Bee

Honey bees in trouble? Blame farm chemicals, study says

Publication: NBC News   Date: July 24, 2013   View Article

Honey bees rented to out pollinate crops from apples to watermelons return to their hives with pollen containing an array of agricultural chemicals that make the insects more vulnerable to infection by a lethal parasite, according to a new study.

While other research has shown certain pesticides, including insecticides known as neonicotinoids and others used to fight parasitic mites, can compromise bee health, the new study shines a light on the impact of sprays used to kill fungi and molds.

Skewed sex ration curbs courtship

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: May 25, 2011   View Article

When a woman walks into a male-crowded bar she’s unlikely to be showered with courtly attention — that is if findings about mating in the animal kingdom translate to the human realm.

“She might just be watching them fight it out and then have one particularly possessive one making sure others aren’t getting access to her,” Laura Weir, a postdoctoral fellow at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, told me today.

In other words, as the dudes duke it out with each other, one little weasel will sneak over and trap her in a corner and try to keep her all to himself?

“Exactly,” she said, although she stressed her reluctance to take the analogy too far. The data, she noted, is compiled from the mating behaviors of the birds and bees … and alligators, fish, frogs, lizards and lobsters, too.

Pictures: Rare Bees Make Flower-Mud “Sandwiches”

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 10, 2010   View Article

What appears to be part of a spring wedding bouquet is actually a nest for a rare species of solitary bee, a new study says.

Called a “flower sandwich,” the three-tiered arrangement consists of a thin layer of petals on the outside, then a layer of mud, and finally another layer of petals lining the inside of the chamber, according to study leader Jerome Rozen, a curator of invertebrate zoology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

At the core of the sandwich is the bee’s larva, which feasts on nectar and pollen deposited inside the chamber by its parent before the egg is laid and the nest is sealed.

Tiny Radio Tags Offer Rare Glimpse into Bees’ Universe

Publication: National Geographic magazine   Date: November 14, 2008   View Article

A National Geographic grantee is pioneering the use of supersmall radio tracking tags that fit on the backs of bees, a technological breakthrough that may provide him and other scientists with a direct view of the pollinators’ flight patterns.

Buzz Kill: Wild Bees and Flowers Disappearing, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 21, 2006   View Article

Parents may soon be telling their kids about the birds and the … birds.

Bees—and the flowers they pollinate—are disappearing, according to a new study of bee diversity. The results raise concerns about food crops and plant communities that rely on animal pollinators to reproduce.

Scientists compared a million records on bees from hundreds of sites in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands before and after 1980.

Power Lines May Make a New Kind of Buzz – As Home for Bees

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 14, 2005   View Article

If Kimberly Russell’s vision pans out, the millions of acres of land that lie under electric power lines across the United States will come to life with the buzz of busy bees.

Russell studies insects and spiders at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Her research shows that bees take refuge under power lines when utility companies allow the land there to grow shrubs and flowers.

Can Wild Bees Take Sting From Honeybee Decline

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 20, 2004   View Article

Decades of disease and overuse of pesticides have put the squeeze on populations of the domesticated honeybee. As a result, farmers are increasingly left with fields of flowering crops that fail to bear fruit.

Since some 15 to 30 percent of the food we humans eat directly or indirectly depend on the pollination services of bees, scientists say the problem threatens to take some excitement—and potentially abundance—from our diets.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach