Wild Sri Lankan Elephants Retreat from the
Sound of Disturbed Asian Honey Bees

For the first time, researchers have shown that Asian elephants in Sri Lanka are scared of honey bees, much like their African counterparts. Playbacks have been used for many years to explore the behavioral responses of African elephants to a suspected natural threat, but the research, published in Current Biology, is the first time this technique has been used to record …

Agricultural Fungicide Attracts Honey Bees, Study Finds

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 between the use of chlorothalonil …

Honey Bees Become Workers or Queens Depending on
the Plant MicroRNAs in Their Diet

Certain plant microRNAs slow development to keep workers small and sterile PLOS Working model for the cross-kingdom transfer of plant microRNAs in the regulation of honeybee development. For larvae that are destined to become queens, royal jelly is fed in copious amounts to drive the development of the royal phenotype. For worker-destined larvae, substantial quantities of plant microRNAs are absorbed when consuming beebread and pollen, which …

Varroa Mites – Bees’ Archenemies –
Have Genetic Holes in Their Armor

Michigan State University   EAST LANSING, Mich. - Seemingly indestructible Varroa mites have decimated honeybee populations and are a primary cause of colony collapse disorder, or CCD. Michigan State University scientists have found genetic holes in the pests' armor that could potentially reduce or eliminate the marauding invaders. The team's results, published in the current issue of Insect Science, have identified four …

Neonics Put Bumblebees at Risk of Extinction by Hindering Colony Formation, Study Reveals

University of Guelph professor discovered that exposure to thiamethoxam reduces the chances of a bumblebee queen starting a new colony by more than a quarter. University of Guelph Bumblebees are less able to start colonies when exposed to a common neonicotinoid pesticide, according to a new University of Guelph study. Prof. Nigel Raine has discovered that exposure to thiamethoxam reduces the chances of a …

Study Finds Parallels Between Unresponsive Honey Bees, Human Autism

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Honey bees that consistently fail to respond to obvious social cues share something fundamental with autistic humans, researchers report in a new study. Genes most closely associated with autism spectrum disorders in humans are regulated differently in unresponsive honey bees than in their more responsive nest mates, the study found. The findings, reported in …

Hot Cities Spell Bad News for Bees

Bumble bees, like this one, are among the bee species most vulnerable to increases in temperature. Photo: Elsa Youngsteadt. Click to enlarge. A new study from North Carolina State University finds that common wild bee species decline as urban temperatures increase. “We looked at 15 of the most common bee species in southeastern cities and – through fieldwork and labwork – found that …