Items of potential interest 27 February 2019

Rosanna Mattingly Editor, Western Apicultural Society Journal Editor, The Bee Line, Oregon State Beekeepers Association


World’s largest bee, once presumed extinct, filmed

Solar farms could help honey bees

Monarch butterflies among beneficiaries of ODOT practices

Blumenauer, McGovern introduce pollinator bill

Pollination Service Market Size, Share, Development by 2024

Insight App Available for Free Download

4 ways to support your local insects

Clonmel gives refuge to insects

Foreign bees monopolize prize resources in biodiversity hotspot

Physics explains how pollen gets its stunning diversity of shapes

Art of the bees

Some favorite garden vegetables attract pollinators

Honeybee theft can be a problem worth thousands of dollars

FROM Catch the Buzz:

  2. Ag Lands Have Less Diverse Pollinator Species Than Natural Lands
  3. Almond Pollination Colonies Being Stolen, Again

World’s largest bee, once presumed extinct, filmed alive in the wild

Douglas Main

THE WORLD’S LARGEST bee may also be the planet’s most elusive. First discovered in 1859 by the prominent scientist Alfred Russel Wallace, nobody could locate it again, and it was presumed extinct.

But Wallace’s giant bee (Megachile pluto) was not gone. In 1981, an entomologist named Adam Messer searched and found it on three islands in Indonesia, on an archipelago called the North Moluccas. He collected a specimen and wrote about his discovery in 1984.

Now, for the first time, it has been photographed and filmed alive in the wild . . .

To continue reading: ——- Solar farms could help honey bees

Tim Colliver

With local discussions fresh in mind on the merits of building a pair of solar power generating farms in southern Highland County, a company in Pennsylvania has a concept which combines the idea of clean, renewable solar power with a plan to help with declining honey bee populations.

Robin Ernst is president of Ernst Pollinator Service of Meadville, Pa., and she described to The Times-Gazette her company’s idea of aiding the honey bee population . . .

To continue reading: ——- Guest Column: Monarch butterflies among beneficiaries of ODOT practices

Lauren Caggiano Pollinators, particularly the at-risk monarch butterfly species, play a critical role in our ecosystem. But what happens when infrastructure gets in the way?

Sometimes the results can be detrimental for life that depends on biodiversity. Monarchs cannot survive without milkweed; their caterpillars only eat milkweed plants. And further compounding the problem, monarch butterflies need milkweed to lay their eggs. With shifting land management practices, milkweed is an unwelcome guest.

An Ohio agency is challenging these norms, however. The Ohio Department of Transportation Office of Highway Maintenance is acknowledging the importance of pollinator habits with an innovative approach to site management. . . .

To continue reading: ——- Blumenauer, McGovern introduce pollinator bill Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Jim McGovern, D-Mass., reintroduced their Saving America’s Pollinators Act to protect critical pollinators, such as honeybees, from insecticides that are toxic to bees and other insects.

The bill would suspend the use of insecticides known as neonicotinoids, which Blumenauer and McGovern noted have been linked to declining pollinator populations. It establishes a panel of experts to complete a thorough assessment of these pesticides, in order to ensure that any uses do not cause unreasonable and adverse effects on pollinators.

Tara Cornelisse, a senior scientist for the Center of Biological Diversity, said in the Blumenauer-McGovern release, “We are experiencing a biodiversity crisis and losing insects faster than any other group of animals due to our chemical-intensive agriculture. By suspending use of the most pollinator-toxic pesticides, the Saving America’s Pollinators Act is a huge, important step toward saving the insects that we depend on so much to grow our food.”

Source: ——- Pollination Service Market Size, Share, Development by 2024 Global Info Research offers a latest published report on Pollination Service Market Analysis and Forecast 2019-2025 delivering key insights and providing a competitive advantage to clients through a detailed report. The report contains 124 pages which highly exhibit on current market analysis scenario, upcoming as well as future opportunities, revenue growth, pricing and profitability.

Click to view the full report TOC, figure and tables:…

At present . . .

To continue reading: ——- Insight App Available for Free Download In 2015, Cameron Cartiere and Geoffrey Campbell of Border Free Bees joined together to create a tool that would empower citizens to learn about North America’s essential pollinators and participate in observation-based research. The concept and app design was carried out by Campbell as his undergraduate thesis project at Emily Carr University. Over two years, Border Free Bees engaged various community organizations in the design process through focus groups, educational workshops and app testing sessions. Scientists and community experts, including Dr. Elizabeth Elle and Dr. Lora Morandin, played a key role in informing and validating the scientific aspects of the design. In 2018 Border Free Bees partnered with Pollinator Partnership to develop the Insight Citizen Science iOS app. The free iOS app is now available for download! See: ——- 4 ways to support your local insects Jessica Walliser

Question: I just read an alarming article about the decline in the insect population. I know that in addition to writing about gardening, you also write about insects. Can you tell me what homeowners like me can do to help insects and slow their decline? Thank you.

Answer: What a wonderful question. I, too, have read several articles citing various studies that have occurred around the world noting the sharp decline in many different insect species. While it may seem overwhelming . . .

To continue reading: ——- Clonmel gives refuge to insects Ray Ryan A recent scientific warning that the world’s insects could vanish in 100 years has renewed focus on how Clonmel, in County Tipperary, won a top award in last year’s Tidy Towns competition for pollinator-friendly actions.

Clonmel set a headline for communities countrywide by mapping itself and pinpointing areas that could act as refuges for pollinating insects to provide food and shelter.

The Tidy Towns Committee worked with all industry sectors . . .

To continue reading: ——- Foreign bees monopolize prize resources in biodiversity hotspot

University of California – San Diego

Summary: New research revealed that foreign honey bees often account for more than 90 percent of pollinators observed visiting flowers in San Diego, considered a global biodiversity hotspot. The non-native bees have established robust feral populations and currently make up 75 percent of the region’s observed pollinators. Their monopoly over the most abundantly blooming plant species may strongly affect the ecology and evolution of species that are foundational to the stability of the region’s plant-pollinator interactions.

To read the article: ——- Physics explains how pollen gets its stunning diversity of shapes

Emily Conover Pollen grains sport a variety of snazzy shapes, from golf ball–like divots to prickly knobs or swirls that evoke a peppermint candy. But these myriad patterns may all be due to one simple trick of physics, scientists report in the Feb. 7 Cell.

That trick: phase separation, in which a mixture naturally breaks up into separate parts, like cream floating to the top of milk . . .

To continue reading: ——- Art of the bees

John Darling

TALENT — More than 100 volunteers, most of them learning on the job, are cutting and assembling ceramic and glass tile into a “Bee City USA” panel to go on the front of Talent City Hall.

Funded mainly by a $5,000 Lloyd Haines art grant, the colorful, 32-foot-long array of flowers, birds and bees will pretty up the home of Talent government. But its main purpose, said organizer Karen Rycheck, is to raise awareness of the precarious state of pollinators because of pesticides, climate change and habitat loss.

Volunteers gather three times a week . . .

To continue reading: ——- Some favorite garden vegetables attract pollinators, too

Associated Press

Planting clumps of bright, successively blooming flowers is a popular method for attracting foraging pollinators like bees and butterflies. But savvy vegetable and fruit growers know flowering edibles will entice them, too.

Ornamental shrubs, trees, crops and vines will bring pollinators to your yard while at the same time provide nourishment for the family table.

Bees and many other species transfer pollen grains and seeds from one flower to another, fertilizing plants so they can thrive and produce food. The pollinators, in turn, are rewarded with the plants’ sugary nectars.

“When we think of our diet, the rule of thumb is that one out of every three bites we take is dependent upon pollinators,” said Ed Spevak, who manages the St. Louis Zoo’s Center for Native Pollination. It was among the nation’s first zoos to have a dedicated invertebrate department.

“When you want flavor, color and nutrition, then you really need to start thinking about bees . . .

To continue reading: ——- Honeybee theft can be a problem worth thousands of dollars

Eric Escalante

With a possible reward of up to $10,000, “bee theft” is no joke to California beekeepers and members of the California Beekeepers Association.

Bee theft has been happening in the state since at least late January.

The California State Beekeepers Association’s notified people of a beehive theft near the Richvale Area in late January. . . .

To continue reading:


The Pollinator Stewardship Council, Inc. Board of Directors considered the preponderance of research concerning neonicotinoids (neonics), and is announcing their decision to call for a moratorium on the use and registration of the neonic class of pesticides. We agree with The Task Force on Systemic Pesticides 2017 “Worldwide Integrated Assessment of the Effects of Systemic Pesticides on Biodiversity and Ecosystems” . . .

To continue reading:

  1. Ag Lands Have Less Diverse Pollinator Species Than Natural Lands. Go Figure.

Alan Harman 

Apple orchards surrounded by agricultural lands are visited by a less diverse collection of bee species than orchards surrounded by natural habitats . . .

To continue reading:

  1. Almond Pollination Colonies Being Stolen, Again. Know Your Beekeeper, Mark Your Hives, Hide Your Hives.

Alan Harman 

For some commercial beekeepers, California’s almond bloom ended before it officially started, the California Farm Bureau Federation says. The federation’s Ag Alert . . .

To continue reading:


The Almond Board of California has committed to four new as sustainability goals that including achieving zero waste from its US orchards, reducing water used in production, and enhancing pest management tools.

As part of the initiative, which coincided with national almond day on Saturday, 16th February . . .

To continue reading:


Carolyn Fortuna, Ph.D.

No one expects sustainable energy and lifestyle businesses to completely replace the fossil fuel jobs that have been lost. But advocates in both areas are hoping that sustainability career paths can assist displaced workers and the next generation to find satisfying employment and create more diversified, robust local economies. Sustainable businesses with an emphasis on small, locally-based options keep the wealth created by local labor circulating in the community.

Jobs are blossoming in . . .

To continue reading: