Category: Pollinators

‘No one knew they existed’: wild heirs of lost British honeybee found at Blenheim

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Thousands of rare forest honeybees that appear to be the last wild descendants of Britain’s native honeybee population have been discovered in the ancient woodlands of Blenheim Palace.

The newly discovered subspecies, or ecotype, of honeybee is smaller, furrier and darker than the honeybees found in managed beehives, and is believed to be related to the indigenous wild honeybees that foraged the English countryside for centuries. Until now, it was presumed all these bees had been completely wiped out by disease and competition from imported species.

A nose for science: Conservation dogs may help in search for endangered Franklin’s bumblebee

Read the full story in The Revelator.

Handlers hope a mutt named Filson can sniff out a pollinator no one has seen in 15 years.

Where have all the insects gone?

Read the full story in the New Yorker.

Scientists who once documented new species of insects are now charting their perilous decline—and warning about what it will mean for the rest of us.

Putting honeybee hives on solar parks could boost the value of UK agriculture

Read the full story from Lancaster University.

The value of UK agriculture could be boosted by millions of pounds a year if thousands of honeybee hives were deployed on solar parks across the country, a new study reveals. However, scientists caution that the benefits of managing solar parks for wild pollinators over honeybees should be prioritized where appropriate and should be assessed on a site by site basis.

First global estimate of importance of pollinators for seed production in plants

Read the full story from Stellenbosch University.

Without pollinators, a third of flowering plant species would produce no seeds and half would suffer an 80% or more reduction in fertility. Therefore, even though auto-fertility is common, it by no means fully compensates for reductions in pollination service in most plant species.

This is the finding from a paper, “Widespread vulnerability of plant seed production to pollinator declines,” published in the journal Science Advances on 13 October 2021.

‘Native landscape’ bill would make Minnesota cities more pollinator friendly, one lawn at a time

Read the full story in the Minneapolis Post.

Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St Paul, has introduced a bill that would require all cities to permit native landscapes.

Rusty patched bumble bee stalls construction over Bell Bowl Prairie

Read the full story from Northern Public Radio.

The discovery of a foraging rusty patched bumble bee stalled construction on an expansion project at the Chicago Rockford International Airport — but only for a while. Environmental advocates want the delay to be permanent. They say the project would destroy one of the last remnants of the state’s original prairie.

See also the Chicago Tribune’s story dated Oct 22: Endangered bumblebee is blocking Rockford airport expansion that will destroy rare prairie — but only for another week.

eBird data can help track bee health

Read the full story from Cornell University.

A two-year, $500,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation will allow a team of data scientists and ecologists to use eBird data to explore a new way to track pollinator health and biodiversity.

The project allows the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability to devise a new method of tracking the health of the all-important arthropod populations that are a part of pollinating one out of every three bites of food people eat – and it all starts with birds.

Feds’ plan to save endangered rusty patched bumble bee misses mark, critics say

Read the full story from WTTW.

Four years after the rusty patched bumble bee was placed on the endangered species list, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released its final recovery plan for the insect, a plan critics say manages to go too far and yet not far enough at the same time.

Feeding caffeine to bees could help them become better pollinators

Read the full story at Massive Science.

A jolt of caffeine enhances bees’ memories.

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