Its that season when the bees, wasps and ants are building to a climax in the Northern Hemisphere. ID can be useful, especially when you consider some of the exotic species, but apart from allergy, most of us are safe with these agricultural workers in our economy.
What are those small fliers hanging about the wall or the bank? They are not hoverflies because they seem to have nest holes, yet they dont sting or buzz much either! The solitary bees and the mining bees are just one branch of the great bankers of our fruit tree heritage. They, along with the humble Bumblers, form a major corporation of the pollinators. Heres a (very) brief life of little Andrena, plagued by cuckoos who are fellow bees. This does remind you of the commercial world of
grab and take when you can!
We need bats, but in the same way we need their prey the insects. Its impossible to see all the services they perform in eating pests and even spreading seeds in the case of fruit bats, just as we seem to have ignored the bees working at pollination of orchards!
When a great, immoveable pollution source is faced by an increasingly smaller butterfly population, what is going to happen? Ask the bees, if their nervous systems are still savvy.
Plants such as Rafflesia spp. are closest to the Euphorbias, but literally stand out as amazing examples of evolution to attract insects for pollination and mammals for dispersal. We take off our hats, and place it round our noses to a plant that parasitizes and almost paralyses us, and perpetually pleases flies!!!
Neonicotinoids have devastated the bee populations on all continents, but one way to fight this insidious neuronal and behavioural attack on our major pollinators is to investigate their most intimate genetic secrets and help them by understanding how they survive their natural threats. We could have made things much worse for animals, but we can also understand better now how to help them in so many ways. Those fruit orchards are going to be very empty if we dont.
How can the tiny capacity of a bee brain store memory as capably as that of our own? The 2 are very similar in performance, according to this research, despite the disparity in size.
What is killing bees? Chelsea has the answer here.
The evolutionary relationships between organisms are endless, while some stand out as truly incredible. For 10 million years, mountains have moved and bills have been paid as pollination was accomplished by bat, bee and bird
The need for a pesticide for farmers and others that excludes pollinators and other useful insects from its action is desperate. We prefer not to kill any non-pest. But the loss of potentially all our bees is a risk that only chemical companies have been willing to take.
When bees visit, they could be cuckoo bees, or neighbours trying to lay their worker eggs, disrupting the small colony. Airport checks are much more chemical and careful than ours!
When will the bees and other helpful insects be protected in the same way as (some) mammals and birds? It's obvious that the fruit industries will collapse without them, so for the most selfish of reasons, we know we have to try and preserve these species. Unfortunately, there are always those who suffer from short sight, or simply greed for bigger and bigger short-term profits.
Honey bees are now carrying the flag for all invertebrates, as they prove they can solve the geometric puzzles that were given to them. However, when they thought the puzzle was too hard, the point about their cognition was that they were able to 'opt out' and fly away.
Intriguing comparisons have been made by ancient and modern philosophies about the similarities between the bee and the human. Here is a small sign than altruism is not the only source of the insects success.Perhaps the conservation of rare bees will be helped, too, with this discovery.
50,000 bumble bees and honey bees killed in Oregon, US. When a bee reaches a new nectar source, it shouldn't result in the death of its whole colony. We need better insecticidal controls and we all deserve better insecticides, given their catastrophic history.
Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is badly affecting bees and many of 'the bee family', so what should and can we do to help?
Butterflies are one of the more obvious hard-hit victims of a dire downward turn in invertebrate numbers. Insecticides combined with the predation of parasites to cause the downfall of bee and butterfly populations.
The way in which we have allowed concerns about neonicotinoid insecticides to go unnoticed is parallel to the Silent Spring ignorance that reigned supreme for Rachel Carson.
4 new species and a new genus of cuckoo bee have been discovered on the Republic of Cape Verde islands. Cuckoo bees, as their name suggests, quietly find their way into the hives of other bees and arrange the rearing of their own brood.
Without bees two-thirds of our natural crops would not be propagated but how often have we thought about the consequences of pesticide and toxic chemical use on the insect world?
New research done on giant honey bees (Apis dorsata). New study highlights the genetic difficulties of working with animals that mate with many partners (polyandry).
Honeybee colony collapse disorder threatens food security worldwide, and scientists may be one step closer to understanding its causes.
The tiny parasitic phorid fly infects honey bees as well as bumble bees and may be the cause of the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a new American study suggests.
Vitellogenin, a protein important for the health of bees has been studied to give a greater understanding of its role in their lives.
Human-Animal conflict research carried out by Dr. Lucy E. King was based on the premise that elephants, like most if us, are scared of being stung by bees. This led to an innovative beehive fence to reduce conflict between the huge mammal and the local people in Kenya.
James Gibbs from Cornell University has identified 11 new sweat bee species from extensive DNA analysis and specimen investigations throughout the US and Canada.
Personally speaking, a new species always delights the soul and two new stingless bees can't get up anyone's nose. David Roubik of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute thinks that changing sea levels brought a 'new' bee to western Panama before Coiba and Rancheria were separated from the mainland, presumably after an Ice Age.
MIT mathematicians delved into the arena of biology recently to explore optimization in nature. It turns out, bees are 'dippers' who feed by probing flowers with their tongues. For them, a thicker, sweeter fluid is best. But birds and butterflies draw nectar through thin tubes, and that's easier when flowers supply a thinner, less sugary fluid.
Plants can use more than scent and flowers to attract pollinators - an upcoming paper in Science describes how a Cuban vine uses the sound reflected off a dish-shaped leaf to pull in echo-sounding bats. Experiments show the bats are twice as likely to find nectar-laden flowers adorned with the 'echo-beacon', giving the dispersed vine more chance of a successful pollination.
A paper out in today's Current Biology has described how the path lined with gold - rich in natural resources - can distract animals from completing their journeys between fragments of endangered habitat. Sometimes it is better to lay paths narrow and rocky, to encourage pollinators, such as hoverflies, to keep moving between stranded natural habitats.
Flowers need bees and birds and bees and many species of birds need flowers, but as global warming changes the flowering calendar of mountain plants, this symbiotic relationship could fail disastrously for both parties.
With the bushmeat trade growing annually, experts recognise that innovative solutions are required to halt this illegal activity. Commercial trading in bushmeat - the meat and other parts of wild mammals, birds and reptiles - is a highly lucrative industry, particularly prevalent in central Africa. Bushmeat trading is on the rise within many central African countries
A review of the film, 'Vanishing of the Bees,' which will be shown at this year's Projecting Change festival on May 27, 2011.
Insect mediated pollination is a service provided by nature. The estimated economic value of this service stands at 15 billion euros per year in the EU. Moreover, many wild plant species, which characterise our natural and also cultural landscapes, depend on insect pollination.
Bees get refuelling stations with drinks of sugary water. Bees are dying all over the world in a terrible phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder. According to the book - A World without Bees, bee colonies are being wiped out and nobody is quite sure why. You want to help, but what do you do?
The Co-operative has launched the Pan Bee project to create a series of 'Bee Roads' across the UK to act as main routes for pollinators including bees. As part of its £750,000 Plan Bee campaign, The Co-operative will help identify and convert corridors of land to create and secure habitats for pollinators, starting in Yorkshire.
A South African orchid mimics the stench of corpses to draw in its pollinating carrion flies. The orchid, Satyrium pumilum targets a carrion feeding flesh fly as its pollinator and is so convincing that female flies have been seen laying eggs in the flower. In addition to its smelly perfume of decaying corpse, the interior of the flower is a mottled brown in colour that resembles rotting meat. Environmental issues: orchid/nature.
A new report shows multiple threats to the world's bee colonies, leading to worries about global food security. Scientists are warning that we need to rethink the way in which humans manage the planet if we are to feed a growing world population. Bees and other pollinators are hugely important in global food production and integral to healthy ecosystems. Filed under environmental issues: ecosystems/nature.
Bumblebees have been dying out all around the world for over a century. Now, scientists are gathering alarming news that these lovable, fuzzy pollinators may not be around for much longer if current statistics continue. In the past few decades scientific studies have found that increasing numbers of bumblebee colonies are disappearing.
Viruses affecting honey bees can cross over from other species of native pollinator and vice versa. The decline in pollinator populations during the past two decades has caused major concern in the agricultural and scientific community. Pollinators of all types are vital to agriculture and are responsible for the production of crops worth US$225 billion worldwide. In the United States alone honey bees account for an added market crop exceeding US$15 million.
Its not just humans but bees too need their rest. A recent study by the University of Texas at Austin shows that sleep-deprived honey bees also experienced communication problems. Dr. Barrett Klein, a ecology, evolution and behavior researcher at the university says that they advertised the direction to a food site less precisely to their fellow bees.
Biology Letters, a peer-reviewed journal of Britain's Royal Society, on Wednesday published a report (complete with colored-pencil diagrams) on how bumblebees see colors and patterns -- conducted and written by a group of 8 to 10-year-olds in Devon, England. They reported that the bees were capable of learning and remembering cues based on color and pattern -- a finding that the Royal Society called ''a genuine advance.''
New York City made beekeeping legal recently. It has changed the way residents view bees. No longer are they just pesky 'bugs'. People are now going out of their way to understand the importance of bees in the environmental and becoming avid beekeepers.The city has safety features in place to keep keepers and people safe.