The Bees of Grand Staircase-Escalante are back! The film is available for viewing all day today as part of a MONUMENTAL Day of Action to support the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments. The Grand Staircase Escalante Partners and the Conservation Lands Foundation are promoting this day of action to coincide with Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland’s visit to Utah and the monuments this week.
(University of Georgia) University of Georgia and U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers identified bees that were collecting pollen from the flowers of a turfgrass called centipedegrass. Some types of turfgrasses require large amounts of water and fertilizer, and homeowners often use insecticides and herbicides to control insects and weeds, but centipedegrass is low maintenance by comparison. The next step is determining how to enhance centipedegrass to make it even more useful for bees while maintaining its low-input growing patterns.
(Science) Farms are battlefields, pitting growers against rapacious pests and aggressive weeds in never-ending, costly campaigns that often involve chemical weapons. Those weapons, alas, also harm innocent bystanders such as bees, fish, and crustaceans. Now, a large study charts epic shifts that have occurred in recent decades as U.S. farmers have changed their arsenal of pesticides. Birds and mammals have fared much better, whereas pollinators and aquatic invertebrates are suffering. The toxic impact to land plants has also skyrocketed, likely because farmers are using increasing kinds of chemicals to fight weeds that have become resistant to common herbicides.
(KTVL) A social media post showing over two dozen dead bees of various species has raised concern about the preservation of bees in the community. The Oregon Department of Agriculture is now investigating the matter.
(Daily Mail) The Starship prototype rocket SN11 took off from the company’s base in the tiny hamlet of Boca Chica before crashing landing on its launch pad minutes later, raining debris into neighboring Lower Rio Grande Valley Nature Wildlife Refuge. The area is home to ocelots as well as many birds and insects, including an extremely rare beetle and a little-known ant species.
(Western Producer) Changes to airline flight schedules have jeopardized Canadian honey production and pollination services. Commercial beekeepers and hobbyists have pre-ordered 50 pallets of bees from New Zealand, enough to supply about 30,000 hives, but Air Canada flight alterations and cancellations could mean only seven or eight pallets arrive in time for use this year. Instead of the previously planned three flights per week, the carrier will fly only one and has scheduled none at all during Easter week.
(Northern Wilds) Minnesota’s critical habitat license plates cost an additional $30 above the standard vehicle license fee and the money goes into a fund which is dedicated to acquiring and protecting wild lands considered especially important wildlife habitat and plant communities. But the DNR is attempting to divert some of the license plate money to uses beyond the intent of the original statute – which has prompted most of the state’s conservation organizations, large and small, to say, “Hey, wait a minute.” Simply put, there is a reason this money is statutorily dedicated to habitat acquisition: to prevent politicians and bureaucrats from spending it for other purposes.
(KFGO) The new scratch-off ticket features the endangered rusty patched bumble bee. Players scratch a “Bee Informed” box to reveal facts about Minnesota’s pollinators. The tickets cost two dollars and the top prize is ten thousand dollars. The proceeds will support environmental projects to improve pollinator habitat.
(Phys.org, University of Oregon) Across California’s Central Valley, under stress from large-scale agriculture and climate change, native bee species that are flexible in their pollination behavior when around other wild bee populations appear best suited for survival in shrinking habitats.
(Twitter, Emily May @emtomology) A thread “on why we need to be looking at the toxicity of co-formulants in herbicides and other pesticides to bees” The original paper.
(Twitter, Judy Wu-Smart @JudyWuSmart1) “Cool study by our colleagues... on inflammation-fighting nanoparticles found in honey.” The original paper.
(The Guardian) “Kew Gardens has recently published a 10-year plan, which places a need to decolonise its collections, expand its reach into underserved communities and train a diverse new generation of plant scientists and botanists alongside an urgent mission to help in the fight to restore biodiversity in the face of unprecedented environmental destruction.”
(New York Times) Even in the densest human habitations, there are orders of magnitude more ants than there are of us, doing the hard work of making our crumbs disappear. If distance has kept us from really seeing the ants with which we share our world, the photographs in this new book are an antidote.
One More Thing…
From Divulgare @divulgare_adm via Twitter: “De #SciArtTweetStorm podríamos estar tuiteando un rato ... :)” Translation: “From #SciArtTweetStorm we could be tweeting for a bit ... :)”