Let's pack the 'house'! The Bees of Grand Staircase-Escalante film premieres Sept. 24

Thank you to everyone who has already reserved a “seat” for the premiere of the Bees of Grand Staircase-Escalante! You rock, and I'm thrilled to finally be sharing the film with you.

This will be a virtual premiere, so you can enjoy the event from the comfort of your own home. After showing the film (which is a little over 20 minutes), I’ll be moderating a conversation among three experts on bees, public lands and biodiversity. We’ll also be taking questions from the audience as part of the conversation. So if you enjoy the Bee Report, this is definitely your kind of event!

Reserve your "seat" today!

One of our goals for the premiere is to get at least as many people watching and participating in the event as you could fit in the average movie theater – and we're well on our way to making that happen. Let’s pack the virtual “house”! Let’s get as many people as we can to know and love these bees and the place they call home.

If you can help spread the word, that would be most appreciated. Follow me @bymattkelly on Twitter and Instagram. And follow my awesome partners, the Grand Staircase Escalante Partners, @GsePartners on Twitter and @grandstaircasepartners on Instagram. Retweet and repost at will.

Thank you, friends!

P.S. If you want to see the trailer or know more about the project, here you go… BeesOfGSENM.com.

P.P.S. The regular Bee Report feature story will be back in the newsletter just as soon as I get this film out in to the world. Thanks!


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Conservation

Protecting half the planet could help solve climate change and save species

(ScienceNews) A new study argues that nations can help avert the biodiversity and climate crises by preserving the roughly 50% of land that remains relatively undeveloped. The researchers dub that conserved area a “Global Safety Net,” mapping out regions that can meet critical conservation and climate goals.

WSUV to replace lawn with wildflower meadow to promote pollinators

(The Columbian) People are few and far between on the Washington State University Vancouver campus these days, but a trio of graduate biology students intend to start filling the landscape with native wildflowers and the pollinators that love them. Their goal is to achieve the Bee Campus USA designation for WSUV’s 351-acre spread from the Xerces Society.


Policy/Law

Hawaii Attorney General joins lawsuit against pesticide that could harm bees

(KHON2) The Hawaii Attorney General joined a multi-state coalition in an ongoing lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) improper use of the pesticide, sulfoxaflor. The Attorney General argued that due to its toxicity, sulfoxaflor poses risks to pollinators – like bees – that are essential to agriculture and the ecosystem.

License plates to benefit Texas honey bees

(Mesquite News) The new Texas Honey Bee Education Association “Love Honey Bees” license plate is now available for sale online and in county tax assessor offices where license plates are sold and renewed across the state.


Science

Nectar robbery by short-tongued bees is throwing off delicate pollination cycles

(Massive Science) Bees have evolved to become extremely successful pollinators, and generally have a mutually beneficial relationship with plants. But nectar-robbing is a behavior in which an insect lightly bites a small hole in the a flower’s tissues at the base of the petal to access nectar, without performing the act of pollination. It can have a profound impact on a plant’s ability to reproduce.

Scientists find clues to queen bee failure

(University of British Columbia) Scientists are unraveling the mysteries behind a persistent problem in commercial beekeeping that is one of the leading causes of colony mortality: queen bee failure. This occurs when the queen fails to produce enough fertilized eggs to maintain the hive. New research has identified specific proteins that are activated in queen bees under different stressful conditions (extreme heat, extreme cold, and pesticide exposure) that can affect the viability of the sperm stored in the honey bee queen’s body.

Air pollution renders flower odors unattractive to moths

(Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology) Researchers showed that tobacco hawkmoths lost attraction to the scent of their preferred flowers when that scent had been altered by ozone. This oxidizing pollutant thus disturbs the chemical communication between a plant and its pollinator. However, when given the chance, hawkmoths quickly learn that an unpleasantly polluted scent may lead to nutritious nectar.


Society/Culture

Bee taxonomy in Australia ‘in crisis’ as dwindling number of experts fear loss of knowledge

(ABC News) Taxonomists are the “map makers of nature”, tasked with naming new plant and animal species, but it is a dying art. For specialties like Australian bees there are just four taxonomists left, and no one to pass on their knowledge and skills to.

London museum unveils nitrogen-absorbing sculpture for bees

(The Art Newspaper) The sculpture is able to absorb up to 15% of its own weight in nitrogen dioxide molecules. When it rains, the absorbed toxins are washed away as a harmless liquid, enabling the continuous ingestion of pollution from the surrounding air. Nitrogen dioxide can mask the scent of flowers, thus preventing bees from finding their food.

There’s a whole lot to love about bugs

(Cosmos) An interview with Australian entomologist Bryan Lessard – aka “Bry the fly guy” – about his interest in all things buggy, insects’ importance to the way the nature works, and their growing importance as part of the solution to feeding the world. Some cultures, of course, have always consumed them.


Technology

Help test an app in your backyard while learning about pollinators!

(Penn State) The Augmented and Mobile Learning Lab, part of Penn State's College of Education, is looking for study participants to help us test an educational app for iPhones and iPads. To be eligible to participate, families must meet a list of criteria.


One More Thing…

"Don't make it weird, man." More great stuff from Mr. Jay Hosler @Jay_Hosler via Twitter.