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Category Archives: Maine Stem Cells
Posted: April 28, 2020 at 6:44 pm
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
A teddy bear is seen in a window in a Hampden neighborhood.
Today is Tuesday. There have now been 1,023 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in all of Maines counties, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health officials on Monday confirmed the death of a man in his 70s from Kennebec County, bringing the statewide death toll to 51.
So far, 161 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, while another 549 people have fully recovered from the coronavirus, meaning there are 423 active cases in the state. Thats down from 433 on Sunday.
Heres the latest on the coronavirus and its impact in Maine.
The Maine CDC will provide an update on the coronavirus at 3 p.m. The BDN will livestream the briefing.
Democratic Gov. Janet Mills on Monday suggested at Mondays coronavirus briefing that she may loosen restrictions on businesses when her stay-at-home order expires on April 30. Mills told reporters she was likely to extend parts of a stay-at-home order. She signaled a shift by saying some restrictions might be lifted gradually based on whether workplaces can conduct business safely and not whether businesses are considered essential, saying she would announce a plan for extending the order on Tuesday.
Maine is now the last state in New England to not release data on coronavirus cases by city and town. Vermont started releasing ranges of cases Monday. The information does not specify which towns may have 5 or fewer cases. New Hampshire takes a similar tactic, but delineates towns that do not have any reported cases. Rhode Island reports the exact number of cases per municipality, as do Massachusetts and Connecticut. The Maine CDC has declined to release similar information, citing privacy concerns. It estimated it could take up to six months to compile that data in response to a Bangor Daily News Freedom of Access Act request last week.
Just four days after Maine confirmed its first case of the coronavirus, Seren Bruce received a different diagnosis that would nevertheless be shaped by the pandemic. On March 16, a doctor at Northern Light Cancer Care in Brewer who had reviewed Bruces bloodwork diagnosed her with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a type of cancer that grows on the white blood cells. Bruces diagnosis has come at a particularly fraught time for cancer patients, who often have weakened immune systems as a result of their treatments or cancers, and who may be more likely to become seriously ill from the coronavirus. Now, hospitals have delayed all sorts of non-emergency services to preserve their resources and to prevent the virus from spreading among vulnerable patients, leading to delays in some care for cancer patients.
For more than a month now, visitors, including residents family members, have been barred from entering The Commons at Tall Pines in Belfast in hopes that the virus would not take root there. But the virus, stealthy and deadly, found its way in.
Calls placed to the Northern New England Poison Center from peoples homes have increased, according to Karen Simone, a toxicologist who runs the center at Maine Medical Center in Portland, but they do not appear to be a result of President Donald Trumps suggestion Thursday that ingesting certain household cleaners can keep people from getting the disease. Rather the increase seems to stem in part from more intense home cleaning efforts aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus and the occasional mishaps that result.
Bowdoin College in Brunswick is facing down a loss of more than $8 million from financial aid to assist low-income students with travel and other coronavirus-related costs and room-and-board refunds after the college opted to not have students return after spring break, making it one of the first Maine universities to close its campus in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, Bates College in Lewiston has already taken a financial hit of up to $2 million because of the coronavirus and the colleges president, Clayton Spencer, anticipates worse to come.
The Maine CDCs headquarters reopened Monday after a coronavirus exposure briefly shuttered the headquarters of the agency responsible for leading the state response to the pandemic.
The eagerly anticipated second round of federal stimulus loans aimed at helping small businesses pay employees during the coronavirus outbreak rolled out on Monday, when the system processing loans almost immediately came to a halt before it began working again sluggishly several hours later.
The billions of dollars in coronavirus relief targeted at small businesses may not prevent many of them from ending up in bankruptcy court. Business filings under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy law rose sharply in March, and attorneys who work with struggling companies are seeing signs that more owners are contemplating the possibility of bankruptcy. Companies forced to close or curtail business due to government attempts to stop the virus spread have mounting debts and uncertain prospects for returning to normal operations. Even those owners receiving emergency loans and grants arent sure that help will be enough.
As of early Tuesday morning, the coronavirus has sickened 988,469 people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as caused 56,253 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
Elsewhere in New England, there have been 3,003 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 2,012 in Connecticut, 233 in Rhode Island, 60 in New Hampshire and 47 in Vermont.
Before her double-lung transplant, Joanne Mellady could barely put on a shirt without losing her breath. Afterward, she barely stopped moving. Mellady, who died of the coronavirus in March, had a bucket list that made her family blush. Mellady, a 67-year-old from New Hampshire, transformed herself from a shy person dependent on oxygen around the clock to a vivacious risk taker willing to try almost anything. Hang gliding, skiing, skateboarding and kayaking were among the thrills she took on.
Indy Q&A: Cortez Masto wants government to take greater charge of mask, glove supply chain – The Nevada Independent
Posted: March 28, 2020 at 6:41 am
Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said major manufacturers attribute a shortage of masks and gloves for front-line health care workers in part to a lack of government leadership in the supply chain, and shes calling on the president to involve the government in manufacturing the scarce goods.
Cortez Masto made her comments in an interview with The Nevada Independent on Thursday, the day after she voted in favor of a $2.2 trillion emergency aid package aimed at relieving the economic fallout from the bill.
The House is expected to vote Friday on the bill that will include massive amounts of financial aid to large companies and small businesses, as well as hundreds of dollars for most individual Americans. Its the third bill in a series of coronavirus response legislation that included a measure to promote the development of a vaccine, and a bill to provide free COVID-19 testing and paid sick leave.
Read on for highlights of the interview, which also included the senators reaction to speculation that she could be a vice presidential nominee for Joe Biden.
Some large businesses will get help through the stimulus bills to try to keep people on their payroll. Do you think casinos are going to apply for funding and which ones?
I dont know which casinos will apply for the funding or whether they will. But I will say this I have been on the phone with our hospitality industry, from our gamers to the small businesses, to the workers, to organized labor, to restaurant owners.
At the end of the day when it comes to our hospitality industry in Nevada, we are all in this together. Theres 450,000 jobs statewide that this industry employs, 450,000 people. And its from individuals who actually work within the casinos and those who benefit because they have a small business that works with the casinos, from our dry cleaners to our florists to small restaurants.
So the goal here, for me and the whole entire delegation as we work together on this package was to make sure we were taking care of everyone in our industry.
So theres a combination of things within the package that will, at the end of the day, make sure that everybody has some form of liquidity. Cause thats what its about. We are asking people, rightfully so, to shelter in place, to stem the spread of the coronavirus. And because of that, they are potentially losing out on wages, salaries, and health care benefits.
And so the goal here is to make them liquid, put money in their pocket now, help their businesses, those small businesses so that they give them the liquidity they need, so that when this crisis is over, we can open our doors and our economic recovery can kind of spring back that much quicker.
Is there anything you would like to see in any forthcoming legislation coming out of Congress?
Once we get it signed by the president, we get the money out, we will have a better understanding [of] what else we need to do. I am already hearing from our governor, from other governors, from hospitality, from our health care workers that more needs to be done and we are prepared to do that.
So yes, I think there is going to be a fourth package thats going to be necessary, but I think we need to wait to get this one out, get the money out there and see where, where else we can be helpful.
One of the biggest concerns right now is that health care professionals say they dont have the masks and the gloves and the personal protective equipment they need. What can you do as a senator to help address this problem?
What this package does is put more money in there to make sure that our hospitals, not only in our urban, but our rural areas, can keep their doors open and then pay for the personal protective equipment for health care workers, including the testing supplies that are so necessary. So theres money in there for that.
The other thing though that needs to be done, and this is why so many of my colleagues and I have talked and sent letters that it is time for this president to really rely on I know hes invoked the Defense Production Act but he hasnt done anything about it.
He hasnt set it in motion. My concern is there is no one at the national level that is managing the supply and demand of this medical equipment that we need right now. Our governors competing with other governors, on the private market for this equipment. And we need to now manage this at a national level to make sure that the supplies are getting to the states and those local communities and to the hospitals where it is needed.
Jacky Rosen and I were on two conference calls. We wanted to reach out to the manufacturers to find out what were the barriers, whats going on here. So we had separate conference calls, one with Cardinal Health and the other with Medline, who produces a lot of these supplies.
And the one thing that we came away from is theyre getting misinformation. Theyre hearing at the federal level from Health and Human Services and FEMA. Theyre hearing different things and nobody is coordinating one area one person taking control and command to coordinate with everyone. And so that is part of the problem.
What I am hearing from these manufacturers that are producing some of these is they want somebody at the federal level to take control to start managing all of the supplies because that is why we are seeing, unfortunately, price gouging going on.
What would be the next step to have someone in charge of this manufacturing situation?
The president needs to say, as he invoked the Defense Production Act, now he needs to set it in motion and he needs to have one agency, whether its HHS, FEMA, whoever it is, take control of not only that supply and demand of the, this medical equipment nationally but the production of it, to understand what those barriers are cause some of the barriers are.
Some of the products or the chemicals we need are not even in the United States. Theyre in another country. We know the test kits alone need a reagent and were low on that reagent. Well, some of that reagent comes from Maine, but some of it comes from out of the country. And so we need somebody at the federal level that is managing all of that and taking control.
Sen. Harry Reid has asked Joe Biden if he could have you as his running mate. Would you consider being a potential running mate for Joe Biden?
I am so honored to have my name even out there and thought of in that way. But I will tell you right now, I am focused on my job here in the United States Senate. I am honored every single day that I get to work on behalf of the state that I was born and raised in and all the people and businesses that live there.
And really, my focus now is just getting us through this crisis and doing what I can at a federal level to make sure that we have the resources we need in our state and individuals have the health care that they need.
What is your office doing to try to meet the needs of Nevadans without health insurance, including undocumented people?
What I want people to know, first of all, is if they have any questions about anything thats going on, whatever their needs are, to reach out to my office. We have case workers that are bilingual, speak Spanish. We are here to help them and work, get them the resources they need or help them through this process.
I will say in this particular package that weve passed, theres a couple of things I want people to know. The package includes $1.3 billion to cover testing costs at community health clinics. And I know those community health clinics in our state serve patients regardless of their immigration status.
So I would tell anyone that if they feel the symptoms or they didnt feel well because, and theyre having the symptoms of coronavirus, to go to one of those community health clinics. The other thing they need to know is if they seek that assistance, it will not be counted against them as part of their public charge analysis.
We were able to, to work with the federal government to make sure that anybody seeking attention and medical needs or assistance because of this virus, will, this will not be used against them. We want people to come forward and we want them to get the healthcare that they need.
A couple of other things. Theres unemployment benefits that we expanded in this package. Anyone who has a valid work authorization during both the time that they were employed and the time they were unemployed can apply for these benefits. This includes both DACA and TPS beneficiaries.
The only thing that, I think, this bill has a shortcoming in is on the direct payments that go to individuals and families. Only those with valid Social Security numbers qualify for the one time payment.
We published an article about fears among ICE detainees that they could be vulnerable to catching coronavirus in these detention centers. What can be done about this situation?
So what we have done at the federal level is I was part of a letter along with my colleagues that we sent it to ICE demanding what type of action they are going to take to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in their detention facilities. And Im waiting. Many of us are waiting for that response.
Theres other ways that we can release them into the community without having to detain them.
We have so many new technologies now and things that we can do to work with them and their attorneys to help them out.
And I think thats what we should be focused on. You know, many, many folks in ICE right now, theyre not violent criminals. And what Im seeing and hearing is that some of them are even put in cells with violent criminals. Theyre not. And so we have to, if were really gonna stem the spread of this virus, then we have to focus on every population.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule in June on the legality of DACA. What can be done for our DACA population that was already concerned about this, and that stress has been compounded by the coronavirus?
I think at this point in time, my concern is that this administration, even though he has said that if he wins this litigation and I mean this president, as the one who brought this litigation forward if he wins, hes not gonna do anything to harm our Dreamers.
I dont trust him and I dont think anybody should in this case, because weve seen what hes done with our immigrant populations. pitting them against one another, calling them horrific names and instilling fear in our community. What it requires us right now is to continue to fight to protect this community.
But at the same time, Ill be honest with you, it means that we have to all come out and vote and elect individuals who are going to stand up for everyone in this country. We are a nation of immigrants Most of us come from immigrants whove come to this country for a better life, and I think that is the beauty of the United States, and thats worth fighting for.
Posted: February 29, 2020 at 9:44 am
While a college student in Worcester, Brian Clark, of Ashfield remembers when he read for the first time about the American chestnut, once known as Americas most iconic tree, which by then had become decimated by blight from Mississippi to Maine.
Back in Ashfield, his father, Malcolm, told him, Oh yeah, I remember going out on Ridge Hill when I was a kid with my mother to collect chestnuts. Malcolm Clark remembered later trying to get a chestnut sprout from a neighbors farm to grow, without success.
The fast-growing American chestnut, which could reach 100 feet tall and 10 feet in diameter, had light, straight-grained wood that was popular for furniture and timber, shingles and flooring. The wood had also been used by native Americans for dugout canoes, its leaves and bark had medicinal properties, and its nuts were a nutritious food supply for humans and wildlife.
Clark, who is now vice president of the American Chestnut Foundations Massachusetts-Rhode Island Chapter, examined a grove of about 3,000 chestnut trees recently at Smith CollegesAda and Archibald MacLeish Field Station in West Whately some of them the smaller, multi-stem Chinese chestnut, which is blight resistant. Most, though, were American chestnut saplings, planted from seeds collected around the region by the roughly 300-member foundation.
Now in its eighth year, this one-acre orchard is one of three test plots of American chestnuts in Franklin County there are also two research groves in Conway and Hawley, including a 150-acre plot in Conway State Forest that are part of an effort by conservationists experimenting with ways to cross-breed in resistance, in order to restore through hybridization this functionally extinct grand tree to American forests.
The method, developed in the late 1970s by ACF founder Charles Burnham, breeds blight resistance into the American chestnut by backcrossing the best characteristics of American and Chinese varieties. In theory, the hybrid would blend 94 percent American and 6 percent Chinese genes.
Paul Wetzel, who oversees the Whately test orchard as a staff ecologist for Smith Colleges Center for Environmental and Ecological Design and Sustainability, points to the rusty-colored wound of the blight on a sample tree just above where it was inoculated as part of an ongoing experiment to see which of the Chinese-American hybrids are most blight resistant. The blight girdles the stem, locking the trees cells above to prevent water from being carried up. Below the canker, the chestnuts roots and stem can live on and send out shoots that may reach 15 feet or more before succumbing to blight again. Millions of American chestnuts therefore survive, but very few reach the stage where they are able to flower and reproduce.
The Whately breeding grove boasts hybrids from three rows of each of 20 different genetic lines from Chinese chestnuts, combined with seeds from American chestnuts from around Massachusetts and Rhode Island in an attempt to bring about as much diversity as possible.
With 16 ACF chapters, its hoped that maximum genetic diversity can produce trees that fight off blight as well as other pathogens or predators to make a comeback over time.
Even though its all the same species, there may have been some local adaptations to the environmental conditions across such a big region, said Wetzel. The idea of having local chapters is to take local trees and cross them with the Chinese trees, so if there is some local adaptation that gets passed into the genetics, it will still be there. Its estimated there were 4 billion American Chestnuts in North America before the blight, and if all of a sudden it funnels down to 500 or 1,000, theres a huge genetic bottleneck. If you just took a tree thats growing in Maine and started propagating it, youd essentially have a monoculture across the whole area.
For that reason, he said, its important to be mindful of assuring theres a diverse genetic pool, regardless of whatever species thats being reintroduced.
With the threat of climate change, there are also concerns that a different pathogen, which rots the trees roots but has only been a problem in the South where ground freezing doesnt occur, may begin moving northward as well.
Efforts to bring back the American chestnut stir not only the imagination, says Wetzel, but also cultural memories about a tree that was such a core part of eastern forests.
The chestnut was a very culturally important tree to eastern North America. It had the most economic value of any species of tree. It grows fast, it grows in many different areas, except for wet areas, and the wood is strong, its easy to work and its rot-resistant. It produces great nuts, theyre very high-protein and produced a lot of food for wildlife. Theres this whole cultural background. People talked about roasting chestnuts and buying it off the streets in big cities. It was the original fast food.
At least nine genes, according to Wetzel, are responsible for the resistance of the smaller, orchard-size Chinese chestnut trees, and its been thought that hybrids with their American cousins. ...With 45 percent of American chestnut to advance its more familiar characteristics, may be whats needed to bring back the tree that was once loved.
As the chestnut advocates try to accelerate the regeneration that would occur naturally, Wetzel says, We thought we were pretty close. We thought we were creating seeds that are resistant, but then were finding out, if you look at 150 trees, most of them have some blight canker on them, and Ive already cut down the worst ones. The original Burnham program was designed on the assumption that only two to three genes were involved in resistance.
But extensive genetic analysis theyve begun doing in the past few years has shown there are at least nine, so theyre seeing the need to step up the effort, maybe by lowering expectations from a tree thats 94 percent American to allow natural selection to do more of the sorting, or maybe crossing more Chinese varieties that have natural resistance to the blight. There are also efforts to develop a cost-effective way to test younger saplings for resistance, as well as tests of a transgenic approach to hybridize an American chestnut seed with the same kind of natural blight resistance that occurs in wheat and other grains.
The work is important, and much of it is done primarily by volunteers. Funding comes primarily from ACF members.
Using seeds available from the foundation, Clark has an American chestnut growing in front of his house that he guesses is more than 35 feet tall, part of a grove that hes hoping will continue to flourish. But getting the trees to make a real comeback on a wider scale, he and Wetzel say, will take time, more research and plenty of patience.
Recently retired, Richie Davis was a writer and editor for more than 40 years at the Greenfield Recorder. He blogs at richiedavis.net.
See the original post:
Saving theAmerican chestnut - The Recorder
Posted: December 3, 2019 at 1:45 pm
I recently had an experience that highlights, for me, some of what is wrong with our medical insurance system.
I love playing tennis, but my knees have been deteriorating. The cushioning material is wearing away, and there is arthritis. The increasing pain and swelling I was experiencing led me to consider knee replacement surgery, or the end of my tennis career. Neither choice was appealing.
My naturopathic doctor suggested I consider PRP therapy. Platelet-rich plasma treatment has been growing in popularity because it often provides an alternative to knee- and hip-replacement surgery. It can also help tennis tendinitis and rotator cuff injuries. Professional athletes, including Tiger Woods, use PRP therapy. Despite its successful track record, it is not covered by insurance, Medicare or otherwise.
PRP therapy involves removing a small amount of ones blood and separating out its components in a centrifuge. The concentrate is then injected into the area that needs help. The platelet-rich blood attracts stem cells, the bodys repairmen, to the area to rebuild tissue, muscles and tendons.
I love this concept because it uses the bodys own healing ability to rebuild worn-out parts. As a lifelong proponent of homeopathy and other natural healing modalities, I decided to give PRP a try. On Sept. 10, I drove to the office of Dr. John Herzog in Falmouth, Maine, to check it out, despite the fact that Medicare would not cover the cost.
Dr. Herzog is an osteopathic orthopedic surgeon who has performed thousands of surgeries to replace knees and hips over his 30-year career. In 2009 he decided to stop doing surgery and focus on PRP, after finding how much it helped his own knee condition. He has treated more than 3,000 patients since then, with an 80% success rate.
After a basic physical exam to see how well my knees flexed, we looked at them with ultrasound. It was fascinating to watch as Dr. Herzog explained the state of each knee cavity. Fortunately, I was not in a complete bone-on-bone condition; both knees were good candidates for PRP treatment.
I initially thought I would test the treatment on one knee, but opted to have both done. The cost was $600 for one knee, $1,000 for both. Despite paying for this out-of-pocket, it seemed a reasonable cost given the much more expensive alternatives. Knee and hip replacements average $30,000.
Dr. Herzog drew a cup of blood from my arm, put it in a centrifuge and injected the platelet-rich concentrate into both knees. I was out of the office on my way home in a little over an hour. I was told results were normally felt within 4 to 6 weeks, and could last up to a year or more. Every person responds differently, some return for tune-ups after a year.
The following day both knees were quite sore and swollen as blood and oxygen rushed to the area. The next day the swelling began to subside, and five days after the treatment I played tennis. Now, some two months later, the results have been remarkable. Both knees are stronger. Recovery after tennis is greatly reduced. I stopped wearing knee braces, and my movement on the court is now the best its been in years. Im considering playing three times a week instead of two. I feel a little bit like Forrest Gump!
Given the significant success rate of this treatment, the low cost, low risk and absence of side effects, why is it not covered by medical insurance? When I posed this question to a spokesperson at Concord Orthopedics, where one doctor now offers the treatment, their guess was the lack of clinical data on PRP therapy. Its clear this therapy is rapidly gaining in popularity because it is effective and inexpensive.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock offers PRP treatments. Vermont Regenerative Medicine, located in Burlington, recently ran a series of full-page ads in the Monitor advertising their services.
You would think insurance companies and the medical establishment would jump on embracing such benign treatment. I was able to afford the $1,000 fee to have both knees treated, but how about all the people who cannot?
For many years, acupuncture and chiropractic care were not covered by medical insurance. Now they are. Similar to PRP therapy, they are effective, non-invasive and low cost. All therapies that employ our bodys healing ability to recover from injury should be put at the top of the list of treatments covered by insurance. Especially when they offer a true alternative option to more expensive and invasive surgery.
(Sol Solomon lives in Sutton.)
Go here to see the original:
My Turn: The malaise of medical care - Concord Monitor
Posted: October 10, 2019 at 7:48 pm
There have been 145 orthopedic surgeon moves in 2019 so far.
Eric Smith, MD, joined New England Baptist Hospital in Boston as chief of arthroplasty.
Cody (Wyo.) Regional Health added Christopher Rice, MD, to its staff.
Piedmont Rockdale Orthopedics in Conyers, Ga., welcomed Stephenson Ikpe, MD.
Abby Maxwell, MD, and Charles May, MD, joined Western Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists at Haywood Regional Medical Center in Clyde, N.C. Gerald King, MD, is rejoining the practice in November after retiring earlier this year.
Scott Steinmann, MD, was named orthopedic department chair at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine in Chattanooga.
Orthopedic surgeon Jonathan Godin, MD, joined Vail, Colo.-based The Steadman Clinic, where he completed his fellowship.
Bret Smith, DO, joined Mercy Orthopedic Associates' Foot and Ankle Center in Durango, Colo.
Rock Springs, Wyo.-based Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County welcomed Tony Pedri, MD.
White Plains (N.Y.) Hospital welcomed Isaac Livshetz, MD.
Odessa (Texas) Regional Medical Center added orthopedic surgeons Luv Singh, MD, and Saravanaraja Muthusamy, MD.
Anuj Netto, MD, joined Phoenix-based The Orthopedic Clinic Association.
OrthoCarolina added seven orthopedic surgeons: Malick Bachabi, MD, Michael "Canaan" Prater, DO, Brian Opalacz, DO, Jesse Otero, MD, PhD, Bryan Saltzman, MD, Andrea Staneata, MD, and Adam Wegner, MD, PhD.
Tampa-based Florida Orthopaedic Institute welcomed Evan Loewy, MD.
Patricia Fox, MD, and Rabun Fox, MD, a husband and wife orthopedic surgeon team, joined Anchorage (Alaska) Fracture & Orthopedic Clinic.
Raj Rangarajan, MD, joined Institute of Movement and Orthopedics at Beaver Dam (Wis.) Community Hospital and Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic Health System.
Travis Littleton, MD, joined OrthoAtlanta.
Orthopedic surgeons Heeren Makanji, MD, and Kevin Choo, MD, joined Orthopaedic and Neurosurgery Specialists in Greenwich, Conn.
Four orthopedic surgeons joined Richmond-based OrthoVirginia: Elliott Kim, MD, Nathan Coleman, MD, William Petersen, MD, and Jonathan Bernard, MD.
Lawton, Okla.-based Southwestern Medical Center welcomed Thomas Joseph, MD.
Direct Orthopedic Care, with several locations in Texas as well as Oklahoma City and California, welcomed Kyle McGivern, DO.
Jessica Brozek, MD, joined Newton (Kan.) Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.
Jason Boyd, MD, joined Salem (Ohio) Regional Medical Center.
Central Michigan Orthopaedics in Union Charter Township welcomed Ryan Lilly, MD.
Ryan Hubbard, MD, a nonsurgical orthopedic clinician, joined Anderson Orthopaedic in Alexandria, Va.
Greenville, S.C.-based Carolina Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery welcomed Travis Patterson, MD.
Bend, Ore.-based The Center Orthopedic & Neurosurgical Care welcomed Christopher Healy, DO.
Dustin Price, MD, joined the orthopedic team at Watauga Orthopaedics in Johnson City, Tenn.
Edward Schleyer, MD, joined Coastal Orthopedic Associates in Beverly, Mass.
Chicago-based Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush welcomed Jorge Chahla, MD, PhD.
Jarrad Barber, MD, joined Rome, Ga.-based Harbin Clinic Orthopedics.
Christina Kane, MD, and Ashley Miller, MD, joined Pittsfield, Mass.-based Berkshire Orthopaedic Associates.
Franklin, Tenn.-based AdvancedHealth welcomed Heather Melton, MD.
Orthopaedic Specialists in Davenport, Iowa, welcomed Kristyn Darmafall, MD, and Megan Crosmer, MD, who will join in mid-September and early October.
Domenic Scalamogna, MD, joined OrthoAtlanta and will practice at its locations in Fayetteville, Newman and Peachtree City, Ga.
MidMichigan Health in Midland welcomed James Lewis, DO.
Holden Heitner, MD, joined Watertown, N.Y.-based Samaritan Medical Center.
WVU Medicine Orthopedics-Spring Mills in Martinsburg, W.Va., welcomed Dwight Kemp, DO, who previously spent 25 years in private practice.
Farmington, Maine-based Franklin Memorial Hospital welcomed Raymond White, MD, and F. Lincoln Avery, MD, to its orthopedic medical staff. Dr. White specializes in orthopedic trauma and fracture care and Dr. Avery focuses on orthopedic and sports-related injuries.
Leslie Vidal, MD, joined her husband Armando Vidal, MD, and the surgical team at Vail, Colo.-based The Steadman Clinic on Aug 1.
Matthew Gnirke, MD, will join Vail (Colo.) Summit Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery in August. Dr. Gnirke specializes in interventional sports and spine medicine and treats a range of musculoskeletal conditions with orthobiologic treatments such as platelet rich plasma and bone marrow aspirate concentrate stem cells.
Gregory C. Mallo, MD, is leaving his position as chief of Port Jefferson, N.Y.-based St. Charles Hospital's shoulder service to join Merrick, N.Y.-based Orlin & Cohen Orthopedic Group.
Mark Cullen, MD, joined the orthopedic surgery team at Wentworth Health Partners Seacoast Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Somersworth, N.H.
Fall River, Mass.-based Saint Anne's Hospital, part of Dallas, Texas-based Steward Health Care, added four orthopedic surgeons to its medical staff. The four surgeons Jerald Katz, MD, Richard Smith, MD, Glenn Dubler, MD, and Mena Mesiha, MD will practice at Saint Anne's Orthopedics on the PrimaCARE campus in Fall River.
Orthopedic Surgical Practice in Santa Barbara, Calif., added a Bryan Emmerson, MD, to its team. He joined the practice on Aug. 1 and specializes in knee and hip replacement.
Robert LaPrade, MD, left Vail, Colo.-based The Steadman Clinic for Golden Valley, Minn.-based Twin Cities Orthopedics.
Orthopedic surgeon Anto T.A. Fritz, MD, joined Healthpointe, based in Los Angeles.
Lisa Lattanza, MD, left the University of California, San Francisco to become chair of the orthopedics and rehabilitation department at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn.
Mohamed Mahomed, MD, joined Kansas Joint & Spine Specialists in Wichita.
Logansport (Ind.) Memorial Hospital welcomed Kral Varhan, MD, to the Logansport Memorial Physician Network.
South Side Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y., promoted Michael Nett, MD, to chair of orthopedics.
William Ross, MD, joined Glasgow-based South Central Kentucky Orthopaedics.
Orthopedic surgeon Matthew Werger, MD, joined Tauton, Mass.-based Morton Hospital and Steward Medical Group in Brockton, Mass.
David Johannesmeyer, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with a subspecialty in sports medicine, joined Lowcountry Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Charleston, S.C.
Commonwealth Health Wilkes-Barre General Hospital welcomed orthopedic surgeon Johnny Hernandez-Gonzalez, MD.
Rod Wigle, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Bend, Ore., retired from practice.
Chris FitzMorris, DO, joined Mount Washington, N.H.-based Memorial Hospital.
Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Kan., welcomed Terry Schwab, MD.
Emporia, Va.-based Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center welcomed Manish Patel, MD.
OrthoCarolina Lincolnton (N.C.) brought on sports medicine specialist Verano Hermida, MD.
The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo., welcomed Armando Vidal, MD.
Sanjeev Bhatia, MD, left Mercy Health Cincinnati Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center to join Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group in Winfield, Ill., and became co-director of Central DuPage Hospital's new Hip and Joint Preservation Center.
Ali Dalal, MD, joined Fresno, Calif.-based Sierra Pacific Orthopedics.
Dover, Del.-based Bayhealth welcomed Justin Connor, MD.
Orthopedic surgeon Glen Rudolph, MD, joined Orthopaedic Associates of Duluth (Minn.).
Portsmouth, N.H.-based Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine welcomed Michael Moorwood, MD.
Lew Schon, MD, joined Baltimore-based Mercy Medical Center as director of orthopedic innovation at The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction.
Brian Buck, DO, joined Phoenix-based The CORE Institute.
Stephen Mitros, MD, retired from his practice at Mitros Orthopaedics in South Bend.
Orthopedic surgeon Glen Rudolph, MD, joined Orthopaedic Associates of Duluth (Minn.).
Oswego (N.Y.) Health welcomed orthopedic surgeons Michael Diaz, MD, who specializes in total joint replacements, and Greg Keller, MD, who focuses on shoulder and elbow repair.
Vincent Waldron, MD, joined Angola, Ind.-based Cameron Orthopedics.
Julia Bulkeley, MD, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, joined OrthoCarolina Laurinburg (N.C.).
Thornton, Colo.-based North Suburban Medical Center's OrthoOne practice welcomed Darryl Auston, MD.
OrthoNeuro in Columbus, Ohio, welcomed J. Mark Hatheway, MD, and James Cassandra, MD.
Albany, N.Y.-based The Bone & Joint Center added three orthopedic surgeons to their staff: trauma surgeon Ernest Chisena, MD, pediatric orthopedic surgeon Abigail Mantica, MD, and hand and upper extremity surgeon Patrick Marinello, MD.
Virgil Meyer, MD, founder of Little Falls (Minn.) Orthopedics, announced he will retire in July.
Spine surgeon Keith Osborn, MD, joined Cummings, Ga.-based Northside Hospital Orthopaedic Institute.
Norwalk, Ohio-based Fisher-Titus Health added Tim Moore, MD, to its spine surgery staff.
Doug Beacham III, DO, joined The Spine Clinic of Oklahoma City.
Daniel White, MD, of Casper (Wyo.) Orthopedics now sees patients at Johnson County (Wyo.) Memorial Hospital.
Sports medicine specialist James Chesnutt, MD, joined Rebound Orthopedics & Neurosurgery in Vancouver, Wash.
Mark Ghaida, MD, joined Crookston, Minn.-based RiverView Health.
Albany, N.Y.-based The Bone & Joint Center welcomed Ernest Chisena, MD, Abigail Mantica, MD, and Patrick Marinello, MD.
Fatima Hospital in North Providence, R.I., named John Czerwein Jr., MD, chief of orthopedics.
Domenic Esposito, MD, joined Durango, Colo.-based Animas Orthopedic Associates.
Michael Holmoe, MD, joined Avera Orthopedics in Brookings, S.D.
Arthritis Total Joint Specialists in Lawrenceville, Ga., welcomed Robert Wood, MD.
Mark Warner, MD, resigned his post at Sheridan (Mich.) Community Hospital one year after joining.
Hand surgeon Michelle, Moyer, MD, joined Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based Orthopaedic Associates of Dutchess County.
University of Alabama at Birmingham named Steven Theiss, MD, chairman of the department of orthopedics.
Springfield-based The Orthopedic Center of Illinois welcomed Varun Sharma, MD.
Chad Bender, MD, joined Centralia-based Washington Orthopaedic Center.
Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Orthopedics and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians, both based in Bennington, Vt., welcomed Michaela Schneiderbauer, MD.
Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, Calif., named Kevin Shae, MD, the Chambers-Okamura Endowed Professor of Pediatric Orthopaedics.
Michael Veale, MD, joined Cleveland-based Center for Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics.
Bennington-based Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Orthopedics welcomed Ivette Guttmann, MD.
Murfreesboro, Tenn.-based Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital hired retired orthopedic surgeon Richard Rogers, MD, as interim CMO.
Rifle, Colo.-based Grand River Health welcomed Hugh Brock, MD.
Melbourne, Fla.-based First Choice Medical Group welcomed orthopedic surgeon Allison Wade, MD.
Read more from the original source:
145 orthopedic surgeon moves in 2019 through Q3 - Becker's Orthopedic & Spine
Posted: September 16, 2019 at 8:43 pm
Stem Cell Therapy in Maine Stem Cell Therapy uses stem cells remove from the patients own tissue and have the ability to renew themselves and transform into a variety of different cells. This process replaces dying cells, and regenerates tissues that are too damaged to heal on their own. Concentrated stem cells are injected in to the damaged area and can stimulate the formation of cartilage, tendon, ligaments, bone and fibrous connective tissues, to help the body heal naturally.
Stem Cell Therapy Maine, is the utilization of undeveloped cells to treat or keep a sickness or condition. Bone marrow transplant is the most broadly utilized undifferentiated cell treatment, however a few treatments got from umbilical line blood are likewise being used.
Stem cells live in all of us and they act as the repairmen of the body. However, as we age or get injuries, we sometimes cant get enough of these critical repair cells to the injured area. Stem cell injections Maine, procedures of Stem Cell Representatives help solve this problem by greatly increasing your bodys own natural repair cells and promote healing. This is accomplished by harvesting cells from areas known to be rich in mesenchymal stem cells and then concentrating those cells in a lab before precisely reinjecting them into the damaged area in need of repair.
Pain management can be basic or complex, contingent upon the reason for the torment. A case of suffering that is regularly less intricate would be nerve root bothering from a herniated circle with agony transmitting down the leg. This condition can regularly be mitigated with an epidural steroid infusion and active recuperation.
We do stem cell therapy in Maine, USA with the the specialisation of following treatments:
Knee stem cell procedures:The most common treatment for patients looking for an alternative to arthroplasty or knee replacement.
Shoulder Stem Cell Procedures:Those that have a rotator cuff tear, shoulder arthritis, tendonitis, or bursitis, may be a good candidate for stem cell therapy.
Hip Stem Cell Procedures:Surgeries on the hip are normally very traumatic followed by months of pain difficult to deal on a daily basis
In spite of the considerable number of realities specified previously and the quickened information about immature microorganisms treatments; there are just a couple of centers in the United States that are lawfully endorsed up until this point.
We offer latest and newest medical treatment at prestigious healthcare facilities, as well as the opportunity to enjoy of our beautiful State of US Maine, at the same time you improve your quality of life. Contact Us now.
A Guide to Time Lag and Time Lag Shortening Strategies in Oncology-Based Drug Development – Biotech Blog (blog)
Posted: August 16, 2017 at 1:46 am
Transformation of a new scientific idea into a new oncology-based drug requires atremendous amount of time, effort and investment. The initial, but critical first step in thisprocess is transferring basic oncology research into a clinical application known as atranslational or bench to bedside study. As a postdoctoral fellow who performsprostate cancer research related bench work, I have been asking how long my project might take to reach a patient as a cure rather than just becoming another scientific publication! I realize that for a cancer patient who has been waiting for a new drug treatment to survive, the time length that is required for drug development could actually cost the patient their life. From this point of view, the time length between bench work and a follow-on translational study (also called time lag) is critically important. Clearly the biggest problem is to ask and determine how it could be possible to decrease the time lag and allow potential benefits of a bench work to reach patients more quickly.During my Advanced Studies in Technology Transfer program at the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) Graduate School at NIH, I worked to uncover answers for these questions as my Capstone Project.
The calculated time lag typically of 10 years for new oncology treatmentBefore proposing solutions to shorten time lag in oncology drug development, I wanted to better define the time lag between bench work and translational study. For this purpose, I used the Pharmaprojects database (produced by Citeline/Informa PLC), to follow the global clinical drug development from bench to patient and to calculate the time lag for the three most common cancer types: breast, lung and prostate cancer. 97 drugs were examined for time lag calculation for either breast, lung or prostate cancer. The time length between patent priority date and regulatory approval date was calculated for each drug. The average time required to launch a cancer drug was determined to be 11 years, 10 years and 10 years, respectively for breast, lung and prostate cancer.
What are the reasons for time lag?To be able to uncover the reasons for a 10 year long time lag in cancer drug development, the key opinion leaders, including principal investigators, scientists, researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Queens University School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science, Belfast (U.K), and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals were interviewed, to formulate suggestions for helping new drugs reach from bench to bed side more quickly.
During these interviews, the following questions were discussed:
Scientific and Non-Scientific Reasons for Long Time Lag
For cancer patients, the10-year period to translate a new drug into clinical application is unfortunately more than a life time of delay. After interviews with many researchers, the reasons for a 10 year long time lag could be divided into two categories, scientific and non-scientific reasons. Problems in reproducible data generation, inappropriate use of in vitro/vivo models, and variation in human sample collection are classified as important scientific reasons. On the other hand, poor collaboration among industry and academia, problems in intellectual property (IP) sharing, ineffective public-private partnership due to lack of sharing of research tools are considered as non-scientific reasons.
Future Direction in Oncology-Based Drug Development:Collaboration, Collaboration and Collaboration!
One of the most common recommendations from all researchers whom I interviewed was the importance of collaboration. Most of the researchers think that collaboration should be considered as an inevitable requirement for all scientists to shorten the time lag, because no one can do all by himself/herself. This would encourage the application and use of differing expertise and points of views to support a steadier and more effective overall oncology research program.
Synergy between Academia and Industry
Researchers from both academia and industry also highlighted the importance of academia and industry partnership. Academic researchers have deep scientific knowledge, however they have been facing funding problems to pursue their researchand utilize this basic knowledge. On the other hand, pharmaceutical companies generally have funding and applied skills, but they are often dependent on academiaand small biotech companies for fundamental knowledge and novel discoveries. It isreally a relay race against time for scientists from both academia and companies needto complete together in order to benefit oncology patient care. Therefore establishing astronger and living connections between academia and pharmaceutical companies cancreate a shortcut and synergy to make to the journey from bench side to bedsidequicker than ever before.
Repurposing of FDA Approved Drugs for Oncology Applications
For one of the interviews for this article, a principal investigator from a major universitysaid that the time lag in bringing his research to market is only 2-3 years, because hislaboratory studies FDA-approved drugs for different indications. Using FDA-approved drugs for other indications, or repurposing the drug, would dramatically reduce time lagand overall cost. The most exciting part of successfully repurposing drugs, of course, is that development of a drug into a new treatment for a patients benefit will be quicker.
About the AuthorBerna Uygur is Postdoctoral Intramural Research Training Award Fellow at NICHDwhere she has been researching the role of cell fusion mediated cancer stem cell regeneration and drugresistancein prostate cancer microenvironment and she has been also researching extracellularvesiclesmediated communication between prostate cancer cells. Prior to joining theNICHD,Berna received her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UniversityofMaine, USA, where she studied Regulatory Role of Slug Transcriptional Factor inProstateCancer. She received her Master of Science degree in Applied MedicalScience from Universityof Southern Maine, USA, where she studied Toxicology ofSilver Nanoparticles in DifferentOrigins of Human Cells. She received both her firstMaster of Science degree and Bachelor Science degree in Textile ChemistryEngineering from Ege University, Turkey. Berna isinterested in translational scienceand technology transfer in biomedical research. Sheadvanced her interest intechnology transfer by completing the Advanced Studies inTechnology Transferprogram at the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) GraduateSchool at NIH. She has been pursuing her interest in translational science byattendingNIH-Duke University Clinical Research Training Program at NIH.
Posted: at 1:46 am
Billy Hix of Motlow State Community College, the founder of the colleges STEM outreach program, gave a presentation on the total solar eclipse Thursday to Cascade Elementary School students. The upcoming total eclipse will be Monday, Aug. 21. People who miss the upcoming event will have to travel to see the next eclipse, which will move on a path from Texas to Maine in 2024. The next total eclipse taking place in the Nashville area will be 2562, he said. Here, Hix uses a flashlight to simulate a total solar eclipse. One girl, second from left, holds a ball representing Earth, while the girl to her right holds the Moon. The shadow representing the total eclipse appears on the projection screen next to the photo of a past eclipse.
T-G Photo by Jason M. Reynolds
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- With the total solar eclipse right around the cosmic corner, eye doctors are going into nagging overdrive.
They say mom was right: You can damage your eyes staring at the sun, even the slimmest sliver of it.
So it's time to rustle up special eclipse eyewear to use Aug. 21, when the U.S. has its first full solar eclipse spanning coast to coast in 99 years.
Hix talks about the proper way to use eclipse glasses.
T-G Photo by Jason M. Reynolds
"We have an opportunity to experience a spectacular natural phenomenon, and we can enjoy it with some simple protection. But if you don't use that protection, you'll be paying for it for the rest of your life," says Dr. Paul Sternberg, director of the Vanderbilt Eye Institute in Nashville, smack dab in the middle of the total eclipse path.
No peeking, for example, without eclipse glasses or other certified filters except during the two minutes or so when the moon completely blots out the sun, called totality. That's the only time it's safe to view the eclipse without protection. When totality is ending, then it's time to put them back on.
To be clear, totality means 100 percent of the sun is covered. That will occur only along a narrow strip stretching from Oregon, through the Midwestern plains, down to South Carolina. The rest of the U.S. gets a partial eclipse that extends into Canada and to the top of South America.
So it's important to know exactly where you are on eclipse day in relation to that path of totality, advises Dr. B. Ralph Chou, a retired professor of optometry at the University of Waterloo in Ontario who is also an astronomer and eclipse chaser. He'll be in Oregon for his 19th total solar eclipse.
"Unfortunately, when it comes to safety with a solar eclipse, 99.9 percent coverage means a 0.1 percent area of the sun that is still uncovered and is every bit as dangerous," Chou said.
For example, Boise, Idaho, will see 99 percent sun coverage; Omaha, Nebraska, 98 percent; Savannah, Georgia, 97 percent; and Memphis 94 percent. So for those cities -- and anywhere else with a partial eclipse -- you need to keep those solar specs on the whole time.
What can happen when you look directly at the sun? You're essentially cooking your retina, the delicate, light-sensitive tissue deep inside the eyeball. Solar radiation can kill those cells. Hours can pass before you realize the extent of the damage.
It's known in the trade as solar blindness or solar retinopathy -- not total blindness, rather more like age-related macular degeneration, where you have trouble reading or recognizing faces, or lose those abilities altogether.
Seconds are enough for retinal sunburn. And unlike with the skin, you can't feel it. The damage can be temporary or permanent.
"It's really important to resist the urge to look even momentarily, directly in the sun because you have no real sense of time," says Dr. Christopher Quinn, president of the American Optometric Association. "What you think may be a glancing look could be a more substantial amount of time, and that can result in permanent damage."
Forget sunglasses. Certified eclipse glasses or hand-held viewers are a must for direct viewing. Or you can look indirectly with a pinhole projector -- homemade will do, crafted from a shoebox, or grab a kitchen colander -- that casts images of the eclipsed sun onto a screen at least 3 feet away.
When it comes to eyewear, though, the emphasis is on certified.
Worried about potentially dangerous knockoffs, NASA, the American Astronomical Society and others are urging eclipse watchers to stick with reputable makers of sun-gazing devices. The society's solar eclipse task force has put out a list of approved manufacturers.
Don't use eclipse glasses with filters that are crumpled, scratched or torn. If you can see any light besides the sun, it's time for new solar specs. Also beware if the eclipse glasses are older than 2015, when international safety standards were adopted.
Eclipse glasses can be worn directly over your prescription glasses or with contacts. As for binoculars, telescopes and cameras, high-quality solar filters are essential and must be mounted at the front end.
Chou collected and studied 20 reports of temporary eye injuries following a 1979 total solar eclipse that included Canada. Males under age 20 were found to be particularly susceptible; they tended to ignore safety warnings, he said.
In 1999, British doctors reported 70 cases of temporary eye damage following a full solar eclipse. Most cases involved no or inadequate eye protection and many were from spots with a partial eclipse, just shy of a full one.
Chou stresses that outside the path of totality, where there's only a partial eclipse, "it's never safe to take the filters off."
-- This Associated Press series was produced in partnership with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.Billy Hix of Motlow State Community College, the founder of the college's STEM outreach program, gave a presentation on the total solar eclipse Thursday to Cascade Elementary School students. The upcoming total eclipse will be Monday, Aug. 21. Billy Hix uses a flashlight to simulate a total solar eclipse. One girl, second from left, holds a ball representing Earth, while the girl to her right holds the Moon. The shadow representing the total eclipse appears on the projection screen next to the photo of a past eclipse. BELOW: Hix talks about the proper way to use eclipse glasses.
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Keep an eye on safety - Shelbyville Times-Gazette
Posted: at 1:46 am
I had my 25th class reunion this past weekend. Flying all the way back to Maine, having flights delayed then cancelled (thanks American Airlines), and then needing to rent a car to drive 9 hours from Philadelphia to Bangor gave me more grey hairs than I already had. But going to my 25th class reunion, I was already grey and balding. So what?
Months before I was to attend, I was trying a new product out to "lessen the amount of grey" that I was sporting up there. I didn't tell any of my friends or my barber. It was a gradual fade that my roommates and even my workwife did not notice I was doing, but they could tell something was different. It was so good that they were recommending it to their loved ones over the products they were already using.
Was I cheating? Was I going to be lying to my classmates? Would I lose some of my daddy bear status? I was going to continue anyway.
Soon, we all may have a way to be less grey and even fill in some spots.
Dallas doctor finds the root of balding and graying hair and is working on treatment
When the mice went gray and bald, the doctor knew he was onto something.
For more than 10 years, Dr. Lu Le had studied cells and genes, hoping to understand the roots of cancer and further the search for a cure.
Instead, in his lab at UT Southwestern Medical Center, he discovered something unexpected a chemical and biological process that could explain gray hair and bald heads in people.
Science often works this way. A search in one direction leads to an entirely different discovery in another. For Le, baldness and graying werent concerns of his research. And yet, there they were, gray and bald mice inside his lab. - dallasnews.com
Accidents are a good thing, no? While focusing on how cancer begins, Le and his discovered the role a protein called KROX20 plays not just in nerve development but in hair color and growth.
The KROX20 protein turns on in skin cells that develop into shafts of hair. These cells then produce a protein called stem cell factor (SCF) that is essential for hair color. When that SCF protein was deleted from mice in KROX20 cells, their hair turned gray and then white. And when the scientists deleted the KROX20 cells, the mice turned bald.
"The mice turned gray and then completely white. That was unexpected," Le said. - dallasnews.com
Whether baldness and loss of hair color is reversible is a long way from being answered.
If doctors could prevent greyness and balding, would you do it?
Would you entertain the idea of growing back your hair or getting rid of the grey?
I stopped coloring my hair a month before the reunion, had all the fake color cut out and didn't think twice about it.
Posted: September 28, 2016 at 5:43 pm
Fact Sheet No. 629, UMaine Extension No. 2079
Replaces Honey Bees and Blueberry Pollination Cooperative Extension Bulletin 629. Frank Drummond Professor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Department of Biological Sciences. April 2002
The Honey Bee
Introduction Many species of insects visit flowers in search of nectar and pollen. In return for these foods, the insects inadvertently pollinate the flowers. The major groups of insect pollinators are the bees, moths, butterflies, flies, and beetles. Some of the common minor groups of insect pollinators are ants, wasps, thrips, and true bugs. Many native insect species are important pollinators of commercial food crops, especially the bees. About 25,000 species of bees are known throughout the world, and 2,000 species are native to the U.S.
In Maine, there are more than 50 species of native bees that are associated with lowbush blueberry. However, because of the alarming decline in native bee numbers over the past several decades (due to bee habitat loss, fragmentation, and pesticide use, farmers have relied more and more on managed bees (see the blueberry fact sheets onM anagement of the Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee, # 300; and Commercial Bumble Bees, # 302) for pollination of lowbush blueberry. Honey bees are the work horses of managed bees and some estimates suggest that honey bees account for 80% of the insect pollination in agricultural crops. The use of the honey bee in lowbush blueberry has increased tremendously over the past 40 years. In 1965, almost 500 honey bee colonies were brought into Maine for lowbush blueberry pollination. By 1985 about 25,000 honey bee colonies were brought into Maine for lowbush blueberry pollination, but by the year 2000, more than 60,000 colonies were brought into Maine for pollination of this crop.
The honey bee is the common name of the bee species, Apis mellifera L. This species, native to Mediterranean Europe, Asia, and Africa, was introduced into North America about 400 years ago for honey and wax production and crop pollination. This bee is different from many of our native bees in that it is social and lives in large colonies consisting of tens of thousands of sterile female worker bees, hundreds of male reproductives (drones), and usually a single female reproductive or queen. Most native bees are solitary (where individual female adult bees nest alone in the soil or in twigs), or primitively social (where female bees of the same species may share nests or even defense of the nest). There are some native bees that are social associated with lowbush blueberry in Maine. These species are represented by the bumble bees that live in small colonies, usually less than 100 individuals with a single reproductive queen.
While some native bees are specialists that have evolved as highly efficient pollinators of only one or two species of flowering plants, most are generalists that are capable of pollinating a number of native and introduced plant species. One of the strengths of the honey bee as a pollinator is that it is a very broad generalist and so it can be used for pollination of many different food crops. Other positive attributes of this bee for pollination are that: 1) it can be easily managed in artificial hives; 2) it can be moved into and out of crop fields during and after bloom; 3) it has excellent spatial memory capabilities and this in combination with its ability to communicate the location of nectar rich floral resources among worker bees, means that large numbers of honey bees can quickly take advantage of floral resources and pollinate crops that only flower for a short period; and 4) it can learn how to manipulate and thereby pollinate complex flowers that are not accessible to many species of generalists bees (although, see discussion of honey bees and blueberry flowers below). Some of the drawbacks of honey bees are that: 1) they are defensive around their colony and may sting; 2) having evolved in warmer climates, they usually do not fly on days where the air temperature is below 50 F; and 3) being broad generalists capable of learning and communicating, they can switch from foraging on the intended crop to other more rewarding resource-rich wild flowers.
What do honey bees look like? You are most likely to see an adult sterile female worker bee as it comes and goes from a hive or forages for nectar or pollen on a flower. Figure 1 shows a honey bee worker and a queen (larger bee).
The worker is about 1/2 inch in length and its color ranges from light brown to dark brown to almost black (there are various races and/or subspecies of honey bees in the U.S. such as Italians, Caucasians, Carniolans, and Africans with differing pigmentation). The large eyes are usually shiny black and the thorax (where the six legs and two pairs of wings are attached) is covered with a dense mat of brown hairs. The abdomen is long and quite often characterized by alternating light and dark bands or rings. There are very few species of large brown bees in lowbush blueberry fields in Maine and so there is little chance for confusion. However, there is a syrphid fly (flower or hover fly) that is a bee mimic and is a similar size and color to the honey bee. Close inspection reveals that this fly has only one pair of wings and that the wings at rest are held in a delta pattern, unlike honey bees that hold their two pairs of wings parallel to their body.
Aggressiveness is a variable trait in the honey bee that we normally use in Maine for pollination of lowbush blueberry. The arrival of Africanized honey bees in the U.S. in 1990 means that growers and beekeepers should realize that these more aggressive bees could make their way into Maine during the pollination season. It is not considered likely that Africanized bees can survive the winters in Maine. The African subspecies was introduced into Brazil in 1956, hybridized with the gentler European races and spread rapidly throughout northern South America, Central America, and into the U.S. The Africanized bees are now established in some southern regions of the U.S. including: Texas, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Puerto Rico and St. Croix. These bees can be extremely defensive, stinging farm workers, passers-by, and livestock, especially after hives have been disturbed or managed. Growers are being warned of the potential for Africanized bees to end up in their fields and should inspect the defensive nature of all rented hives by walking around the hives (once settled in the location) and observe the bees during pollination. Any questions regarding the possibility of Africanized bees on Maine blueberry land should be forwarded to the state apiary inspector, Maine Department of Agriculture, Augusta, ME.
The Honey Bee Colony
The honey bee colony is usually composed of one queen, several thousand (5,000-75,000) workers, and several hundred drones. The wax that comprises the combs over which the bees cluster is secreted by the worker bees and comprised of adjacent six-sided cells for storing food and brood rearing. Brood refers to the immature stages of the honey bee.
The queen deposits a single, small, white egg in the bottom of a cell in a wax comb. She can be very fertile laying about 1,500 eggs per day. After three days, the egg hatches into a larva which is fed a mixture of pollen, nectar, and a rich protein secretion called royal jelly by worker bees for five to six days. Figure 2 shows both uncapped and capped (sealed) brood on a comb.
The cell is then sealed by the workers and the larva develops into a pupa (a non-feeding resting stage), and then develops into an adult bee. The adult sterile worker bee emerges from the cell as an adult bee 21 days after the egg is laid. Queen bees require about 16 days and drone bees about 24 days to develop to adult maturity.
Colony population buildup occurs through the reproductive efforts of a single queen and the nursing, feeding, foraging, and defensive efforts of the sterile workers. During lowbush blueberry bloom most honey bee colonies are in a phase of rapid population growth and so pollen and nectar foraging should be at a maximum (given that the colony has a strong and healthy foraging force of workers).
Swarming is a process of colony reproduction in which the colony splits. When a colony is crowded or if an old queen is failing, the workers will begin to raise a new queen. Just prior to emergence of the new adult queen, the majority of workers will issue from the hive with the old queen in search of a new location for the colony. First, this part of the colony will usually cluster in a large mass surrounding the old queen, typically, on a branch in a tree. Scout bees will leave the swarming colony and search for a protected nesting site (usually dark and dry, often a tree cavity). When scouts find a nest site they return to the swarm and direct the mass of bees and the queen to the new nest site. The part of the colony that remains in the hive will support the new queen that emerges. If one queen emerges before any other queens she will sting and kill the others so that only one queen usually heads the colony.
Workers visit flowers to collect both pollen and nectar (about 5-30% of flying honey bees are collecting pollen). Pollen is collected when it becomes entangled with the dense branched hair on the bee body. The bee combs the pollen from the body hair and packs it into pellets on specialized curved spines on the hind legs (pollen baskets) for transport to the hive. About 50-350 flowers are visited per pollen load brought back to the hive and a given bee will make between 1 and 50 pollen collecting trips per day. Pollen is necessary food (protein and lipid source) as is the honey made from nectar (carbohydrate source), for rearing brood. Pollen and honey are stored in the wax comb for the colonys use. The amount of food material collected and stored depends upon many factors, including: the available flora, colony strength, bee race or subspecies, weather, and available comb space.
Water is also essential for the welfare of the colony and is collected to dilute honey consumed by the bees and to regulate the colony temperature and humidity. On hot days colonies may be stressed and suffer if deprived of water even for only a few hours. Much energy is expended by honey bee workers when transporting food and water to the hive. A grower, using honey bees for pollination, will profit by placing the hives inside the field, but close to a water source. Colonies should be placed in a sunny location, near water (or supplied with artificial pools of water), and also placed in a location that is protected, as much as possible, from the wind since high winds reduce the frequency with which bees will leave the hive to forage.
Pollination of Lowbush Blueberry
The Blueberry Flower and Fruit Lowbush blueberry flowers grow in clusters on the last several inches of the stem. The white, greenish, or pink petals of the flower are united to form a tubular or bell shaped corolla, which hangs open-end downward. Ten stamens (stalks bearing the anthers containing the male germ cells or pollen) are inserted at the base of the corolla, around the style (female organ containing the female germ cells or ovules). The style extends beyond the stamens, out of the corolla and is receptive only on its tip, the stigma. Figure 3 shows a picture of a lowbush blueberry flower with petals removed to show the style and stigma (in green) and stamens surrounding style (in brown). The ovary is at the base of the style.
During the period of stigma receptivity, pollen is released through pores on the end of the anther (these unusual anthers are called poricidal and can be envisioned as a salt shaker; when the anthers are shaken or agitated by a bee they release pollen). Nectar is produced in nectaries at the base of the corolla. The amount and concentration of nectar increases from 0 to 48 hours after anthesis (onset of pollen release). Because the anthers are protected by the bell-shaped corolla and the pollen is relatively heavy and sticky, wind does not aid in the pollination process. Stigma receptivity may last five to eight days depending on the weather and clone genetics, among other factors (for instance, the plant micro-nutrient is believed to extend the period of stigma receptivity in blueberries). However, if pollination does not occur within two to three days after the flower opens, fruit set is less likely and by 7-8 days becomes improbable. As soon as fertilization occurs (fusion of pollen and ovule germ cells), the flower begins to lose its attractiveness and development of the ovary (fruit) begins.
The ovary matures into the many seeded (fertilized ovules) berry that ripens two to three months after flowering. The berry may contain as many as 65 small seeds which do not interfere with fruit palatability. The number of developing seeds per berry influences the size and rate of ripening of the fruit. More seeds result in larger and earlier maturing berries.
There is considerable variation between genetic clones, geographic regions, and between years (i.e.. weather) in the pollination of lowbush blueberry in the field. Many lowbush blueberry clones growing under favorable conditions are, typically, capable of setting up to 80-90 percent of their blossoms. Some may even reach 100 percent. However, in June there is often a drop of fruit by the plants. This June drop may range from slightly greater than 0% to 60% of the set fruit, depending upon weather and probably clone genotype. There is, however, considerable self-sterility (3-90% self-sterility reported in some studies) and some cross-sterility in lowbush blueberries (some of this might be due to clones that are completely male sterile, but some of this is due to inter-specific incompatibility). This sterility results in failure of fertilization or early abortion of fruits. There can be multiple species of Vaccinium, generally referred to as lowbush blueberry, as many as five species in some fields. In addition, in some fields, 45% of the lowbush blueberry clones produce scarce amounts of pollen. With so much self-sterility and pollen scarcity, free transfer of pollen between clones is essential to maximize fruit production. Therefore, it is critical that bees be locally abundant or be brought into fields to insure cross-pollination between clones. Since insect pollination is essential for maximum blueberry production, failure to produce good crops is frequently the result of poor pollination. The lowbush blueberry plant species diversity will be a major consideration in determining whether the additional expense of bringing in honey bees to maximize pollination is cost effective. This is discussed next.
Incompatibility Among Lowbush Blueberry Species As briefly mentioned above, some fields have many species that are commonly referred to as wild lowbush blueberries. These include, but are not limited to, the common lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium), sour top blueberry (V. myrtilloides), dryland blueberry (V. pallidium) and huckleberry (Gaylussacia buccata). It is suspected that many of these species overlap in some of their flowering times and that in general, crosses between some species do not result in fruit. For instance, it has been found that pollen from sour top can pollinate and fertilize flowers of common lowbush blueberry, but several days after fertilization the ovary aborts and the berries drop off the plant. Because sour top pollen can fertilize V. angustifolium ovules causing them to abort, these ovules are prevented from being fertilized by compatible pollen, thus lowering fruit set in a field containing these incompatible species. This fact is believed to be the root of the controversy regarding the advantages of using honey bees for pollination. Some fields show a tremendous increase in yields when honey bees are placed in blueberry fields (sometimes as great as 1,000 lbs / acre increase in yield for every hive, up to five hives per acre, added in a field), whereas other fields show little, if any, increase in yield with an increase in honey bee stocking rate. It has been shown that fields with a large proportion of sour top (about 50% of the lowbush blueberry plants) have an expected fruit set, at best, of 50% no matter how many honey bees are placed in the field. Therefore, the decision to place honey bees in a lowbush blueberry field is a complex one that starts with knowledge of the composition of lowbush blueberry species that make up a given field. Ideally, it seems that it would be most desirable to manage fields that have few blueberry species, preferably only V. angustifolium, with a high diversity of cross-fertile clones. Another important criteria in determining whether one should use honey bees for pollination is the extent of the native bee pollinator force in a field. This is discussed next.
Insect Pollination of Lowbush Blueberry Growers may fertilize, prune, control insects, diseases and weeds, irrigate, and follow other cultural practices, yet without the insect pollinators, first among which are native bees, their crops may fail. No other cultural practice will cause blueberry fruit to set if its pollination is neglected. If native bees are not in adequate abundance then management practices should be implemented to conserve and increase native bee populations (see fact sheet # 301). Until native bee populations increase in size, commercial pollinators such as honey bees (see fact sheet #224), alfalfa leaf cutting bees (see fact sheet # 300), or commercially available bumble bees (see fact sheet # 302) MUST be used.
Blueberry pollination is performed naturally by native bumble bees and solitary bees. Fifty-nine species of native bees have been observed in native lowbush blueberry fields. Bumble bees, when present, play a major role in blueberry pollination. The bumble bee works a few blossoms in one spot, then flies and works another spot, thus facilitating cross-pollination between clones. Bumble bee queens forage up to 400 yards from their nest site. Because of their size, they can shake out and distribute a large quantity of pollen from blueberry flowers. What makes bumble bees especially efficient pollinators is that they work the bloom at a very high speed (10-20 flowers / minute vs. 5-9 flowers / minute for honey bees), in addition, bumble bees are buzz pollinators (i.e.. they vibrate the flower shaking the pollen from the poricidal anthers) unlike honey bees. Bumble bees can place more than 50 pollen grains upon a lowbush blueberry stigma in a single floral visit (0-10 for a honey bee). Another characteristic of bumble bees that make them an efficient pollinator of lowbush blueberry is that they possess long tongues. This allows them to extract nectar from flowers with long corollas such as some clones of lowbush blueberry. It has been observed that honey bees will not visit all clones of lowbush blueberry. Some of the clones with long corollas and narrow corollar openings do not allow honey bees access to the nectar rewards of the flower. However, one disadvantage of the bumble bee is that only over-wintered bumble bee queens are present during the majority of the lowbush blueberry bloom period in Maine. Usually queens are not numerous, although some small blueberry fields that are not managed intensively in Maine have more than adequate populations of queen bumble bees to ensure maximum pollination
Many other native bee species are also natural pollinators of lowbush blueberries. Many of these species are solitary, but some are primitively social living in loose multi-female aggregations. Native bees nest mostly in uncultivated, sparsely vegetated, sandy soils, or they are twig nesters in a variety of shrubs that exhibit soft pith within their branches. Their flight activity is usually confined to their nests (200-800 yards of their nest). These bees are from many families and are quite diverse in size and habits, digger bees (Family: Andrenidae), sweat bees (Family: Halictidae), cellophane bees (Family: Coletidae), and mason and leafcutting bees (Family: Megachilidae). Some of the species such as Osmia atriventris, commonly called the Maine blueberry bee, is very adept at pollinating blueberry. It drums the anthers with its forelegs in order to extract pollen from the lowbush blueberry plant. Many of these species are excellent pollinators of lowbush blueberry, but may be negatively impacted by weather from year to year, parasites and diseases, and many of the common lowbush blueberry production practices (especially insecticide applications). Because of the year to year fluctuations in native bee populations, many blueberry growers use honey bee colonies for pollination in order to reduce the risk of having a year of poor pollination due to low native bee densities. In other areas, native bee numbers are never high enough for adequate levels of pollination. This is often the case in the blueberry barrens in downeast Maine.
So how does one know whether honey bees are a good management option? It is important to not only know the lowbush blueberry plant species structure in your field (discussed above), but also the native bee population strengths in your field.
Determining The Need for Honey Bees native bee densities One rule of thumb for lowbush blueberry states that independent of bee species (native bee or honey bee), at least 1.0 bee per square yard is necessary for adequate pollination (good looking fruit set). A more refined estimate of fruit set suggests that in a period of one minute, 1.0 bee per square yard of blooming lowbush blueberry when it is sunny and calm, and the air temperature is above 65 F. A slightly different estimate (percent berry set) can be derived from a predictive model that Dr. Frank Drummond developed. A knowledge of the number of bees per square yard of lowbush blueberries in bloom will provide an estimate of the average expected percent berries at harvest. This predictor is derived from typical lowbush blueberry fields in Maine. This predictor is based upon the number of honey bees and native bees (recorded separately) counted per square yard of bloom in a one minute period. In all three of the estimates of adequate pollination mentioned above, counts on at least 10 different one square yard, marked quadrants of bloom should be made throughout the field to provide a representative average (for more detail see Fact Sheet # 204). The predictor model is based upon the premise that, on average, a single native bee is 2.3 times more efficient as a pollinator than an individual honey bee (derived from field measurements). The percent berries resulting from the percent of fruits (from pollinated flowers) remaining after June Drop (PB) is a function of the number of native bees (NB) and honey bees (HB) per square yard in a minute of observation:
PB = 14.5 + (7.8 * HB) + (17.7* NB)
Using the above predictive model, if on average 3 native bees are observed per minute in a square yard of bloom, then the expected percent berries (PB) will be 67.5% or ((17.7 * 3) + 14.5). Now, if no native bees are present, and honey bees are used so that an average of 5 honey bees are observed per minute in a square yard of bloom, then the expected percent berries is 53.5% or ((7.8 * 5) + 14.5). It is important to remember that percent berries is less than percent fruit setit is the proportion of berries remaining after June drop, or those fruit that will most likely mature into a harvestable crop. Forty to sixty percent berries (PB) is an average expectancy for a non-irrigated field in a year with adequate soil moisture. If one uses the above predictor, it must be realized that this is a linear model, and so it is possible to have bee densities which will yield greater than 100% PB. If this happens, just assume the prediction to be 100%.
All of the above estimates can be used to determine whether the bee foraging force (native bee or honey bee) is adequate for pollination, given that there are no serious problems with blueberry plant species incompatibility. However, the decision to invest in commercial pollination is more complicated than it appears. First of all, evaluating the native bee densities in a particular field in one year may not be a good index of the bee densities two years from that instance when the field is in bloom again. Native bee populations can fluctuate in lowbush blueberry fields considerably from one year to the next (from 2-10 times). At this point there is no means of accurately predicting the density of native bee populations into the future. Unfortunately, honey bee contracts usually have to be made during the fall or winter before bloom and so there isnt very much lead time for instantaneous decision making. There are two possible benefits to measuring your native bee densities. The first is to assess fields in the early bloom stage immediately before honey bee hives arrive. In this case, judgments can be made regarding the relative strength of native bee populations in each field and then honey bee hives can be apportioned to each field relative to the native bee strength, putting more hives in the fields that have the lowest native bee populations. This practice is only practical if hives are not placed in fields until 20-25% bloom (the recommendation). The second use of estimating native bee populations in a particular field is to gather long-term data on the bee populations for a given field (5-10 years) to establish the risk (1 year in 10 years or 3 years out of 10 years) that poor pollination will result in the absence of honey bees. This would be a good practice in small fields that may have high native bee densities most years.
However, the final analysis of any decision regarding capital expenditures to improve pollination should be based upon what the actual percent of berries on a stem are that have resulted from pollination. This is addressed below.
How to Assess Success of Pollination There are a few ways a blueberry grower can measure the actual effectiveness of crop pollination. Inadequately pollinated blueberry fields have a flower garden appearance, but if the flowers are being pollinated and fertilized about as rapidly as they are receptive, the flowers lose their corolla soon afterward, giving the field a greenish appearance. Other signs of adequate pollination include ease of separation (popping) of the corolla when flowers are brushed by a hand, or stems laden with symmetrical fruit. The best way to go about measuring pollination success is to measure it quantitatively. Measuring yields at harvest is not always indicative of pollination success since other factors such as disease, weed, and insect pressure, and weather conditions such as temperature and rainfall may have significant effects on yield. A good method involves marking stems with embroidery thread or ribbon at loose cluster, just before bloom starts. At this stage flowers can be counted above the thread tie before they open. The stems can then be revisited a week after bloom has ended to assess fruit set (the percent of set fruit relative to the initial number of flowers). Later, by the middle of June (2-3 weeks after bloom) after June drop, the percent of remaining berries held on the plant that should mature can be estimated by counting the fruit and determining the proportion of fruit relative to the initial number of flowers. At least 30 stems, representatively taken from clones throughout a field, should be used in these estimates. In addition, knowledge of any frost damage, and insect or disease damage should be taken into account in determining whether these estimates reflect pollination or whether they might also include other factors.
If honey bees are decided upon for pollination, the grower must decide whether to raise honeybees or to rent hives from a commercial beekeeper.
What a Grower Should Expect from Colonies
The advantage of honey bees as pollinators over other commercial pollinator species is that supplies are usually adequate and affordable. While honey bees may not be the most efficient bee for lowbush blueberry pollination on an individual bee basis, the reason that they are good pollinators is that hundreds of thousands or millions of foraging workers can be brought to a field with a scarcity of bees. The economic benefits of bringing honey bees to a field can be considerable. Although hive rentals can be one of the single most expensive management practices in blueberries, it might also result in a high return. Definitive data on the cost/benefit relationship for renting hives are not available for lowbush blueberry in Maine. Grower survey data suggests that, on average, a correlation exists between honey bee hive stocking density and yield such that for every one hive per acre placed in a field, one thousand pounds of increased yield results (the data only cover the range of 1-5 hives per acre). However, we must be cautious in drawing a definitive conclusion from this data, because it may be that other influences are involved. For example, perhaps those growers that place more hives on their fields also practice more intensive pest management, fertilization, and irrigation, etc. Until we have better data available, the best practice for a grower using honey bee hives is to measure pollination success as the number of hives are increased over time. In this way each grower can find their own cost/benefit ceiling.
Raising Your Own Having your own apiary is certainly a consideration that should be contemplated. The risks are not small (bee diseases, pests, overwintering losses), however, and it takes time to become a competent beekeeper. A grower considering this option is best advised to speak to the Maine State Apiculturist and to join a local chapter of the Maine State Beekeepers Association for expert advise.
Renting Hives Renting hives during the bloom period is the most direct option for securing additional pollination, but it is also maybe the most expensive. Usually, the beekeeper provides transportation, and unloading and loading of the hives. It may or may not be your responsibility to provide bear protection (electric fencing), protection from insecticide exposure, and access to water for the bees. Having a clear written agreement is very important before entering into a commercial pollination arrangement. More information on renting honey bee hives (list of commercial pollinators) can be found in the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet #224. Whenever the renting of honey bee colonies is referred to in this fact sheet, overwintered permanent hives either from Maine or from the southern U.S. are the focus. However, in some localities, disposable pollination units (DPUs) are commercially rented for pollination. These are temporary inexpensive hive units (generally made of polystyrene) with a free or caged queen and 3-6 lbs of bees. The sole purpose of these hives is for pollination of the crop. The hives are destroyed or left to die after bloom. Flight activity has usually been found to be higher in traditional hives, thus researchers recommend that growers use two to three times as many DPUs as traditional hives per acre. In general, DPUs are not a recommended for pollination if traditional hives are available.
Colony Strength Considerations To ensure that a good pollination service is being received, the grower needs to know about differences in colony strength. Colony strength refers to the number of bees in the hive and the population structure of the colony (does the colony have a queen and is the colony rearing brood, necessitating workers foraging for pollen. A strong colony has a minimum of 15,000 bees in each deep section (hive body or story). When the hive is opened, bees should immediately appear to boil over and cover the tops of the frames Figure 4. Beekeepers utilize different types of equipment in migratory operations. The width of the hives generally varies from 8 to 10 frame supers or boxes. Also, some beekeepers transport colonies in one deep and one shallow super. A colony for pollinating blueberry should be housed in at least a two-story hive (preferably two deep hive bodies), containing at least 30,000 bees, and have 6 to 10 full frames of brood in all stages of development. Remember that the physical size of the hive (number of boxes) is not a good indicator of the strength of the colony. It should be stressed that an accurate assessment of the pollinating strength of the colonies cannot be made merely by counting boxes. A hive might consist of several hive bodies, but the bee cluster size inside may fill only a single hive body.Some quick indications of colony strength can be obtained by watching the flight activity of the bees at the entrance. On a bright, warm day (greater than 55 F and winds less than 15 mph), dozens of bees should be constantly coming and going at each entrance as shown in Figure 5.
Fewer flying bees in front of some colonies may indicate that the colonies are not strong. Keep in mind that an examination of the colony inside the hive gives the best indication of its strength. To obtain a very crude ball park estimate of the foraging bee strength, count the number of bees RETURNING to the hive in 15 seconds. Then multiply this number by 0.06 (a factor that represents the proportion of an individual foraging bees makeup on a well covered comb in one minute). This product (number of returning bees in 15 seconds x 0.06) will provide a crude estimate of the number of full frames in the hive well covered with bees. So, for example, if you count 125 bees returning to the hive in 15 seconds then 125 x 0.06 = 7.5 or the estimated number of full frames well covered with bees is 7.5, a good strong colony. If the number of bees returning to the hive in 15 seconds is too high to count, then count the bees returning in 10 seconds but multiply the number of bees by 0.09 instead of 0.06.
Determining Colony Strength based upon bees on the comb The best way to determine colony strength is to look inside the hive. Use a veil and gloves when opening the hive. Better yet, have the beekeeper open the hives for your inspection. The beekeeper will be skilled and knowledgeable in handling bees with minimum disturbance.
An additional and important way to estimate colony strength is by estimating the number of square inches of brood. This is because the presence of uncapped brood in a hive stimulates pollen collection the prerequisite to pollination. To get an estimate of the square inches of uncapped brood, count the number of full brood frames and roughly determine the proportion of the brood that is uncapped, then multiply the total number of full brood frames first by the average proportion of uncapped brood and then multiply this product by 100. A strong colony should have 600 to 1,200 square inches of uncapped brood. A blanket of bees should be seen covering the brood. Another measure is: seven frames that are at least 60% covered with brood in all stages and 25% in the egg or younger uncapped brood stage as shown in Figure 6.
Pollination Recommendations and Practices
Evidence indicates that the grower will profit most, in terms of quantity and quality of berries produced, earliness of harvest and concentrated ripening, if the highest possible honey bee populations are maintained during flowering time. Most growers make some attempt at having honey bees near their fields. However, this supply is seldom adequate. There should be sufficient strong colonies to provide at least one foraging honey bee per square yard of field area during good bee weather (at a bare minimum). When the bee population is high, the more attractive blossoms become pollinated and the corollas fall rapidly, forcing the bees to work the less attractive blossoms. Thus, the higher the bee density, the more effective they are in pollinating blueberries.
Number of Colonies to Use The greatest benefit in blueberry pollination is obtained when there are sufficient pollinators to distribute the pollen freely, not only from anthers to stigma of self-fertile flowers, but also between self-sterile clones.
Because of the wide variety of conditions that exist in an area, the exact number of bees that a blueberry grower will need cannot be given. The number of honey bees needed depends on: 1) the number of native pollinators already in the area; 2) the number of other flowering plants that bloom at the same time as lowbush blueberry and thereby compete for the pollinating insects; 3) weather conditions during bloom period; 4) the amount of available blueberry blossoms; 5) the lowbush blueberry plant species composition within a field; and 6) the growers expectation of yield.
The following are rule of thumb recommendations for the amount of honey bees needed:
Scheduling Delivery of Colonies Try to schedule the delivery of honey bee colonies to coincide with 10-25% bloom. Early contact with the beekeeper is helpful for both parties. If the bees arrive too early they may fix upon other flowering plants outside of the field and may not switch back to blueberry once the field comes into bloom. Of course, if the bees come in to a field too late (50% bloom or later), the earlier blooming clones will not be pollinated resulting in potential yield loss.
Distribution of Colonies in the Field Honey bees usually pollinate flowers more thoroughly within 100 yards of their colonies than they do flowers at greater distances. To get the best coverage, therefore, hives should be distributed in groups throughout the field. Distribute the bees in the center of the fields as conveniently as existing field roads allow. Or, place the colonies in the field in groups 0.1 mile (approximately 500 feet) apart in all directions. If it is not desirable to place hives evenly throughout the field (hives are often clustered on pallets and so this constrains distribution of hives), then grouping hives in clusters increases the competition for blueberry bloom in areas close to the hives and forces the foraging force of bees to fly farther out into fields to collect nectar and pollen.
The following table gives the number of colonies a grower could use in each cluster to obtain uniform distribution of bees in fields that are at least 7-10 acres in size.
The natural tendency of a colony is to spread its foraging activity over the full flight range (in excess of one mile) and to forage on flowers that give up plentiful nectar and pollen rewards The grower, however, would prefer honey bees from rented colonies to forage within the confines of a specific field and on blueberry flowers exclusively. A controversial strategy often suggested for improving pollination efficiency is to rotate colonies to restrict the flight range and disrupt any established foraging pattern on flowers other than blueberry.
The premise involved in the periodic moving of colonies from field to field is that the first day or so after a colony is moved, the bees forage only near the hive and on flowers in this localized area (most likely blueberry flowers). Whenever bees are moved to a new location, they go through a period of orientation during which they get used to their new surroundings. Throughout this time, they are most effective as pollinators of the flowers nearest the hive. Once fully oriented, their foraging extends further. According to this strategy, bees should be present for three or four days during the peak of blueberry bloom then moved to later blooming fields for more efficient use of their pollinating service. The moves must be to a new field at least 3-4 miles from the old field to avoid disorientation and loss of foragers. This strategy has been tested in New Jersey on highbush blueberry and resulted in increased numbers of honey bees foraging close to the hive on blueberry immediately after the move. Whether hive rotation is practical for most growers in Maine and whether yield increases result in lowbush blueberry is not known.
Requirements for Colonies The placement of honey bee hives in blueberry fields is important to increase the success of honey bees in pollinating the crop. The following points should be adhered to when possible:
Increasing the Impact of Honey Bee Hives Various management practices directed at honey bees or at the blueberry crop may have either positive or negative effects on the ability of honey bees to efficiently pollinate the blueberry crop. A few are discussed below.
The idea of removing competing bloom is controversial and has not always been shown to improve crop yields. Recent thinking by pollination research biologists is in favor of enhancing, NOT eliminating alternate bee forage since it often results in attracting bees to an area. Alternate forage also may encourage native bees to nest near the crop. This forage may also result in the increase of native pollinator populations. This is especially true for flowering plants that flower before and after blueberry bloom. Of course this has to be balanced with crop loss due to weedy plant species.
The use of attractant sprays has been evaluated for honey bees in a variety of crops. Attractants are designed to increase bee visitation to treated crops with the goal of increasing pollination. Several attractants have been developed and marketed, but most have had a doubtful performance record. One of these attractants, Fruit Boost, is based upon a specific formulation of a synthetic form of the honey bee queen mandibular pheromone. This product has been tested in Maine lowbush blueberry and it did result in the sprayed bloom attracting more foraging honey bees than the non-sprayed bloom. However, there were no significant increases in yield or berry weights due to the Fruit Boost spray. One possible use for this attractant that has not been evaluated is to treat fields in bloom when the associated honey bees are visiting non-crop flowering plants. This tactic would be in an attempt to get the bees to switch back to foraging in blueberry bloom, but it must be evaluated by growers.
Pollen traps attach to the entrances of hives and harvest pollen from bees returning to the hive. It has been thought that pollen traps induce a pollen deficit in the colony and thus increase the proportion of bees that forage for pollen. The results of this management strategy have been inconsistent and have not been evaluated in lowbush blueberry. The use of a pollen trap for the entire bloom period may also be detrimental to brood rearing.
Increased pollen collection is also believed to occur when colonies are fed sugar syrup. This results from a rapid change in the behavior of individual foragers from collecting nectar to collecting pollen. The experiments aimed at documenting this phenomenon are also not consistent and need to be performed in lowbush blueberry fields.
Blueberry production practices with negative impacts on bee foraging and pollination are: 1) exposure of bees to irrigation and 2) exposure of bees to pesticides. Irrigation during the day may prohibit bees from foraging on flowers, irrigation water can knock bees out of the air while flying and wet flowers are not usually visited by honey bees. Irrigation during bloom should be restricted to night applications. Of the pesticides used in lowbush blueberry, the insecticides have the potential for major impacts. Insecticides act as repellents, they can disorient the bee so that it can not find its way back to the hive, and insecticides can lead to outright bee mortality or a more insidious weakening of the colony. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Wild Blueberry Fact Sheet # 209 lists the relative honey bee toxicity of insecticides that are recommended by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension for lowbush blueberry production.
Honey bees should be removed from fields when flowering has ceased so as to avoid over-exploitation of the wild flora to the detriment of native bees.
Knowing and Understanding the Beekeeper
If growers plan to use honey bees, they should have some basic knowledge about honey bees and beekeeping. A better knowledge by the grower of the beekeepers viewpoint and some of the problems associated with the rental of bees for pollination improves communication between the grower and the beekeeper leading to better pollination service. The grower usually considers only the fee and the potential value of the bees to the crop, along with associated problems of having the beekeeper, extra vehicles, crew, and the bees in the field.
Renting Honey Bee Colonies the beekeepers view
The beekeeper usually sees the deal from an entirely different viewpoint. The advantages of renting hives to the beekeeper include:
However, the beekeeper also must consider such disadvantages as:
Some beekeepers operate their colonies in the same location year after year. Others move their colonies between states. Most beekeepers begin their move after nightfall when all the bees are in the hive. The entrance of the colonies may be closed for the period of the move or left open. The entire load is usually covered with a net to prevent the escape of bees. Most beekeepers attempt to deliver colonies at night so that the bees remain inside the hive while it is being positioned in the field.
Unfamiliarity with the area combined with poor night visibility can prove hazardous for the beekeeper. A simple, safe and fast method of distributing colonies within the field will greatly reduce the problem of delivering bees. Growers are advised to contribute in this regard by clearly marking where they want to place the colonies in the field. Providing a guide for the bee truck or a tractor and a trailer with driver to aid in distributing the colonies is usually appreciated by the beekeeper.
Renting Honey Bee Colonies the contract
Whenever you rent bee colonies for pollination service, obtain a written contract or agreement that covers at least the following points:
An example of a written contract can be found in the book, The Hive and the Honey Bee.
Some growers hesitate to use honey bees for blueberry pollination because they fear being stung. Some knowledge of the bee and its venom may reduce this fear. The sting is the mechanism of defense for the colony.
The stinger is torn from the body of the bee after it is imbedded in the victim because the stinger has barbs on it similar to a fishing hook Figure 7. The worker bee usually dies within an hour after the stinger is lost. The queen does not lose her stinger (but she is not likely to sting), which is used only to destroy other queens and lay eggs. The drone, the male bee, has no stinger.
Bee venom is a protein that acts as an antigen in your body resulting in your bodys manufacture of specific immunoglobulin E antibodies. If you have been stung before, the bee venom reacts with the antibodies which are attached to tissue cells called mast cells. These mast cells contain numerous vesicles filled with histamine and other substances that promote inflammation, swelling, burning and itching. If you are not allergic to bee stings your bodys reaction is confined to the area of the sting. If you are hypersensitive to bee venom (allergic) or you receive a lethal dose of bee stings (about 10 bee stings per pound of body weight) a systemic reaction can occur in which large amounts of histamine are released from the mast cells and dilation of blood vessels and the constriction of your respiratory passages can result in death unless the victim receives treatment at a hospital (administration of an antihistamine or adrenaline). Hypersensitive people can be desensitized by seeing an allergist.
Preventing Honey Bee Stings There is no practical way to completely avoid bee stings while conducting normal activities on a farm, particularly where numerous colonies are involved. Some steps can be taken to reduce the possibility of being stung.
Removing the Stinger Because venom is forced into the blood stream for some minutes after the sting is received by the involuntary muscles associated with the bees poison gland which is attached to the end of the stinger. The stinger should be removed as quickly as possible. Attempting to pick the stinger out with the fingers is slow, and may press more venom out of the poison sac. Instead, scrape the stinger up and away very quickly with the edge of your thumb nail. Topical applications of the following substances, immediately after being stung, can relieve the pain and itching: raw onions, meat tenderizer (made into a paste), baking soda, ammonia, ice, vinegar, and honey. If you are allergic to bee stings carry an emergency kit, and if you are stung, seek medical attention at once.
I would like to thank a friend, Vivian Butz Huryn, an experienced commercial beekeeper and queen breeder, for reviewing this fact sheet and making suggestions for its improvement.
Some additional references that you might be interested in are:
Crop Pollination by Bees, by Keith S. Delaplane and Daniel F. Mayer. 2000, CABI Publishing.
Insect Pollination of Crops, by John B. Free. 1993. Academic Press.
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Honey Bees and Blueberry Pollination - University of Maine