Scientists find clues to queen bee failure.

Scientists at UBC are unravelling the mysteries behind a persistent problem in commercial beekeeping that is one of the leading causes of colony mortality — queen bee failure. This occurs when the queen fails to produce enough fertilized eggs to maintain the hive, and is regularly cited by the Canadian Association of Professional Apiarists as … More Scientists find clues to queen bee failure.

‘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.

Bee mite arrival in Hawaii causes pathogen changes in honeybee predators.

The reddish-brown varroa mite, a parasite of honeybees and accidentally introduced in the Big Island of Hawaii in 2007-08, is about the size of a pinhead. Yet, its effects there are concerning to entomologists because the mite is found nearly everywhere honeybees are present. A team led by entomologists at the University of California, Riverside, … More Bee mite arrival in Hawaii causes pathogen changes in honeybee predators.

Climate change linked to potential population decline in bees.

A new study from Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden has found that climate change may drive local extinction of mason bees in Arizona and other naturally warm climates. In a two-year, in situ field experiment that altered the temperature of the bees’ nests to simulate a warmer, future climate, 35 percent of bees … More Climate change linked to potential population decline in bees.

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.

Environmental groups say the Ontario government is proposing to weaken the province’s restrictions on a class of agricultural pesticides that some scientific studies blame for large declines in the populations of bees and other insects.

A coalition that includes Environmental Defence and the Ontario Beekeepers Federation says proposed rule changes for neonicotinoids, or neonics for short, will make it easier for farmers to use them and harder for the government to track them. But the Ontario government, farmer organizations and pesticide manufacturers who support the changes say they would reduce … More Environmental groups say the Ontario government is proposing to weaken the province’s restrictions on a class of agricultural pesticides that some scientific studies blame for large declines in the populations of bees and other insects.