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 …

Toxic Combo: Pesticides and Poor Nutrition
Damage Honey Bee Health

The combined effects of pesticides and a lack of nutrition form a deadly one-two punch, new research from biologists at the University of California San Diego has shown for the first time. In a study published Dec. 20 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Simone Tosi, James Nieh and their colleagues used honey bees due to their important role as …

How Honey Bee Gut Bacteria Help to Digest Their Pollen-rich Diet

The 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 recent study published in PLOS Biology, a group of researchers from Switzerland uncovered which bacterial species perform which specific digestive functions in the bee gut. The authors measured the repertoire of simple chemical …

New Maps Show Shrinking Wilderness Being Ignored at Our Peril

by the Wildlife Conservation Society   Humans have transformed the landscape to an amazing degree. We are losing our wild places, where much biodiversity of insects still awaits undiscovered. Many species of bees live in these untouched areas, pollinating a great diversity of plants. A new study shows how much of our wilderness areas we have lost since 1993. These maps of our …

Luring Hornets: Scientists Unlock Sex Pheromone
of Notorious Honey Bee Predator

Traps baited with synthetic pheromone could become solution to invasive Asian hornet   Over the past decade, Asian hornets, predatory insects with a widespread and expanding population, have invaded parts of Europe and Korea. Vespa velutina has a growing reputation as a species that proliferates rapidly, preys on honey bees and poses risks to humans. Now a biologist at the University of …

Honey Samples Worldwide Test Positive for Neonicotinoids

A global sampling of honey finds 75% to be contaminated with neonicotinoid pesticides. Of note, the concentrations detected are below the amount authorized by the European Union for human consumption. The situation is more bleak for pollinators, however. Widespread application of neonicotinoids has been identified as a key factor responsible for the global decline in pollinators, particularly bees. Edward A.D. Mitchell …

EPA Requests Comment on the Proposed Registration of New Biopesticide to Help Control Spread of Zika and Other Viruses

Mosquito control products can be detrimental to honey bee health. The EPA is seeking comments on a new program that would release bioinfected male mosquitos to help reduce populations of mosquitos carrying the Zika virus. If effective, such bioremedies could reduce the reliance on pesticides. report courtesy of the EPA   EPA is proposing to register ZAP Males®, a new microbial biopesticide that …

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 …