Harmful pesticides found in milkweeds from retail nurseries. Flowering plants are 150 million years older than previously thought. Dawson's burrowing bee at risk from tourists and careless drivers.
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Photo: Kate Ferguson, ABC News
Dawson’s burrowing bee at risk from tourists and careless drivers, locals say
(ABC News) On a sharp corner of gravel track in the outskirts of Carnarvon in Australia stands a makeshift barricade constructed to warn motorists of an upcoming swarm of native bees. The rare species, known as Amegilla dawsoni, grow up to two centimeters in length and are Australia’s largest native bee species. They have an unfortunate preference for gravel tracks that are frequented by four-wheel drive enthusiasts. Watch the video.
Oklahoma State University awarded designation for bee conservation
(KOSU) “We wanted to recognize how OSU is very passionate about pollinators and pollinator research. And so we found this program called Bee Campus USA that recognizes campuses across the nation for all of their work. And so then we applied for a student government grant, and we won, and we were able to use that money to go ahead and apply, and we passed our application and certification. So, we became a Bee Campus.”
Breakpoints in butterfly decline in Central Europe over the last century
(Twitter, Johann Zaller @JZaller) “Besides habitat destruction, decrease in habitat quality is a main driver of #biodiversity loss. Nature conservation must focus on maintaining a high habitat quality.” Original paper
Photo: Deborah Seiler
Harmful pesticides found in milkweeds from retail nurseries
(Xerces Society) A new study found harmful levels of pesticides in milkweed plants purchased from retail nurseries across the United States. Pesticides were found in all plants tested, raising alarms for monarch conservation efforts that rely on planting milkweed sourced from commercial nurseries. Fortunately, the limited residues on some plants indicated that it’s possible to grow milkweed in a pollinator-friendly manner.
Two months, 99 infected sites and still no answers on where varroa mite came from
(ABC News) Since the varroa mite was found at the Port of Newcastle in Australia two months ago, everyone from backyard gardeners to big businesses have kept a close eye on daily developments. Now, 99 infected beehive sites later, the threat of the deadly bee parasite remains for Australia’s $70-million-a-year honey industry, and the industries that rely on pollination. To date, it has been found at New South Wales properties from the Central Coast, through the Hunter up to the Coffs Coast and inland at Narrabri. So what has been learned and where does Australia go from here?
Photo: Prof Shuo Wang/Shi et al.
A new discovery shows major flowering plants are 150 million years older than previously thought
(The Conversation) A major group of flowering plants that are still around today emerged 150 million years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study. This means flowering plants were around some 50 million years before the dinosaurs.
Bees don backpacks for pollinator, insecticide research
(University of Guelph) It’s common practice for farmers to apply insecticides to their crops, but one research team wants to know if the substances they’re using are pollinator friendly. The scientists superglued minuscule radio trackers to eastern bumble bee queens to determine how two insecticides – imidacloprid and cyantraniliprole – affect the insects’ movements and behavior.
These mysterious moths fly at night in a straight line – but how?
(National Geographic) Biologists used an airplane and tiny transmitters to track the death’s-head hawkmoth, setting a scientific record in the process.
What’s going on in this video of ants making strange petal circles around dead bees?
(IFLScience) There are a few reasons why these ants might host this sort of “bee funeral”: chemical signaling, burying a possible meal or tidying up.
What happens to mother bees’ brains as they age?
(Science Journal for Kids) In worker honey bees, certain brain areas grow larger as the insects get older and have more experiences. We wanted to know if this was also the case for solitary bees. We studied a particular type of solitary carpenter bee named Ceratina calcarata. We collected female bees of three different ages. Then we measured their brains and other body parts under a microscope. As expected, older female bees had smaller ovaries and more worn wings. But surprisingly, older bees had smaller brains than younger bees.
New fact sheets for flower-associated wasps
(Twitter, Heather Holm @BeesNativePlant) “I have been working on some new flower-associated wasp fact sheets for common species occurring in central and eastern North America! Several are now available to download”
Photo: Cumbria Wildlife Trust
The Big Buzz! National Pollinator Conference & Fringe 2022
(Cumbria Wildlife Trust) The Big Buzz! National Pollinator Conference & Fringe 2022 is the UK’s biggest gathering of pollinator enthusiasts and professionals, organized and hosted by the Get Cumbria Buzzing! pollinators project – a Cumbria Local Nature Partnership project, coordinated and led by Cumbria Wildlife Trust. It will highlight projects and communities that are making a tangible impact on the ground and giving our pollinators a better chance of thriving.
(Twitter, BeesYU @BeesYork) “Register & submit your abstract now for BeeCon2022! #BeeCon is a hybrid (virtual & in person) conference at YorkU Oct 13-14 that brings local through international bee biologists together to discuss #bee behaviour, taxonomy, genomics, ecology, conservation”
Photo: Bee Machine
100 Bombus species currently recognized by BeeMachine
(Twitter, BeeMachine @BeeMachineAI) “BeeMachine now identifies 100 bumble bee species from around the world including the Americas, Europe, and parts of Asia. Accuracy now 93.5%... Watch out for our mobile app coming next month to Android and iOS”
One More Thing…
From Seppo @sepponet via Twitter: “#BeeHotel’s help wild solitary #bees & #wasps. Also rotten tree trunks and open sandy patches are good for them. But #pollinators also need food. So mowe less grass & leave wild areas for wild flowers in the garden, please!”