News from the world of beekeeping – Items of potential interest 31 October 2019

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


Bee-Friendly Companies Are Getting the Science of the Crisis Completely Wrong

Publication Helps Landowners Create Pollinator Habitat on Saturated Riparian Buffers

EU lawmakers: New bee safety rules won’t protect pollinators from neonic pesticides long term Study: CCD effects on commercial bees are ‘very small’

Virginia toolkit tells solar developers how to incorporate bee and bird habitat

City program helps homeowners create pollinator gardens in Toronto

Bee Broker: Millions of bees on the move for orchard pollination

The Cornish bee has gone from near extinction to helping save the world

Deformed wing virus genetic diversity in US honey bees complicates search for remedies

Honey bee census must continue, Sen. Schumer says

Want to help pollinators? How’s $500 sound? ‘Rewilding:’ One California man’s mission to save honey bees

Strategies of a honey bee virus

What’s Wrong With the Bees? Our New Film, “The Pollinators,” Seeks an Answer

From biomedicine to buzz pollination: why we need a plan ‘bee’

Why dwindling bee populations are threatening U.S. agriculture

A tack of the trucker bees

Swedish Researchers Connect 160,000 Bees to the Internet

‘Keepers of the Bees’ help protect the insect’s declining population

Federally-endangered bee species discovered at Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area in Dakota County

Yellow Star Thistle Produces Green Honey

Buzzkill: Pollinators and Food Security

Australian Honey Abuzz With High-Value Antibacterial Activity

A new pesticide is all the buzz

Study: Biodiversity improves crop production

Northern Ireland’s bees under threat of extinction

Don’t Poop Where You Eat: Bee Defecation on Flowers May Explain Disease Transmission

Experts Discuss Impact of Climate Change on Pollinator Migration Can specialty crops and solar thrive together?

Helpful Insects And Landscape Change

Vancouver Island University Recognized as a Bee Campus

The Garden Club of America Board of Associates Centennial Pollinator Fellowship





Bee-Friendly Companies Are Getting the Science of the Crisis Completely Wrong

Troy Farah

Earlier this year, Pornhub put out a press release and launched Beesexual, a website featuring an entirely new genre of “porn”: honeybees pollinating flowers. The site includes over a dozen streaming videos of bees boinking in blossoms, dubbed with the voices of adult-content performers. For each view — so far, more than 1.9 million — Pornhub has promised to donate to bee-preserving charities.

You’ve probably seen other corporate efforts to “save the bees.” From McDonald’s installing “bee hotels” on restaurant signs in Sweden to . . .

To continue reading:

Publication Helps Landowners Create Pollinator Habitat on Saturated Riparian Buffers

Tracy Mumma

As part of a four-year field demonstration, scientists at Iowa State University have produced a four-page publication titled Establishing and Managing Pollinator Habitat on Saturated Riparian Buffers. It helps landowners identify  the best sites for buffers, guides them through the steps to establish a buffer with pollinator habitat, and provides information on various programs available to help with funding and technical information. The publication also outlines the anticipated costs for establishing pollinator habitat, comparing different types of site locations, seed costs, and labor costs. The publication is available free online.


EU lawmakers: New bee safety rules won’t protect pollinators from neonic pesticides long term

Samuel Petrequin

The European Parliament on [October 23] blocked a diluted proposal by the 28-nation bloc’s executive arm on protecting bees from pesticides, arguing it didn’t go far enough.

European lawmakers adopted a resolution urging the European Commission to “table new legislation based on the latest scientific and technical knowledge.”

They said the Commission weakened its initial proposal due to the opposition of 16 member states which did not want . . .

To continue reading/to read:

Study: CCD effects on commercial bees are ‘very small’

Jonathan Knutson

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Though colony collapse disorder has generated a great deal of concern, the phenomenon has had “very small effects” on commercial pollinators, according to an author of a new study on the economic impacts of colony collapse disorder, or CCD, among commercial honeybees.

The research found “remarkably little to suggest dramatic and widespread economic effects from CCD,” according to the report.

“When we started this project, we expected . . .

To continue reading:

Virginia toolkit tells solar developers how to incorporate bee and bird habitat

Elizabeth McGowan

As bee and bird populations continue to plummet, advocates and state officials in Virginia are gradually convincing solar developers to do their part for biological diversity.

Solar developers are open to the concept of arrays that incorporate pollinator-friendly habitats. However, they are often  . . .

To continue reading:

City program helps homeowners create pollinator gardens in Toronto

City program helps homeowners create pollinator gardens in Toronto While most homeowners are raking autumn leaves, Mike Perozak is helping his neighbours in downtown Toronto prepare their gardens to welcome guests in the spring.

They are ripping up grass, filling their lawns with native plants meant to encourage bees and other pollinators to take up residence next year.

The 58-year-old and several of his neighbours are tapping into a municipal grant program that gives participants $5,000 to make . . .

To continue reading:

Bee Broker: Millions of bees on the move for orchard pollination

Pip Courtney

Australia is producing more almonds than ever before and as orchard plantings increase so too does the need for bees which are vital for pollination. Co-ordinating the huge annual mass migration of millions of bees to trees, is a bee broker, and it’s a tough job.

To view:

The Cornish bee has gone from near extinction to helping save the world

Lee Trewhela

The Cornish bee has gone from near extinction to helping save the world

The survival of the honey bee is essential for the survival of the planet. It plays a huge role in conserving the biodiversity of our countryside and food supply.

The Native Cornish Bee (Apis mellifera mellifera or Amm) has fought back from near extinction to play a vital role in global research with beekeepers in Cornwall being an essential part of a huge success story.

One of the places where the Cornish bees are thriving is Godolphin House, near Helston.

It is the very first National Trust property in the UK to be named as . . .

To continue reading:

Deformed wing virus genetic diversity in US honey bees complicates search for remedies

US Department of Agriculture

Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), one of the leading causes of honey bee colony losses, is much more genetically diverse in the United States than previously thought, according to a study published by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in PLoS Biology.

The diverse lineages of this virus are all equally bad for bees, and they make it more complicated to develop antiviral therapeutics, which could be . . .

To continue reading:

Honey bee census must continue, Sen. Schumer says

Lisa L. Colangelo

The federal government’s decision to halt its honey bee census has U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer buzzing mad.

He said a census typically conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture helps track the population of vital insects and could help determine why they are disappearing in large numbers in New York and around the country.

“Bees are dying off . . .

To continue reading:

Want to help pollinators? How’s $500 sound?

John Molseed

The Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources wants to help you help the rusty patched bumble bee.

The commission this year allocated $900,000 for a statewide “Lawns to Legumes” program. That means Minnesotans who convert a part of their lawn to pollinator-friendly gardens can receive a matching grant for their efforts. People can apply for a portion of . . .

To continue reading:

‘Rewilding:’ One California man’s mission to save honey bees

Jane Ross

SEBASTOPOL, Calif. (Reuters) – The staggering decline of honey bee colonies has alarmed experts across the United States, but an unconventional apiculturist in California thinks he has found a way to save them. . . .

To continue reading:

See also:

Strategies of a honey bee virus


Bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops and wild plants and provide valuable services for ecology and economy. In the past decades, beekeepers worldwide have reported massive losses of their colonies, in large due to a phenomenon termed Colony Collapse Disorder, where worker bees mysteriously disappear from apparently healthy colonies. There is a close correlation between affected colonies and the presence of the Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, suggesting that the virus plays a significant role in causing the syndrome. Israel S. Fernández, Joachim Frank and their colleagues at Columbia University in New York, have now analyzed the virus’ course of action in unprecedented detail.

The Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus is an RNA virus that captures the host protein production machinery using . . .

To continue reading:

What’s Wrong With the Bees? Our New Film, “The Pollinators,” Seeks an Answer

Peter Nelson

“What’s wrong with the bees?”

I’ve been asked that question frequently over the years.  My friends, family and most of my work colleagues know that I’ve been a beekeeper for decades, so it’s a reasonable question and it usually leads to an extended and enjoyable conversation about bees and ultimately to food.

I’ve found that most people are aware there is something wrong with bees and that they should be concerned.  What many people don’t realize is . . .

To continue reading and view a clip from the film:

From biomedicine to buzz pollination: why we need a plan ‘bee’

Karl Gruber

With Extinction Rebellion’s mass bee-themed ‘die ins’ hitting the international news, we’re reminded again that our bees are facing many threats— . . .

To continue reading:

Why dwindling bee populations are threatening U.S. agriculture

To listen:

A tack of the trucker bees

Mark Zuckerberg pitches his digital currency to lawmakers. Nike is set to get a new CEO. “The Pollinators” follows bees as they’re trucked back and forth to different farms.

To listen:

Swedish Researchers Connect 160,000 Bees to the Internet

Hanna Hoikkala

A digital beehive may be the next step to help understand why the number of bees and other pollinating insects is falling rapidly.

Nordic software consultant Tieto Oyj has placed sensors in two beehives in Sweden, connecting some 80,000 bees in each to the Internet. The hives send data to the off-site servers where it can be remotely accessed in real time, and soon artificial intelligence algorithms will be used to analyze the information.

Using technology, Tieto says it can better track . . .

To continue reading:

‘Keepers of the Bees’ help protect the insect’s declining population

Jesslyn Ferentz 

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – UNCW’s Department of University Relations is releasing a documentary, Keepers of the Bees, which chronicles the work of passionate students trying to help future generations.

The students in the university’s Beekeepers Club are helping save the declining bee population by spreading awareness on campus, in the community at public events, and even going to schools.

“In 2017, I was looking for a way to tell a UNCW documentary and I heard about the UNCW Beekeepers Club,” said Jesse Bradley, director of the documentary and Director of Media Productions at UNCW. “Everyone [in the club] is so interested in honey bees and the agriculture and so we started to document that process. I found the immediate passion that these students have not only for beekeeping but for educating the community.” . . .

To continue reading:

Federally-endangered bee species discovered at Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area in Dakota County

A rare, federally-endangered bee species was recently discovered at the Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area. Identified as a rusty patched bumble bee, the lone male pollinator found in the habitat represents approximately 0.2 percent of the species’ known world population. Minnesota is home to the largest population . . .

To continue reading:

Yellow Star Thistle Produces Green Honey

Matthew Hoepfinger

Yellow star thistle (Centaurea solstitialis) was extremely prolific in some areas of California this year.  Many commercial beekeepers commented on it.  One said that he hadn’t seen this much star thistle in over 20 years.  Personally, I saw . . .

To continue reading:

Buzzkill: Pollinators and Food Security

For approximately 75% of all flowering plants on the planet, comprising over 250,000 species. sexual reproduction is dependent upon an animal partner for assistance with pollination—the movement of pollen grains, produced by anthers, to receptive female stigmatic surfaces. The number of animal species involved in pollination has been estimated at upwards of . . .

To continue reading:,-Issue-1-2015/Buzzkill-Pollinators-and-Food-Security

Australian Honey Abuzz With High-Value Antibacterial Activity

Australia has at least seven Leptospermum species that produce honey with exceptionally high levels of antibacterial activity, providing the scientific basis to facilitate the entry of Australian honey producers into premium medicinal markets.

That’s according to a new report led by University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Professor Liz Harry, in conjunction with . . .

To continue reading:

A new pesticide is all the buzz


On August 28, the EPA approved the first-ever bee-distributed organic pesticide for the US market—a fungus-fighting powder called Vectorite that contains the spores of a naturally occurring fungus called Clonostachys rosea (CR-7). CR-7 is completely harmless to . . .

To continue reading:

Study: Biodiversity improves crop production

Eurac Research

Ecologists and biologists compared data of about 1,500 agricultural fields around the world, including corn fields in the American plains, oilseed rape fields in southern Sweden, coffee plantations in India, mango plantations in South Africa and cereal crops in the Alps. They analyzed two ecosystem services (i.e., processes regulated by nature that are beneficial and free for humans): the pollination service provided by . . .

To continue reading:

Northern Ireland’s bees under threat of extinction

Leoma Williams

A new report from Buglife has revealed that many Northern Irish bee species are in decline due to the impacts of habitat loss, pollution, disease, and climate change.

These trends are particularly concerning given the importance of bees as key pollinators of crops and wildflowers. The loss of bees would have a devastating impact on the health of our countryside and food security, and worryingly wild bees show among the most severe declines of . . .

To continue reading:

Don’t Poop Where You Eat: Bee Defecation on Flowers May Explain Disease Transmission

Melissa Mayer

For most people, flowers call to mind many things—romance, appreciation, well wishes—but probably not … bee poop. Insect pollinators are crucial to maintaining biodiversity and crop yields but face global declines. Clues that may help save these important insects might come from an unexpected place: apian fecal matter.

It turns out that bees defecate while foraging pollen or nectar, and sick bees may defecate more than usual, possibly transmitting infection through their fecal matter. In a recent paper in the Journal of Insect Science, researchers set . . .

To continue reading:

Experts Discuss Impact of Climate Change on Pollinator Migration

Jackie Wang

Millions of monarchs make the journey from Canada to Mexico each year, and scientists have determined the butterflies rely on solar cues and the earth’s magnetic field to navigate. But no one knows how they find the precise mountaintop in Mexico upon which they gather, monarch butterfly expert and ecologist Dara Satterfield said.

‘They’ve never been there before,” Satterfield said. “It would have been their great-great-grandparents the previous year.” . . .

To continue reading:

Can specialty crops and solar thrive together?

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — On a stretch of cultivated land at the CSU Horticultural Field Research Center, a neat row of solar panels towers over small plots of lettuce and other vegetables.

The gentle shadows that cast over the mini gardens are no accident. They’re part of a carefully controlled experiment testing whether specialty crops like tomatoes, peppers, and kale can grow in, or even benefit from, close proximity with solar energy generation.

The research is a collaborative effort between . . .

To continue reading:

Helpful Insects And Landscape Change

We might not notice them, but the crops farmers grow are protected by scores of tiny invertebrate bodyguards. Naturally occurring arthropods like spiders and lady beetles patrol crop fields looking for insects to eat. These natural enemies keep pests under control, making it easier to grow the crops we depend on.

New research from Michigan State University by Nate Haan, Yajun Zhang and Doug Landis sheds light on how these natural enemies respond to large-scale spatial patterns in agricultural landscapes. These areas are made up of . . .

To continue reading:

Vancouver Island University Recognized as a Bee Campus

Vancouver Island University’s (VIU’s) Nanaimo campus is set to become a hive of bee-friendly events and activities thanks to its designation as a Bee Campus.

Bees are tiny insects, but they pack a large ecological punch. More . . .

To continue reading:

The Garden Club of America Board of Associates Centennial Pollinator Fellowship

The 2020 grant cycle is now open! Award: $4,000 Deadline: January 17, 2020 Apply at  The Garden Club of America (GCA) Board of Associates Centennial Pollinator Fellowship provides funding to a current graduate student to study the causes of pollinator decline, in particular bees, bats, butterflies and moths, which could lead to potential solutions for their conservation and sustainability. The selection criteria are based on the technical merit of the proposed work and the degree to which the work is relevant to this objective. The GCA Board of Associates Centennial Pollinator Fellowship was established in spring 2013 to facilitate independent research in this field.


The GCA Board of Associates Centennial Pollinator Fellowship annually funds one or more graduate students enrolled in U.S. institutions. Funding may vary in amount, but normally will be in the range of $4,000 for study and research that will advance the knowledge of pollinator science and increase the number of scientists in the field. A recipient may reapply for an additional year of funding.

Research Categories

The categories under which applicants may apply are:

  1. Effects of nutrition, genetics, pesticides, pathogens, parasites and disease on pollinators
  2. Pollinator habitat development, assessment or monitoring
  3. Plant-pollinator interactions and pollination biology
  4. Research that examines other aspects of pollinator health, including cutting-edge, original concepts.


  1. Only one GCA scholarship may be applied for annually.
  2. GCA fellow will provide an interim 250-word report, two high quality photos, and an expense summary to GCA and P2 by September 1, 2020.
  3. A final report and final expense summary will be due February 1, 2021.
  4.  Research excerpts (text and photos) may be published in GCA’s and P2’s publications and websites.
  5. GCA fellow agrees to share research with members of the Garden Club of America.

Thank you,

Pollinator Partnership

To apply:



  1. “Saving America’s Pollinators Act Stalled in Congress, and, Pollinator Biodiversity has Wide-Ranging Benefits for Farms

By: Marc Heller – E&E News Reporter Neonicotinoid Bill Held Up by Busy Agenda. Rep. Earl Blumenauer said he’s looking for a lull in… Read on » 2. Scientists Issue Wake-Up Call: Natural Hazard Threats to Pollinators and Pollination.

Global map of the 117 studies reviewed. Kathy Keatley Garvey UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology DAVIS–A newly published first-of-its-kind review involving pollinators,… Read on » 3. Rampant Honey Fraud Spawns Creation of New Certification Program.

INSCATECH  Confusion among honey consumers in Canada and the United States reached its peak over the last few weeks when the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and a lawsuit… Read on »

  1. EPA Proposal Would Shrink Buffer Zones Around Farm Pesticides.

By: Chuck Abbott , Successful Farming In the name of making safety regulations easier to implement, the EPA proposed on Thursday to reduce the size of… Read on » 5. Argonne Team Looks to Insect Brains as Models for Computer Chip Innovation.

Daniel Prudek/ By: Brandi Vincent, Staff Correspondent Scientists at the Energy Department’s Argonne National Laboratory have pioneered a cutting-edge neuromorphic computer chip—modeled off the… Read on » 6. Biodiversity Improves Crop Production, and, Trees for Bees Stems Climate Change.

Ecologists and biologists compared data of about 1,500 agricultural fields around the world: from corn fields in the American plains to oilseed rape fields… Read on » 7. Ambitious Strategies to Combat Pests and Disease in Organic Agriculture.

Mesotunnels, like those pictured here, are composed of nylon mesh fabric suspended on hoops placed about 42 inches over the ground. The management technique… Read on » 8. Appalachian Beekeeping Collective Gets $622,280 Grant to Train Out of Work Coal Miners.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded $622,280 through its Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative for the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective… Read on » 9. Surprise! Pesticide Companies Leverage Regulations for Financial Gains.

Egan Jimenez -Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs PRINCETON, N.J.–Pesticides are present in many food products and play a central… Read on » 10. The Latest Addition to Minecraft Recently Has Been The Arrival of, You Guessed It, Bees! Everything You Wanted to Know.

Zachary Boddy Even ten years after its initial beta release Minecraft continues to evolve at an increasingly rapid pace in its quest to develop… Read on »FROM ABJ EXTRA:

  1. Sioux Honey Beekeepers Establish Central California’s First Anonymous, All-Hours Food Pantries

FRESNO, Calif. – Those who struggle to put enough food on the table have a new place to turn thanks to a group of local beekeepers. In October, three Sioux Honey Association Co-op members took time away from their hives to install central California’s first documented Little Free Pantries.

The co-op installed the first Little Free Pantry in Los Banos earlier this month. To continue reading: 2. (Spo)oktober Blog: Don’t be afraid of State Specific Colony Losses!

Happy Fall y’all!

In normal life, “Fall” means Halloween (and dressing up as fatbody-sucking Varroa mite) and Thanksgiving (we certainly are grateful to be part of the beekeeper community).

In beekeeping life, “Fall” means that nectar flows come to an end, queens lay fewer eggs, winter bees are being reared and we have to (still) deal with Varroa mites. All this is happening for a reason: To get the bees ready for and successfully bring them through winter. (Hard to believe here in Alabama where it is still blazing hot!)

You may remember that . . . To continue reading: 3. Scientists Issue Wake-Up Call: Natural Hazard Threats to Pollinators and Pollination   DAVIS—A newly published first-of-its-kind review involving pollinators, pollination and natural hazards signals a wake-up call to scientists and policy makers. To continue reading:


The Entomological Society of America has approved a new Pollinator Health Position Statement!  You can find it on the website:

The statement includes suggestions for priority areas to focus on over the next 4 years to improve the health of wild and managed pollinators.

PostDoc position Convergence Research Center for Insect Vectors of Incheon National University PI is Professor Hyung Wook Kwon

Our lab focus on neurophysiology and genomics of vector insect.

Actually we study any arthropods who bite or sting a human (ticks, mosquitoes, bees). We invite a younger than 5-year postdoc who studies Apis mellifera, A. cerana, Ae.albopictus, Anopheles gambiae, Haemaphysalis longicornis.

I am interested in a person who studies Apis mellifera or A. cerana.

The salary is about 2500$ per month. Life quality is good here.

Accommodation and meal is much cheaper than in Europe and US 🙂

Do you know somebody who looks for a postdoc position?

Best regards,

Ural Yunusbaev <>

We have a new PhD scholarship available in the Rader Community Ecology Lab on the role of flies as crop pollinators.  Please distribute widely – the scholarship  is open to international candidates.  The project will be supervised by myself and Manu Saunders.

Postdoctoral Position: Pollinator Habitat Restoration Neal Williams Lab, University of California, Davis

The Williams lab at UC Davis is seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher to collaboratively lead a project exploring the design and testing the seed mixes for pollinator habitat. Our lab is part of a national FFAR (Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research) project with University of Minnesota and Penn State exploring the interactive effects of plant diversity and seeding densities on the functioning of seed mixes. The project involves coordinated collaboration with the Cariveau lab (University of Minnesota) and Grozinger lab (Penn State University).

The successful postdoc will join this project and a vibrant research community in ecology, entomology and sustainable agriculture at the University of California Davis.

Basic Qualifications

  • Doctoral degree in plant or other related ecological discipline (those with scheduled defense date prior to start will be considered)
  • Strong experience with biostatistics (using R)
  • Field research experience with plant-insect ecology, and/or plant restoration

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with ecological modeling (computational or analytical)
  • Research in ecosystem services
  • Demonstrated publication record
  • Strong interest in applied questions in agro-ecology
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a research team

Primary Activities The postdoc will coordinate and lead fieldwork at sites near to UC Davis quantifying the effects of different seeding densities and plant diversity on plant establishment, flowering and exclusion of weed species and quantifying wild bee use of different target plant species. The postdoc will be responsible for data management, summary and preparation of reports. The postdoc will lead analysis and writing of original manuscripts, working collaboratively with Neal Williams and other team members at UC Davis and University of Minnesota. Outside of the field season there will be opportunity to work on analysis and synthesis of project related data examining the structure of pollinator-plant communities and develop additional original papers.

Salary and conditions Full-time salary and benefits included. Salary and benefits are consistent with UC Davis policy and commensurate with applicant experience. Start date: Jan 2020 (some flexibility) The position is for 1.5 years (contingent on satisfactory performance). Potential to continue beyond this period will depend on ability to obtain funding through competitive grants written collaboratively with the Williams lab group.

Applications Applicants should submit their formatted cover letter, CV, a 1 page summary of research interests, 1-3 representative publications, and the names (with email address) of at least two references using the “Apply Now” button below as soon as possible, but latest November 22, 2017 for full consideration. Applicants are also encouraged to submit a brief Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Late applications will be accepted until position is filled.

Apply here:

Open date: October 18th, 2019

Next review date: Friday, Nov 22, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)

Apply by this date to ensure full consideration.

Final date: Tuesday, Dec 31, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)

Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

For further information, please contact Neal Williams, Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis.

Here is the latest edition of INSECTSmail, sent out on Friday, 18 October 2019. There are twelve sections to this message:

1) Request for Monomorium samples

2) PhD: Self-assembly in weaver ants, Macquarie, Australia

3) PhD & Research Associates: Social Insect Collective Behaviour, Macquarie & Monash, Australia

4) MSc: Weaver ants as natural pest control, Sabah, Malaysia

5) The London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership

6) PhD: Bee-Plant Interactions, Munich

7) Postdoc: Bee-Plant Interactions, Munich

8) Post-doctoral Researcher: Bee biology, Jiangxi Agricultural University

9) PhD Positions: Epigenome-to-Phenome of Bumble Bee Thermal Tolrance, Alabama

10) PhDs in ecology and evolution, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

11) PhD studentships, IST, Austria

12) IUSSI North West European Section Web site & Newsletter



I’m Rohini Singh, a 5th year Ph.D. student working in Tim Linksvayer’s lab at the University of Pennsylvania. I have been investigating the effects of infection by the endosymbiotic bacteria Wolbachia on Monomorium pharaonis colonies (for more information, please see a recent biorxiv preprint;

I would like to further assess the prevalence of Wolbachia infection in Monomorium pharaonis samples collected around the world, and also in as many additional Monomorium species as possible.

We would greatly appreciate if you could send us samples of workers from Monomorium pharaonis, or other Monomorium species. We are especially interested in Monomorium species related to M. pharaonis, but ultimately are interested in all Monomorium species.

Please send us samples in 95% ethanol to the address below. We would prefer 25-40 workers per colony, but we are also very interested in smaller samples if only a few workers are available. Recently collected material would be ideal, but we are also interested in older material.

Please send us as much and as detailed collection information as possible, such as, collection date, site, and habitat, collector name, species identity (if known) and any other collection notes.

Shipping Address

Rohini Singh

Department of Biology, Leidy 325

University of Pennsylvania

433 South University Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6018

We are happy to answer any questions.

Thank you very much in advance!


Rohini Singh —



Are you interested in pursuing an exciting PhD project on a unique ant species, at a supportive, world-class institution in a beautiful part of the world?

I am looking for a highly motivated PhD student to participate in our project “Ant-inspired rules for self-assembly in swarm robotics and complex systems” at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. This is a fixed term-position for three years (at standard PhD stipend rate – $27,000 per year), funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC). Highly competitive international students have the chance to apply for an additional tuition fee waiver from Macquarie University.

Project description: This Project aims to investigate self-assembly in weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) – where individual workers join their bodies together using simple rules at the individual-level to build complex structures at the group-level. Using a state-of-the-art computer-vision tracking system, you will uncover the rules used by individual ants that lead to a range of functional self-assembled structures, by inducing colonies to form bridges, hanging chains and pulling chains in the laboratory and performing detailed behavioural analyses on the individual workers. The candidate will work with an international network of collaborators, including world experts in computer science, who will assist in building a modelling framework of analytical and simulation-based computer models derived from the ant behavioural rules. The models will be directly translated into novel swarm robotics control algorithms, which will be used to achieve two outcomes: i) testing whether the derived behavioural rules lead to successful self-assembly of the desired structure in a physical robot swarm, and; ii) upgrading robot swarms with ant-like capabilities of self-assembling into a variety of functional structures as needed, using a minimum of local information and no prior planning. The candidate will have the opportunity to test their findings on a brand new robot swarm purchased under this grant, and collaborate with world leaders in robotics.

Requirements: Successful candidates will have a Masters degree or equivalent in biology or a related field (high-performing Honours graduates are also encouraged to apply), good knowledge/experience in invertebrate behaviour, and an interest in biological complex systems. Candidates with strong interest in robotics, agent-based modelling and/or programming are highly desirable, though this is not essential. The ideal candidate will have very good oral and written communication skills in English.

The position is currently open, so please contact Dr. Chris Reid as soon as possible, email: Applications should be a single PDF including a cover letter describing the motivation, previous research activities and current research interests, a CV with copies of BSc and MSc certificates, details of at least 2 referees and a list of publications if applicable.

Dr Chris R. Reid

ARC DECRA Research Fellow, Department of Biological Sciences

Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia

e-mail: or


phone: +61 2 9850 6270



Positions for research associates and PhD candidates are in an exciting project that studies collective behaviour in social insects.

You will work within a cutting-edge multidisciplinary collaboration of experimental biologists and mathematical computational modellers at Macquarie and Monash Universities, and international partners in a project funded by the Australian Research Council (see

We are seeking applications for:

Research Associate – this requires a highly motivated candidates with field or laboratory experience in animal behaviour, ideally but not necessarily dealing with ants or other social insects.

PhD Candidate – we are looking for a candidate with the same experience as above and broad conceptual interests in biology that will allow them to place their empirical work in a theoretical context. Students in this project will be able to profit from the modelling work being conducted by other specialised team members but will have the opportunity to learn cutting-edge computational modelling techniques, should they wish.

If you are interested in working at the intersection of ecology, behaviour, and complex systems science, in a project that meshes experimental biology and computation science we encourage you to contact us for further discussion.

Prof. Bernd Meyer:

Dr Chris Reid:



A research-based MSc studentship is available to work on: Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) as natural pest control in oil palm plantations

A highly motivated postgraduate student is sought to join a project exploring how arboreal weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina; Malaysian common name “Kerengga”) can be used to control insect herbivore pests in oil palm plantations. Previous surveys have demonstrated that palms inhabited by these ants have less herbivore damage (Pierre & Idris, 2013 Asian Myrmecology 5: 163-176). The student will conduct experiments to explore whether ants really do reduce numbers of herbivores. They will also conduct surveys to see which factors can increase abundance and persistence of weaver ants. This will also show how variation in weaver ant abundance affects abundance of herbivorous insects, herbivory rates, and consequently palm oil yields. They will then explore the feasibility and economic viability of strategies to introduce and maintain weaver ant colonies in oil palm plantations. Finally, they will explore methods for mitigating negative impacts of weaver ants in plantations, such as symbioses with sap sucking insects, and aggressiveness of colonies towards workers in plantations. We envisage that the results of our study will allow reduction is use of pesticides, improved yields for plantations, and conservation of biodiversity in oil palm landscapes. This work also has potential to inform Malaysian government policy through incorporation into guidelines for growth of sustainable palm oil (Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) standard), and also to inform the international palm oil sustainability guidelines, laid out by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The position will provide the opportunity to work in collaboration with the Sabah research and development unit of the oil palm company FGV Sdn Bhd.

The student will be registered at Universiti Malaysia Sabah and will be jointly supervised by Dr Kalsum Mohd Yusah ( at the Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ITBC), Universiti Malaysia Sabah, and Dr Hasber Salim (School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia). This research is jointly carried out by two other collaborators, Dr. Tom Fayle (; ITBC and Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre of Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic) and Assoc. Prof. Dr Homathevi Rahman (ITBC, UMS). A monthly stipend of RM 1300 will be provided for the full two-year period, which is sufficient for paying university fees (see and living costs. All field related expenses, including travel to field sites and accommodation in the field, will be provided. This position is open to both Malaysian and non-Malaysian applicants. The deadline for applications is 31 October 2019.


* An undergraduate degree in a related topic.

* Interest in the ecology of insects.

* An A- or above in Ecology or a related subject and an overall CGPA of 3.0 or above.

* Enthusiasm for working in the field for extended periods in oil palm plantations.

* Ability to work independently.

* Some experience in the use of ecological statistical analyses.


* Previous experience of field work.

* Research experience with insect ecology.

To apply please send a CV, contact details for two references (we will contact referees directly for shortlisted applicants), and a cover letter stating qualifications, previous work and motivation to Dr Kalsum Mohd Yusah (