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Strawberries are smaller when bees ingest pesticides. Isolated mountaintops teem with unique insect communities. Royal beekeeper had to inform Queen Elizabeth's bees of her death.
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A Note to Readers
I’d like to apologize for the delay in getting this week’s Bee Report to you – and for not getting out a Bee Report last week. The Bee Report is one of many things on my weekly to-do list (the kind of list I know we all have). And as much as I love the Bee Report, it’s something that I need to produce in-between managing a farm/winery, being a firefighter/EMT and completing other creative work. These past few weeks have been particularly busy and the foreseeable future promises more of the same. However, I am still committed to bringing you bee-related news each week – even if it’s on a schedule that varies from Friday morning to Sunday evening. Thanks greatly for understanding! And thank you for reading the Bee Report!
Photo: Allison Monroe
(Entomology Today) For a study of the communities of parasitic wasps on mountains in the Interior Highlands of Arkansas, one of the sites chosen was Mount Magazine State Park in Arkansas, which rises 709 meters (2,326 feet) above sea level. With cooler, wetter climates than lowlands nearby, each feature has their own communities of parasitic wasps – and likely other insects – that differ from the insect fauna found on other mountains and in the surrounding valleys.
(ScienceDaily, University of Bristol) As more frequent and intense heat waves expose animals to temperatures outside of their normal limits, an international team has studied over 100 species of insect to better understand how these changes will likely affect them.
(ScienceDaily, Florida Museum of Natural History) Insects that are adapted to perennially wet environments, like tropical rainforests, don’t tend to do well when their surroundings dry out. New research indicates they may be equally averse to heavy rainfall. The results of an extensive five-year study conducted in Peru revealed a 50% decline in arthropod biomass following short periods of both drought and increased precipitation.
(Vox) Many animals aren’t endangered or extinct – they’re missing. Species detectives are trying to track them down.
(NPR) A soaring bald eagle is spellbinding. A growling grizzly is awe-inspiring. A swimming hellbender? You might not be able to picture that one.
(Twitter, Bumble Bee Atlas @bumblebeeatlas) “Please check out the important dates for your project!”
Photo: Charles Wollertz, iStock
(NRDC) “The California legislature has passed AB 2146, a bill that would prohibit lawn and garden uses of neonicotinoid pesticides… It is now up to Governor Gavin Newsom to sign this critical bill into law and protect pollinators, wildlife, and California’s children from widespread exposure to these neurotoxic pesticides.”
Photo: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain
(Phys.org, Lund University) Solitary bees that ingested the pesticide clothianidin when foraging from rapeseed flowers became slower. In addition, the strawberries pollinated by these bees were smaller.
(Scientific American) It turns out that hoverflies may fly hundreds or even thousands of miles – all to help pollinate our flowers and vegetables.
(Entomology Today) The drivers that affect survival rates of butterfly and moth pupae are understudied compared to their larval and adult stages. A new study examines silverspotted skippers in their most vulnerable stage – and why their overwintering generations survive pupation at much higher rates than summer generations.
(Science News) Giant honey bees send waves rippling across their open nests by flipping their abdomens upward in coordination, a sight that approaching predators seem to shy away from. That shimmering is strongest when the bees are shown a dark object that moves against a light background under bright ambient light, researchers report.
(ScienceDaily, University of Exeter) Honey bees have low-resolution vision (about 100 times lower than human vision), so they can only see a flower’s pattern clearly when they are within few centimetres. However, a new study shows bees can very effectively distinguish between different flowers by using a combination of color and pattern.
(Twitter, van der Heijden Lab @vandeHeijdenLab) “Our new paper reports widespread soil pesticide contamination (with up to 24 pesticides). Spray drift and atmospheric deposition contributed to pesticide residues in grassland while organically fields contained highly persistent pesticides.” Original paper
Photo: Andrew Milligan, PA Images, Getty
(People) The ritual is part of a tradition in which bees must be told of change in ownership – otherwise, they will no longer produce honey and will leave the hive. The tradition is best known in England, but also happens in Ireland, Wales, Germany, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Bohemia and the United States.
(Xerces Society) “I am a pollinator habitat specialist, which means that I plant a lot of plants. In my 15 years of growing native plants in nurseries and restoring habitats in national parks, college campuses, home gardens and farms, I estimate that I have personally grown or planted over 90,000 native plants and facilitated the planting of over 260,000.”
One More Thing…
Another B. affinis observation from Zach Portman @zachportman via Twitter: “A rusty patched bumbler! This male was bedding down on some flowers this evening. Sep 14 may be the latest in the year I’ve seen one... Based on the historic records I’ve seen, they should go till at least the end of september, so I’ve been wondering if their phenology has shifted"