Varroa mite research points to impact on honeybee health

Varroa mites may be mighty small – about the size of the head of a pin – but the parasites are a primary cause of colony collapse disorder, a large problem for honeybee populations worldwide. A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences debunks the long-held belief that the mites feed on “bee blood” – AKA hemolymph.

North Carolina State University entomologist Allen Cohen, a co-author on the PNAS paper, wasn’t surprised by the study’s results. For years, he’s contended that the mites’ digestive system and the content of their excrement point to another, denser food source.

Samuel Ramsey and his University of Maryland colleagues found that Cohen was right. Conducting the research as part of his doctoral studies under Professor Dennis vanEngelsdorp, Ramsey determined that instead of drinking hemolymph, the mites consume the bees’ fat body, an organ that stores and uses nutrients as they are needed.

Read more at Vegetable Growers News here

Special Collection: Pesticide Exposure in Non-Honey Bees

The original article was posted by Oxford Academic. The full article can be viewed here

Bees are essential pollinators of a variety of plants, including many used for human food. In recent years, there have been declines in bee populations due to a variety of factors. One of those factors is pesticides.

While honey bees (genus Apis) tend to get a lot of attention in the media and research, non-honey bees are also important pollinators and could face similar threats from pesticides as honey bees do. However, not as much is known about how pesticides affect non-Apis bees, such as bumble bees, solitary bees, and stingless bees.

Read More from Oxford Academic here

PERC offers Web-Based WPS Train the Trainer Course

This information was originally published by PERC and adapted for use by NPSEC.

Web-Based Training for Trainers of Agricultural Workers and Pesticide Handlers under the National Worker Protection Standard (WPS)

·         It’s posted here on the PERC website.
·         The cost is $35, which covers the cost of the hosting, course maintenance, and certification management.
·         It will be offered via the NPSEC Store, hosted by eXtension.
This web-based course provides the information required to train those who will train agricultural workers and pesticide handlers under the WPS (CFR 170). It will guide you through the necessary procedures to provide effective training about pesticide safety topics. This course is one way to become qualified to train agricultural workers and pesticide handlers under the WPS.
This is a self-paced eLearning course; you will view eLearning modules, take quizzes, and complete a final exam at your own pace. Once you have successfully completed all the course requirements, passed the final exam with the minimum passing score of 70% and then completed the course evaluation, you will be issued a WPS pesticide safety trainer certification. This course will take you approximately two to three hours to complete.
Completion of this course certifies you as a qualified WPS trainer of agricultural workers and pesticide handlers in the continental U.S, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You must check with your state or tribal pesticide regulatory agency for possible additional requirements.
If you have any questions about this message, please direct them to PERC using the contact information below.
Suzanne Forsyth, PERC Director
UC Davis Extension
Kaci Buhl, PERC Deputy Director 
Oregon State University
About PERC: PERC is led by University of California of Davis Extension and Oregon State University, and is funded by a 5-year cooperative agreement (#X8-83616301) from the U.S. EPA. PERC aims to support the development of resources/materials about the safe use of pesticides by applicators and handlers in agricultural, commercial, and residential settings. Materials could include brochures, factsheets, posters, videos, manuals, and mobile tools, while addressing the needs of low-literacy and multilingual audiences. These materials will help prevent pesticide exposure incidents for pesticide applicators, handlers, workers, and their families. The PERC supports the U.S. EPA’s Strategic Goal 1, Objective 1.4 – Ensure Safety of Chemicals in the Marketplace.

eXtension Foundation and National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC) Pesticide Safety Education Funds Management Program (PSEFMP) Funding Opportunity

The eXtension Foundation (EF) is pleased to announce a funding opportunity for Land Grant University Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEP) for 2019. This opportunity is made available through a cooperative agreement (#X8-83698001) with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish and administer a national sub-award program in support of pesticide applicator education, and training for certified applicators of restricted used pesticides. The National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC) will continue to collaborate with EF to lead the professional development part of the project and to assist PSEPs in enhancing some of the educational products they develop as part of the expectations attached to the funding.

Requirements of sub-awardees for this program to receive funding are as follows:

    • Agree to share one educational material or product for the purposes of enhancing PSEP programs both regionally and nationally.

    • Submit progress reports every six (6) months using a standard online template.

    • Attend a minimum of one of the following 1-hour training webinars as part of this program for reporting system training and professional development. Anticipated dates are: January 31, 2019 at 3 pm EST; May 6, 2019 at 1 pm EST; September 30, 2019 at 3 pm EST and December 2, 2019 at 3:00 pm EST.


In order to be eligible for this funding opportunity applicants must be affiliated with a U.S. Land Grant University. Only one application per state will be eligible for funding and preference will go to 1862 Land Grant Universities. Please contact if you have any questions regarding eligibility.

Funding Period

The funding period for this subaward will be Jan. 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019.

Funding Available

Each PSEP will be eligible to apply for a base amount of $18,750.00 USD plus 5% of the funds divided proportionally based on the percentage of the number of certified applicators in each state or territory. The number of certified applicators in a state or territory will be based on the most recent figures of certified applicators as supplied by the EPA. Additional amounts available to the state or territory will be listed in the budget section. Payments to successful sub-awardees will be made January 3 – 15, 2019.

Key Dates

Application System Opens: Monday, October 1, 2018 at 8 am EST

First round of reviews: October 22, 2018

Second round of reviews: November 19, 2018

Application Deadline: Saturday, December 1, 2018 at 8 pm EST

Final round of reviews: December 10, 2018

Sub-award Notification Announcement: December 21, 2018

Funds distributed by: January 15, 2019

Application Review Process:

EF will use a multi-step approach in the receiving and review of applications for this program. Each application will be reviewed by EF and an advisory panel including representatives from NPSEC, APPCO, AAPSE, PERC and the PSEP community for eligibility, compliance, completeness and potential collaboration. Additionally, through this process, applicants will have the opportunity to be involved in a NPSEC subject group to create educational materials.

Application Submission

In an effort to make the application process as streamlined and user friendly as possible, applicants will be able to download, sign, scan, and upload the sub-award agreement from the application site. Applications that have not been signed will not be considered for funding. The average time for completion of an application is 56 minutes.

Applications for this funding opportunity can be accessed at the following link on October 1, 2018 at 8:00 am EST: (Note: Link will not be active until October 1, 2018 at 8:00 am EST).

Online Application System Training:

PSEPs will receive an invitation for optional training via Zoom for October 1, 2018 at 11 am EST for the online application system. During training, EF will provide a step by step walk through of the application site, application and submission. For those who are unable to attend the training, it will be recorded and sent via email to view at your convenience. Additional trainings will also be held the same week.

Applicants with any questions please send an email to

About eXtension Foundation

The United States Cooperative Extension System, with funding from Cooperative Extension directors and administrators, and USDA-NIFA, shares resources and tools through eXtension that enables the Extension workforce to scale up its local and national impact. eXtension is an integral part of the national Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) and is organized as a 501(c)3 non-profit membership organization. Its Board of Directors represents the five regions of Cooperative Extension, ECOP, and USDA-NIFA.

About National Pesticide Safety Education Center

The NPSEC seeks to strengthen the national system of university extension Pesticide Safety Education Programs by improving the quality, consistency, and accessibility of educational offerings, promoting collaboration and leveraging of educational resources and learning assessment tools, and increasing revenue generation. The Center, originally incubated by eXtension Foundation received start-up funding from CropLife Foundation and crop protection companies BASF, Bayer, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, and Syngenta. NPSEC does not receive any EPA funding under the EPA-eXtension Foundation cooperative agreement.


2019 PSEFMP Application Instructions