strategies as appropriate. The Program Director will be responsible for fundraising to support their contract after year one.  

Communications (25%) Oversee, and execute as needed, the development of electronic communications, including storytelling, through PSC’s website and blog, monthly electronic newsletter, social media, press releases and other electronic communications.  Consolidate and coordinate social media platform content, curating as needed.  Development and management of ongoing marketing and public relations.  Occasional presentations and conference attendance is required. 

Coordinating our ongoing pesticide campaigns (25%) Develop and execute campaign plans to build on PSC’s national beekeeper and public pesticide campaigns. Follow and engage in federal and state legislative work collaboratively with other stakeholders.  Facilitate comment letters to the US EPA on relevant pesticide registrations.  Assist members and the public in filing pesticide incident reports. Maintain PSC records of these filings.

Non-Profit and Organizational Administration (10%) Propose and manage the annual budget and ensure appropriate bookkeeping is maintained sufficient for tax purposes. Maintain board relations and ongoing, regular communication with board members.   Ensure compliance with board directives and applicable grantor, federal and state requirements. Regular delegation and facilitation of tasks to outside help.  Display initiative in developing and implementing action plans, responding to issues and resolving problems as they occur, in consultation with Board members, to fulfill the goals of the organization. Assist in the development of current and long-term organizational goals and objectives as well as policies and procedures for PSC operations. Understand the duties and responsibilities of the position and keep position knowledge up-to-date, soliciting guidance from experts as needed.

Core Competencies To perform effectively in this position, the contractor should:

  • understand the fundraising and organizational goals for the mission of the organization, seek increased responsibility while remaining conscientious, thorough, accurate, and reliable and continuously work to promote PSC and achieve its goals.  

  • have demonstrated leadership and management skills, be outgoing and self-motivated, have experience with fundraising and communications in the non-profit arena, understand the fundamental aspects of managing a non-profit organization, and be willing to learn about the current threats to pollinators and commercial beekeeping, as driven by pesticide exposure.   

  • communicate effectively with multiple audiences using a variety of formats including written communications and verbal presentations. 

  • be enthusiastic, dynamic, flexible, organized, collaborative, inquisitive, and able to work independently with demonstrated leadership and management skills.

  • must have excellent written and interpersonal communication skills, and be comfortable using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Google Drive and social media.  Grant writing experience, and familiarity with Little Green Light donor and member management software and Mailchimp an asset. 

 

Education and/or Experience Contractor must possess the above skills, knowledge and qualities which may result from formal education or at least three years experience in business and fundraising for non-profit operations. Beekeeping experience, familiarity with the issues of agriculture, pesticide registrations, policy and science (as it relates to pollinators), and campaign organizing experience preferred.

Travel The Program Director must be able to travel for fundraising, to attend conferences, training and other events as required to acquire and maintain proficiency in fulfilling the responsibilities of the position and as the pandemic allows. Travel expenses will be reimbursed.

Physical Demands The contractor in this position constantly operates a computer, frequently communicates with the public and must be able to exchange accurate information in these situations.  Contractor occasionally moves conference display equipment weighing up to 20 pounds for various events needs.  Reasonable accommodations may be made for otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. This description reflects PSC’s assignment of essential functions.  It does not proscribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.

The Pollinator Stewardship Council does not discriminate against applicants or employees for reasons of race, color, disability, religion or creed, national origin or ancestry, prior conviction or incarceration, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status or age.

More information, including the position description, linked here

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27 April 2021

 

Hello Honey Industry Partners!

 

We would appreciate your assistance spreading the word on our continuing research project. We are collecting samples of citrus blossom honey from locations in North America. There is a sample collection form included (download here: https://803a53c6-072b-4f8f-960b-bf8520169c2b.usrfiles.com/ugd/803a53_0bd8b373e75d4d7f98e8bb7e67f97fbb.pdf). We are requesting 118 mL/4 oz samples. Senders are not responsible for costs related to testing. These samples will be collected by QSI America and the testing will be used to support a future identity standard for citrus blossom honey.

Timing is a bit urgent to obtain samples this season. The sooner you are able to share this opportunity with your constituents, the better this project will be. Thank you for your support!

 

The USP Honey Expert Panel On behalf of

Norberto Garcia, Chair and

Gina Clapper, Senior Scientific Liaison with FCC and US Pharmacopeia

 

Please contact Gina with any questions or comments (gina.clapper@usp.org)

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AHPA App


As AHPA continues to work on behalf of all beekeepers, one of our initiatives is advocating with the FDA in Washington D.C. to update honey labeling guidelines.  As part of this effort, we need your help to collect pictures of honey labels from around the United States.  Our goal is primarily to find honey that is mislabeled according to current FDA guidelines.  Secondarily, we need examples of any labels which misrepresent country of origin or are purposefully confusing to consumers so that we can advocate for positive changes and updates. 

Search the App Store or Google Play for "AHPA app”.  We need to collect as many pictures from honey on the store shelf as possible.  Please take a few minutes to help collect this data.

The materials and information included in this newsletter are provided as a service to you and do not reflect endorsement by the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA). The content and opinions expressed within the newsletter are those of the authors and are not necessarily shared by AHPA. AHPA is not responsible for the accuracy of information provided from outside sources.