Honey bees fend off giant hornets with animal feces. Honeybees spread animal dung on the entrance of their hives to effectively ward off giant hornets.

What’s the best way to ward off giant hornets if you’re a honeybee? Animal dung, according to a first-ever University of Guelph study. U of G researchers have discovered honeybees in Vietnam collect and apply spots of animal dung around hive entrances to deter deadly nest raids by an Asian hornet (Vespa soror) whose North American … More Honey bees fend off giant hornets with animal feces. Honeybees spread animal dung on the entrance of their hives to effectively ward off giant hornets.

Hair spacing keeps honeybees clean during pollination. Researchers quantify the cleaning process.

With honeybee colony health wavering and researchers trying to find technological ways of pollinating plants in the future, a new Georgia Tech study has looked at how the insects do their job and manage to stay clean. According to the study, a honeybee can carry up to 30 percent of its body weight in pollen because of the strategic … More Hair spacing keeps honeybees clean during pollination. Researchers quantify the cleaning process.

New tool improves beekeepers’ overwintering odds and bottom line.

A new tool from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) can predict the odds that honey bee colonies overwintered in cold storage will be large enough to rent for almond pollination in February. Identifying which colonies will not be worth spending dollars to overwinter can improve beekeepers’ bottom line. Beekeepers have been losing an average of 30 percent of overwintered … More New tool improves beekeepers’ overwintering odds and bottom line.

‘Intensive’ beekeeping not to blame for common bee diseases.

More “intensive” beekeeping does not raise the risk of diseases that harm or kill the insects, new research suggests. Intensive agriculture — where animals or plants are kept crowded together in very high densities — is thought to result in higher rates of disease spreading. But researchers from the University of Exeter and the University … More ‘Intensive’ beekeeping not to blame for common bee diseases.

Bees underwent massive extinctions at the same time as the dinosaurs.

For the first time ever, scientists have documented a widespread extinction of bees that occurred 65 million years ago, concurrent with the massive event that wiped out land dinosaurs and many flowering plants. Their findings, published this week in the journal PLOS ONE, could shed light on the current decline in bee species. Lead author Sandra … More Bees underwent massive extinctions at the same time as the dinosaurs.

The numbers are in: Beekeepers faced their second highest losses in 14 years this past year.

The situation is dire with massive bee die offs — largely thanks to the continued use of bee-killing pesticides. Thankfully, the Saving America’s Pollinators Act (SAPA) would put a stop to these toxic chemicals. Scientists have warned that further decline of bees and other insects could lead us to a “collapse of nature’s ecosystems.” Currently, 40 percent of wild bees and other … More The numbers are in: Beekeepers faced their second highest losses in 14 years this past year.

Vomiting bumblebees show that sweeter is not necessarily better.

Animal pollinators support the production of three-quarters of the world’s food crops, and many flowers produce nectar to reward the pollinators. A new study using bumblebees has found that the sweetest nectar is not necessarily the best: too much sugar slows down the bees. The results will inform breeding efforts to make crops more attractive … More Vomiting bumblebees show that sweeter is not necessarily better.

Bumblebees are in drastic decline across Europe and North America owing to hotter and more frequent extremes in temperatures, scientists say.

A study suggests the likelihood of a bumblebee population surviving in any given place has declined by 30% in the course of a single human generation. The researchers say the rates of decline appear to be “consistent with a mass extinction”. Peter Soroye, a PhD student at the University of Ottawa and the study’s lead author, said: … More Bumblebees are in drastic decline across Europe and North America owing to hotter and more frequent extremes in temperatures, scientists say.

Prescribed burns benefit bees.

Freshly burned longleaf pine forests have more than double the total number of bees and bee species than similar forests that have not burned in over 50 years, according to new research from North Carolina State University. For many forests, fire is as essential as rainfall. But while several studies have outlined the benefits of human-controlled prescribed burns on … More Prescribed burns benefit bees.

Dance of the honey bee reveals fondness for strawberries.

Bees are pollinators of many wild and crop plants, but in many places their diversity and density is declining. A research team from the Universities of Göttingen, Sussex and Würzburg has now investigated the foraging behaviour of bees in agricultural landscapes. To do this, the scientists analysed the bees’ dances, which are called the “waggle dance.” They found out that honey … More Dance of the honey bee reveals fondness for strawberries.