Varroa mites — bees’ archenemies — have genetic holes in their armor

Seemingly indestructible Varroa mites have decimated honeybee populations and are a primary cause of colony collapse disorder, or CCD. Scientists have found genetic holes in the pests’ armor that could potentially reduce or eliminate the marauding invaders. The team’s results have identified four genes critical for survival and two that directly affect reproduction. Michigan State … More Varroa mites — bees’ archenemies — have genetic holes in their armor

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

Honey bees have sharper eyesight than we thought

Bees have much better vision than was previously known, offering new insights into the lives of honey bees, and new opportunities for translating this knowledge into fields such as robot vision, outlines a new study. This is a western honey bee, also known as a European honey bee (Apis mellifera). Researchers at Lund University, Sweden, … More Honey bees have sharper eyesight than we thought

The weaker sex: Male honey bees more susceptible than females to widespread intestinal parasite

A research team has found that male European honey bees, or drones, are much more susceptible than female European honey bees, known as workers, to a fungal intestinal parasite called Nosema ceranae. Originally from Asia, Nosema ceranae has rapidly spread throughout the world, and may contribute to the high number of colony deaths now observed … More The weaker sex: Male honey bees more susceptible than females to widespread intestinal parasite

New data unearths pesticide peril in beehives

Honeybees create honey in their hive through the topped-out combs, and they keep beebread — their food — in the other combs. Credit: © gudrin / Fotolia Honeybees — employed to pollinate crops during the blooming season — encounter danger due to lingering and wandering pesticides, according to a new Cornell University study that analyzed … More New data unearths pesticide peril in beehives

Ball-rolling bees reveal complex learning

Bumblebees can be trained to score goals using a mini-ball, revealing unprecedented learning abilities, according to scientists at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Their study, published in the journal Science, suggests that species whose lifestyle demands advanced learning abilities could learn entirely new behaviours if there is ecological pressure. Project supervisor and co-author Professor … More Ball-rolling bees reveal complex learning

Supporting pollinators could have big payoff for Texas cotton farmers

Increasing the diversity of pollinator species can dramatically increase cotton production, according to a new study from the University of Texas at Austin. In South Texas alone, this could boost cotton production by up to 18 percent, yielding an increase in annual revenue of more than $1.1 million. Bee hovers over cotton flower in South … More Supporting pollinators could have big payoff for Texas cotton farmers