Information about bees and other pollinators -Items of potential interest 6 August 2019
Rosanna Mattingly Editor, Western Apicultural Society Journal Editor, The Bee Line, Oregon State Beekeepers Association
IN THIS ISSUE . . .
Canadian Wildlife Federation Calls for Pollinator Recovery Strategy
RELEASE — The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) is calling for the creation of a national pollinator recovery strategy featuring pollinator pathways and a comprehensive pollinator monitoring program.
Last year, 100,000 Canadians signed CWF’s petition to ban neonicotinoid pesticides. Species recovery is the next step in CWF’s ban with a plan. Learn more about the pollinator pathway and monitoring program and sign the petition at banwithaplan.org.
“It is imperative that we invest in initiatives to reverse the effects that pesticides and habitat loss have had on our pollinators,” . . .
To continue reading: http://kingstonherald.com/release/pollinator-recovery-strategy-2010326566
Breeders toughen up bees to resist deadly mites
The death of his favorite queens in 2013 was the final straw for BartJan Fernhout, an amateur beekeeper in Boxmeer, the Netherlands. Fernhout’s queens, which he had purchased from a specialty breeder, produced workers with prized traits: They were calm and made plenty of honey. Then, Fernhout’s hives became infested with . . .
To continue reading: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/07/breeders-toughen-bees-resist-deadly-mites
As bee populations decline, can technology help fill the gap?
Humans rely heavily on pollinator bees to sustain food production globally. But for decades, the insects’ population has declined, in part because of pesticide use. If the die-off continues, it will have huge economic and public health consequences for people. William Brangham reports on groups that are working on innovative ways to save the world’s jeopardized bee population — or supplement it. . . .
❀ No further varroa mites found at Townsville Port since May 2019 Aust Honey Bee Industry Council Response activities are continuing following the detection of varroa mites on an Asian honey bee nest at the Port of Townsville in May 2019. The Asian honey bee nest was located and destroyed on 16 May 2019 and found as a result of bee lining activities where foraging bees are tracked. The mites were sent to the CSIRO’s laboratory in Canberra for identification to species level, with results confirming Varroa jacobsoni. Biosecurity Queensland is continuing . . . To continue reading: https://honeybee.org.au/no-further-varroa-mites-found-at-townsville-port-since-may-2019/ ❀ Plant-pollinator interactions Editors: Charles Fox, Ken Thompson, Alan Knapp, Lara Ferry and Enrico Rezende This virtual issue of Functional Ecology gathers 10 papers appearing in the journal during the past two years that address plant-pollinator relationships. The compilation is intended to coincide with the special feature Plant-pollinator interactions from flower to landscape. . . .
The buzz about flowers
Laura M. Zahn
Plants are often thought of as rather passive organisms. However, they can actively respond to environmental cues to promote their own survival. Veits et al. show that at least one plant species responds to the sounds of bees in a way that enhances their attractiveness to pollinators. The authors exposed matforming beach evening primrose plants to recordings of the sounds of flying bees. The flowers appeared to “hear” the bees and vibrated in response to bee noise but not in response to higher-frequency sounds. The flowers then rapidly produced nectar with a higher sugar concentration, which is assumed to increase pollinator visitation and thereby actively promote the plant’s reproductive success.
Ecol. Lett. 10.1111/ele.13331 (2019).
Quantum dots capture speciation in sandplain fynbos on the West Coast of South Africa
Stellenbosch University South Africa
Using quantum dots as a tool to trace the pollen of the long-tubed iris, Lapeirousia anceps, evolutionary ecologists from Stellenbosch University have succeeded in capturing a snapshot of a plant in the process of speciation.
Professor Bruce Anderson, an evolutionary ecologist in the Department of Botany and Zoology at SU, says this is only the third time in his research career where he has found a contact zone where speciation appears to be happening right in front of our eyes.”Contact zones of entities in the process of diverging may actually be quite common, but they are hard to find because you really need to know what to look for,” he postulates.
For the past 15 years Anderson and his associates have been visiting
To continue reading: https://phys.org/news/2019-08-quantum-dots-capture-speciation-sandplain.html ❀
Local habitat characteristics but not landscape urbanization drive pollinator visitation and native plant pollination in forest remnants
William C. Burger and Rachael Winfree DOI:10.1016/j.biocon.2012.12.035
Abstract Habitat loss from urban development threatens native plant populations in many regions of the world. In addition to direct plant mortality, urban intensification potentially impacts pollinator communities and in turn disrupts the pollination mutualisms that are critical to the viability of native plant populations. We placed standardized flowering plant arrays into woodlands along a gradient of increasing urban land use to simultaneously quantify landscape-scale and local-scale effects on pollinators and on reproduction of two spring ephemeral wildflowers ( Claytonia virginica and Polemonium reptans ) in woodland fragments in the Mid-Atlantic Region of North America. Greater pollinator abundance and associated diversity significantly reduced the degree of pollen limitation, demonstrating that pollinator populations are critical to successful pollination of these plant populations. However, landscape-scale habitat loss did not . . . To continue reading: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Local-habitat-characteristics-but-not-landscape-and-Burger-Winfree/c3a0d677b3a798d5f754635d1e180b48f6764771
A New Study Reveals Just How Toxic a Bee’s World Has Become Tom Philpott
You can thank pollinating insects for one of every three bites of food you take. But as you may have heard, these bugs are in trouble: Since 2006, around 30 percent of US honeybee hives have died off each year, about double the previous loss rate. Honeybee populations are holding steady because honeybees are essentially winged livestock, so they benefit from management by beekeepers who scramble to maintain populations by splitting healthy hives. Bumblebees and other wild pollinators don’t have such caretakers, and their populations are dropping.
The best science suggests that . . .
This tiny insect could be delivering toxic pesticides to honey bees and other beneficial bugs
A common pesticide may be causing more collateral damage than thought. According to a new study, neonicotinoids can kill beneficial insects such as honey bees, hoverflies, and parasitic wasps by contaminating honeydew, a sugar-rich liquid excreted by certain insects.
Researchers already knew neonicotinoids could harm honey bees and other beneficial insects when applied to important crops such as cotton, potato, and citrus. A 2017 study, for example, found the chemicals can poison bees, causing symptoms like paralysis, vomiting, or death when they eat contaminated nectar or pollen, or even crawl over sprayed surfaces. Yet neonicotinoids still account for more than 20% of the world’s insecticide market.
In the new study, scientists wanted to see whether the chemicals could harm these and other insects more indirectly. They looked to . . .
To continue reading: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/08/tiny-insect-could-be-delivering-toxic-pesticides-honey-bees-and-other-beneficial-bugs?utm_campaign=news_daily_2019-08-06&et_rid=79887736&et_cid=2935236
Are We Handling The Bee Crisis All Wrong?
On a crisp June morning at Knoll Farm, high above Vermont’s Mad River Valley, Charlie Nicholson stalked a bumblebee. He tiptoed behind the bee as it buzzed along a row of blueberry bushes, carrying a net that resembled a lacrosse stick.
“The trick is to catch the bee without . . .
To continue reading: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/wild-bee-population_n_5d374e6fe4b004b6adb709d6?b39
Where are the bees?
ENGLAND — Bees are in vast decline in the UK and across Europe, as are the wildflowers on which they rely. Bees have an essential role in our ecosystems and a third of all our food is dependent on their pollination; just in economic worth, pollination by bees is annually estimated at £265 billion, worldwide.
The main risks to bees include wide-spread pesticide use in agriculture, parasites, disease and climate change, and crucially – the loss of valuable biodiversity which poses a further threat to bees and other wild pollinators. One way to help boost their numbers is by planting . . .
To continue reading: https://www.morningagclips.com/where-are-the-bees/
Researchers find neonicotinoids present a danger to pollinators
Bob Yirka, Phys.org
A small team of environmentalists with Friends of the Earth, Toxicology Research International and Pesticide Research Institute has carried out a study of insecticide toxicity loading of chemical pesticides that are used on agricultural lands in the U.S. They have concluded that neonicotinoids present a major danger to pollinating insects and have posted their results on the open-access site PLOS ONE.
In the study (funded by Friends of the Earth), the group looked at the impact of the increased use of neonicotinoids on farming products in the U.S. They note that . . .
To continue reading: https://phys.org/news/2019-08-neonicotinoids-danger-pollinators.html
More information: Michael DiBartolomeis et al. An assessment of acute insecticide toxicity loading (AITL) of chemical pesticides used on agricultural land in the United States, PLOS ONE (2019). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220029
Solar and pollinators: a photo essay
A promising new trend is showing signs of incrementally helping the solar industry to increase revenue, decrease operations and management costs, open up new markets, accelerate permitting, decrease litigation risk, and attract new land lease partners. It’s not a new module, inverter, or racking — it’s an innovative approach to the vegetation design and management. Civil engineers working on LEED-certified building design have long known that the vegetation specified in a project can provide meaningful functional benefits, in addition to being a cost-effective way to gain points toward the standards. These innovations—using ecology to benefit technology—have now made their way into the solar industry in projects throughout the country.
One of the most popular and widespread examples of this trend is pollinator-friendly solar—the use of entomologist-vetted standards to inform the seed mixes used . . .
To continue reading: https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2019/08/03/solar-and-pollinators-photo-essay/
2019 Australian Honey Bee Industry Council Annual Report
Aust Honey Bee Industry Council
The world faces ‘pollinator collapse’? How and why the media get the science wrong time and again
There’s a saying among lawyers that goes, “If the facts aren’t on your side, argue the law. If the law isn’t on your side, argue the facts. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table.”
Substitute the word “science” for “law” and the same . . .
Risk to pollinators from anthropogenic electro-magnetic radiation (EMR): Evidence and knowledge gaps
Adam J.Vanbergen et al.
Abstract: Worldwide urbanisation and use of mobile and wireless technologies (5G, Internet of Things) is leading to the proliferation of anthropogenic electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and campaigning voices continue to call for the risk to human health and wildlife to be recognised. Pollinators provide many benefits to nature and humankind, but face multiple anthropogenic threats. Here, we assess whether artificial light at night (ALAN) and anthropogenic radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (AREMR), such as used in wireless technologies or emitted from power lines, represent an additional and growing threat to pollinators. A lack of high quality scientific studies means that knowledge of the risk to pollinators . . .
To continue reading: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969719337805 ❀
The underappreciated carpenter bees
In May and June, when carpenter bees buzz the edge of my woodshed, my dog Bella jumps into the air and tries to catch one in her mouth.
Right now, the scene is quiet. But in a few weeks, when a new brood hatches out, there will be a new generation to entertain my amusable dog.
The bees — big, bulky, harmless and asocial — will busy themselves and fly past Bella. They’re excellent pollinators of garden plants like tomatoes and eggplant. They’re good for blueberry crops and flowers.
And they’re plentiful.
“They’re as common as dirt,” said Gail Ridge, an entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven. . . .
These caterpillars can camouflage themselves, even when blindfolded
Most animals that change color to match their surroundings can see what these surroundings look like. But the peppered moth caterpillar can do this with its eyes closed, according to a new study, and scientists have figured out how.
Researchers raised more than 300 larvae of the peppered moth (Biston betularia) in the lab. After the caterpillars grew up a bit . . .
FROM CATCH THE BUZZ:
- Australian Bee Sting Vaccine Trial Holds Promise Against Allergic Reactions.
Flinders University Most people have probably been stung by a bee and while it can be painful, it’s especially dangerous for the many that… Read on » 2. No Indiana County, City, Town or Township Can Adopt or Continue Any Ordinance, Rule, Regulation or Resolution That Disallows Residents From Keeping Bees on Their Property.
By: Ben Middelkamp – The Greenfield Daily Reporter HANCOCK COUNTY — A newly enacted Indiana law that prohibits local governments from banning beekeeping erases existing… Read on » 3. There’s a Direct Correlation Between Gut Bacterial Numbers in Honey Bees and the Overall Health of Hives. Alan Harman Preliminary trials in Australia have shown there to be a direct correlation between gut bacterial numbers in honey bees and the overall… 4. Wildfires Disrupt Important Pollination Processes by Moths and Increase Extinction Risks.
Newcastle University IMAGE: The effects of wildfire can clearly be seen at one of the study sites: although the ground flora has begun to regenerate,… Read on » 5. The Key is Not Whether They Encounter a Disease – It’s Whether They are Fit and Healthy Enough to Fight it Off.
Alan Harman More intensive beekeeping does not raise the risk of diseases that harm or kill the insects, new research suggests. Intensive agriculture –… 6. Climate Change Cachets The Moscow Times says climate change may be playing a greater role in killing Russia’s honeybees than officials care… Read on » 8. Scientists Say Agriculture is Good for Honey Bees, at Least in Tennessee.
Ginger Rowsey University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture In a recent study, researchers with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture found the… Read on » ❀ FROM ABJ EXTRA:
- Clemson Study Finds Wildflowers Create Pollinator Harmony for Watermelons Denise Attaway CHARLESTON – A Clemson University graduate student has found adding a little color to watermelon fields can attract pollinators which can help improve quality and increase yields of one of South Carolina’s most important vegetable crops. . . . To continue reading: https://mailchi.mp/dadant.com/abj-extra-august-8-2019-clemson-study-finds-wildflowers-create-pollinator-harmony-for-watermelons?e=d476a0d684 ❀
- USDA ARS Research Entomologist
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research Unit located in Wapato, Washington seeks a permanent, full time, Research Entomologist, GS-12/13 ($74,596.00 – $115,313.00 annually plus benefits).
- Postdoctoral Associate: Development of a new critical thinking assessment in ecology
Applications are invited for a fulltime post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) at Cornell University. The successful candidate will take a leading role in the design and evaluation of a new assessment for students’ critical thinking skills in ecology lab and field courses. The assessment is modeled after an existing instrument for physics labs (Physics Lab Inventory of Critical thinking or PLIC). The successful candidate will collaborate with Dr. Smith (in EEB) and Dr. Holmes (in Physics) to carry out the work.
The primary duties and responsibilities include interviewing students, requesting feedback from faculty at multiple institutions, piloting the assessment instrument in multiple classrooms, analyzing open-response data, and conducting statistical validity and reliability tests. The postdoc will also disseminate the results through publications, presentations at meetings, and an online assessment portal.
Discipline-based education research is growing at Cornell, with faculty and collaborators in physics, biology, and other STEM fields, as well as a number of new postdocs, graduate and undergraduate student researchers. The successful candidate will have an opportunity to mentor and work with many individuals and participate in weekly education journal clubs and research meetings with the larger EEB and Cornell community.
Preferred qualifications include:
- Ph.D. in biology education research, ecology, or closely related field
- Experience with relevant literature and education research methods: expertise in quantitative research methods and statistics, and/or qualitative research methods
- Knowledge of and experience with the field of ecology
- Ability and desire to work collaboratively, mentor graduate and undergraduate students, and to also work independently
- Project leadership, time management, communication, and writing skills
To apply: applicants should submit their cover letter, CV, a 2-3 page research statement including relevant background and experiences, as well as the names and email or phone contacts of three professional references to https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/14057. Review of applications will begin on September 15, 2019.
Please contact Dr. Smith (email@example.com) or Dr. Holmes (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.