Beekeepers Support All Pollinators

For Pollinator Week it has come to our attention that PETA has launched a campaign to Save Our Bees, recommending ways that individuals can help protect pollinators. While we fully support their effort to encourage planting more bee forage, we were disappointed to learn that they advocate purchasing a honey substitute and avoiding any beeswax products. In their plea against …

Sowing Strips of Flowering Plants Has
Limited Effect on Pollination

Strips of wildflowers dotting fields is visually attractive and provides much needed forage to bees. But does it actually increase pollination of nearby agricultural crops? Turns out that it depends on the scale and diversity of the farm. Researchers at the Centre for Environmental and Climate Research at Lund University have studied how pollination varies in different agricultural landscapes, by …

Lizards, Mice, Bats and Other Vertebrates
are Important Pollinators Too

Study reviews the global importance of vertebrate pollinators for plant reproductionBees are not the only animals that carry pollen from flower to flower. Species with backbones, among them bats, birds, mice, and even lizards, also serve as pollinators. Although less familiar as flower visitors than insect pollinators, vertebrate pollinators are more likely to have co-evolved tight relationships of high value …

Declining Bee Population to Get Helping
Hand with National Project

Grant allows researchers to develop app and Amazon-like seed distributionFunded by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, Barbara Sharanowski will coordinate a nationwide team of citizen scientists who will convert lawns into native wildflower havens especially designed to attract native bees and other insects that pollinate plants.Bees and other pollinators are essential to food production. Some scientists estimate that …

‘Lazy Lawn Mowers’ Can Help Support Suburban
Bee Populations and Diversity

UMass Amherst research shows less-frequent mowing may help suburban beesAMHERST, Mass. - Homeowners concerned about the decline of bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects need look no further than their own back yards, says ecologist Susannah Lerman at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the USDA Forest Service. In new research, she and colleagues suggest that homeowners can help support …

Commercial Pesticides: Not as Safe as They Seem

Lack of information on the effects of all pesticide ingredients makes them appear safer than they are — potentially causing serious harm to people and the environment.New regulations are needed to protect people and the environment from toxic pesticide ingredients that are not currently subject to safety assessments. This is the conclusion of the first comprehensive review of gaps in …

The ‘Weapon of Mass Destruction’ That’s Killing Honey Bees

The magnified photographs of the pinhead-sized mite, aptly named Varroa destructor, were captured by Dr. Jonathan Salvage of the University of Brighton (UK), using a state-of-the-art scanning electron microscope (SEM).Dr. Salvage, a Research Fellow in the University’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, has been working with Adam Leitch, a Master Beekeeper, on both a study of plant pollen that …

With Native Pollinators for Crop Pollination,
Diversity Gives the Best Results

Previous studies may have been underestimating the number of bee species needed for adequate pollination by at least one order of magnitude, a new large-scale effort finds. The results help to disentangle the influences of species dominance and species turnover (the replacement of one species for another across space or time) on ecosystem functioning. Many studies to date have explored …