No Offense, American Bees, But Your Sperm Isn’t Cutting It

Read the full story from NPR.

Since 2008, Cobey has done her share of bee abdomen rubbing as part of a research team from Washington State University traveling through Europe and Asia. They’ve collected sperm from native honeybees in Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Kazakhstan and the Republic of Georgia – countries where honeybees have favorable genetic traits, like resistance to the varroa mite. The deadly parasite has been cited as a major factor in bee deaths, along with genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide exposure, according to a major report from the USDA and EPA in 2013.

Global Warming May Cause Bees to Mistime Spring Emergence, Missing Their Food Supply

Read the full story at e360 Digest.

If it’s all in the timing, then climate change may spell problems for bees. Scientists have found that global warming may cause temporal mismatches between bees and the plant species on which they depend for food.

 

Can the Monarch Highway Help Save a Butterfly Under Siege?

Read the full story at e360.

The population of North American monarch butterflies has plummeted from 1 billion to 33 million in just two decades. Now, a project is underway to revive the monarch by making an interstate highway the backbone of efforts to restore its dwindling habitat.

Why Honeybees Are The Wrong Problem To Solve

Read the full story from NPR.

A lot of people think of Sarah Bergmann as the “Honeybee Lady,” and that really annoys her.

It’s an attribution that might make sense at first glance, given that Bergmann is the celebrated creator of what’s called the Pollinator Pathway project. So, pollinators, honeybees — what’s the problem?

Well, spend a little time with Bergmann and you’ll see that the issue she’s trying to address with the Pollinator Pathway is way bigger than honeybees and their current colony collapse disorder troubles. In fact, for Bergmann, the honeybees are actually part of a much bigger problem she’s trying to solve. And that much bigger problem is nothing less than how to design the planet in a human-dominated age.

2 Scientists, 2 Different Approaches To Saving Bees From Poison Dust

Read the full story from NPR.

It’s planting time in America. Farmers are spending long days on their tractors, pulling massive planters across millions of acres of farmland, dropping corn and soybean seeds into the ground.

Most of those seeds have been coated with pesticides known as neonicotinoids, or neonics for short. And despite attempts by pesticide makers to reduce this, some of that coating is getting rubbed off the seeds and blown into the air. That dust is settling on the ground, on ponds, and on vegetation nearby.

Honeybees and wild bees, looking for food, will encounter traces of the pesticides, and some will be harmed. They may become disoriented and bring less food back to their colony. Many may die.

Several years ago, Christian Krupke, an insect specialist at Purdue University in Indiana, became one of the first researchers to discover that rogue dust was wiping out bee colonies. At first, Art Schaafsma, an entomologist at the University of Guelph, in Canada, didn’t believe it was true.

A Third of the Nation’s Honeybee Colonies Died Last Year

Read the full story in USA Today. Warning: site contains an auto-play video.

America’s beekeepers watched as a third of the country’s honeybee colonies were lost over the last year, part of a decade-long die-off experts said may threaten our food supply.

The annual survey of roughly 5,000 beekeepers showed the 33% dip from April 2016 to April 2017. The decrease is small compared to the survey’s previous 10 years, when the decrease hovered at roughly 40%. From 2012 to 2013, nearly half of the nation’s colonies died.

 

New IDOT Mowing Approach to Help Protect Monarch Butterfly, Pollinator Populations in Illinois

Read the full story from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

To help revive the shrinking populations of the monarch butterfly and other pollinators, the Illinois Department of Transportation is adjusting its mowing routine along state highways this spring and summer. The approach, part of IDOT’s overall effort to encourage green and sustainable practices in all its programs and projects, will help to re-establish types of plants that are food sources for bees, butterflies and other insects that are native to Illinois.