Urban Life Leaves Behind Traces in the Genome of Bumble Bees

Bumble bees living in the city have genes that differ from those of their relatives in the countryside. Although genetic differences are not major, they nevertheless may influence how well the insects adapt to their habitat. For example, urban bumble bees are probably better able to react to environmental challenges that come with city life, such as higher temperatures. These …

Honey Bees Struggle to Find Enough Good Bacteria

Modern monoculture farming, commercial forestry and even well-intentioned gardeners could be making it harder for honey bees to store food and fight off diseases, a new study suggests.Human changes to the landscape, such as large areas of monoculture grassland for livestock grazing, and coniferous forests for timber production, is affecting the diversity of the 'microbiome' associated with the long-term food …

A New Hope: Rare Bee Discovered in Alberta, Canada

The Macropis Cuckoo Bee is one of the rarest bees in North America, partly because of its specialized ecological associations. It is a nest parasite of oil-collecting bees of the genus Macropis which, in turn, are dependent on oil-producing flowers of the genus Lysimachia.In fact, the cuckoo bee - which much like its feather-bearing counterpart does not build a nest …

Droughts Bring Fewer Flowers for Bees

Bees could be at risk from climate change because more frequent droughts could cause plants to produce fewer flowers, new research shows.Droughts are expected to become more common and more intense in many parts of the world, and researchers studied the impact on flowering plants using a field experiment. They found that drought roughly halved the overall number of flowers. …

Don’t Miss out on the HEARTLAND APICULTURE SOCIETY’S 2018 CONFERENCE

ST. LOUIS – Wednesday, June 20, 2018 is the deadline to register for Heartland Apicultural Society’s (HAS) annual conference this summer July 11-13, 2018 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Register online at www.heartlandbees.org.Established in 2001 by several professional entomologists, the conference rotates through the Midwest, offering beekeeping classes. This rotation in location makes it easier for local beekeepers …

When Enemies Come to Help

The March 2018 cover of the American Bee Journal (ABJ) featured a crab spider that had caught a honey bee. Crab spiders have an amazing ability to blend into a flower and catch pollinators. This could harm plants in need of pollination, but new research shows the spiders also protect the plant.Interactions between organisms such as plants and animals can …

The Corn Earworm Hybridized into a Resistant Mega-Pest

New crop pests often leaves farmers scrambling for new control methods. When pests hybridize and become resistant to pesticides, farmers often need to apply more insecticides to help rein in the damage. In South America, two megapests have hybridized and if they make their way north, it could mean trouble for America’s farmers.Australian scientists have confirmed the hybridization of two …

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 …