Land Use, Land Cover, and Pollinator Health:
A Review and Trend Analysis

Daniel Hellerstein, Claudia Hitaj, David Smith, and Amélie Davis A report summary from the Economic Research Service United States Department of Agriculture What is the issue? Crops that depend on pollinators account for up to one-third of total U.S. food consumption. However, honey bees and other pollinators face a variety of stressors, including diseases, insect pests, pesticide exposure, and changing landscapes. …

Simulated Honey Bees Can Use Simple Brain Circuits for Complex Learning

Bees lacking insect equivalent of the cerebral cortex may still be able to learn odors     Honey bees may not need key brain structures known as mushroom bodies in order to learn complex associations between odors and rewards, according to new research published in PLOS Computational Biology. The new findings surprised the research team because mushroom bodies are thought to be essential for …

Pollinator Extinctions Alter Structure of Ecological Networks

Field experiments show how removing a pollinator species disrupts foraging patterns Emory Health Sciences The absence of a single dominant bumblebee species from an ecosystem disrupts foraging patterns among a broad range of remaining pollinators in the system -- from other bees to butterflies, beetles and more, field experiments show. Biology Letters published the research, which may have implications for the survival of …

Potential Varroa Mite Control?

If It Smells Like a Petunia or Shampoo, It Might Be a Pesticide ARS News Service Agricultural Research Service, USDA A scent that petunias and snapdragons release to attract pollinators may be an environmentally friendly control for pests like the spotted wing drosophila fly (SWD) and the brown marmorated stink bug. Zhang is also investigating whether low doses of methyl benzoate could control Varroa …

Bee Antennae Offer Links Between the Evolution of Social Behavior and Communication

Princeton University As bees' social behavior evolved, their complex chemical communication systems evolved in concert, according to a study published online by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. An international team of researchers, including those from Princeton University, reported that a certain species of bees, called halictid bees, have more sensorial machinery compared with related solitary species. The difference …

Bee Health is Topic of New Pollen Research at UMass Amherst

Biologist Lynn Adler at UMass Amherst has a $1 million USDA grant to study the possible role of sunflower pollen in boosting bee health University of Massachusetts at Amherst AMHERST, Mass. - Biology professor Lynn Adler at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an expert in pollination and plant-insect interactions, recently received a three-year, $1 million grant from a special "pollinator health" program of …

Bee Buzzes Could Help Determine How
to Save Their Decreasing Population

University of Missouri-Columbia According to recent studies, declines in wild and managed bee populations threaten the pollination of flowers in more than 85 percent of flowering plants and 75 percent of agricultural crops worldwide. Widespread and effective monitoring of bee populations could lead to better management; however, tracking bees is tricky and costly. Now, a research team led by the University …

National Monitoring Plan for Native Bees

National Monitoring Plan for Native Bees - The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has scheduled a public listening session for June 28, 2017 in Washington, DC to "... discuss a strategy to monitor native bees in the United States ..." - Specifically, the session is intended to address the following: "... Why is a national monitoring plan …