Woolworths and Coles cave in to pressure to abandon product accused of killing bees

Coles and Woolworths are abandoning an insecticide product which contains a controversial ingredient that has been linked to harming bee populations essential for pollination, The New Daily can reveal. More than 30,000 Australians have signed a petition, launched by global consumer group SumOfUs, calling on Australian retailers to stop selling insecticides containing neonicotinoids, including Yates Confidor which has been … More Woolworths and Coles cave in to pressure to abandon product accused of killing bees

Bee decline threatens US crop production

First US wild bee map reveals 139 ‘trouble zone’ counties The first-ever study to map U.S. wild bees suggests they are disappearing in the country’s most important farmlands — from California’s Central Valley to the Midwest’s corn belt and the Mississippi River valley. A new study of wild bees identifies 139 counties in key agricultural … More Bee decline threatens US crop production

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

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

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