Pollinator

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.

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.

Backyard Beekeepers Abuzz Over Social Life of Hive

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 18, 2004   View Article

To appreciate the pleasures of beekeeping, just listen to Vivian Clayton, a hobbyist beekeeper in Walnut Creek, California, buzz about the insects in her hive.

“It’s just the most incredible, delightful thing to watch,” she said. “They know where the hive is, and as they get close, they slowly drop down on a landing board. It’s such a gracious thing [to watch]. Do that for 15 minutes, and you are totally blissed out.”

Bee Decline May Spell End of Some Fruits, Vegetables

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 5, 2004   View Article

Bees, via pollination, are responsible for 15 to 30 percent of the food U.S. consumers eat. But in the last 50 years the domesticated honeybee population—which most farmers depend on for pollination—has declined by about 50 percent, scientists say.

Unless actions are taken to slow the decline of domesticated honeybees and augment their populations with wild bees, many fruits and vegetables may disappear from the food supply, said Claire Kremen, a conservation biologist at Princeton University in New Jersey.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach