Uncoordinated trade policies aid alien bee invasions

Patagonia may lose its only native bumblebee species due to invasions by alien bee species sanctioned by government policy. In a paper published today in Journal of Applied Ecology, Marcelo Aizen from the Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Argentina, and colleagues from four countries draw attention to the severe conservation, economic and political consequences of intentional species … More Uncoordinated trade policies aid alien bee invasions

Agricultural fungicide attracts honey bees

When given the choice, honey bee foragers prefer to collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar syrup alone, researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports. The puzzling finding comes on the heels of other studies linking fungicides to declines in honey bee and wild bee populations. One recent study, for example, found parallels … More Agricultural fungicide attracts honey bees

How honey bee gut bacteria help to digest their pollen-rich diet

he honey bee gut is colonized by specialized bacteria that help digest components of the floral pollen diet and produce molecules that likely promote bee health. In a study publishing 12 December in the open access journal PLOS Biology, a group of researchers led by Philipp Engel at the University of Lausanne and ETH Zürich, Switzerland, … More How honey bee gut bacteria help to digest their pollen-rich diet

Can Honeybees Monitor Pollution?

The tiny pollinators are useful sentinels of what’s going on in an ecosystem, and might just be environmentalists’ best asset. An apiarist tends to beehives at Hastings Urban Farm in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. (Courtesy M. Amini) By Rachel Kaufman It’s a sunny day, and Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighborhood is buzzing. Commuters are commuting, delivery trucks are delivering, … More Can Honeybees Monitor Pollution?

Laws of attraction: Pollinators use multiple cues to identify flowers across continents

Source: National Centre for Biological SciencesSummary:Although at least 75 percent of our crop species depend on animal pollinators, little is known about their flower preferences. As global insect populations decline, it is of utmost importance for us to understand what factors attract wild pollinators to flowers, and how these preferences differ in the face of … More Laws of attraction: Pollinators use multiple cues to identify flowers across continents

Nation’s Beekeepers Lost 33 Percent of Bees in 2016-17

The University of Maryland/Bee Informed Partnership informs us that Beekeepers across the United States lost 33 percent of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2016 to April 2017, according to the latest preliminary results of an annual nationwide survey. Rates of both winter loss and summer loss — and consequently, total annual … More Nation’s Beekeepers Lost 33 Percent of Bees in 2016-17

The fight to save the rusty-patched bumble bee and how you can help

Its population and range have declined by 87 percent. Now, there’s a 90 percent probability of extinction for the bee if no action is taken to save it. The Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee was meant to become the first bee in North America listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), effective February 10, 2017. However, a … More The fight to save the rusty-patched bumble bee and how you can help