Showing posts with label bees. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bees. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A U.S. Bee Species Has Been Placed On The Endangered Species List.



AFP: Bee placed on endangered list after US habitat loss

Miami (AFP) - US officials for the first time have placed a bee found in the continental United States on the endangered species list.

Authorities said Wednesday the move was taken after a precipitous decline in the rusty patched bumblebee population, due to pesticides, disease and climate change.

These once common bumblebees are now "balancing precariously on the brink of extinction," said a statement from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

"Abundance of the rusty patched bumble bee has plummeted by 87 percent, leaving small, scattered populations in 13 states and one province," down from 28 states in the 1990s.

The final rule listing the rusty patched bumble bee as endangered appeared in the January 11 edition of the Federal Register and takes effect on February 10.

Read more ....

CSN Editor: I expect other bee species to be placed on this list.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What Causes The Social Order In Bee Colonies To Collapse

A hive of Apis dorsata (giant honey bees) I photographed whilst in Mt Abu, India. Wikipedia

AFP: Sexual rebellion and murder among the bees

Scientists revealed Wednesday the trigger that can plunge a colony of obedient and sterile worker bees dutifully serving their queen into a chaotic swarm of sexual rebellion and regicide.

It's in the beeswax, according to a study published in the British journal Royal Society Open Science.

Biologists have long puzzled at what, exactly, tips the ordered world of many social insects -- rigidly divided by caste, function and hierarchy -- into murderous mayhem of sometimes Shakespearean dimensions.

In this case, the actor subject to observation and experimentation was Bombus terrestris, more commonly known as the bumblebee.

Read more ....

CSN Editor: I have been fascinated with bees since I was a kid. But this AFP report is an excellent post that summarizes how a bee colony functions.

Monday, December 28, 2015

US Wild Bee Numbers Continue To Decline

This map shows bee abundance in 2013

BBC: US wild bee numbers decline as land is converted for biofuel

Wild bees in the US have declined in many farming areas according to the first national effort to map their numbers.

The study suggests that between 2008 and 2013, the numbers of wild bees went down across almost a quarter of the US.

The researchers say that the conversion of land to grow corn for biofuels is a key element in the decline.

If the trend continues say the scientists, it could drive up costs and destabilise crop production.

Wild bees play an important role in pollinating many US crops and plants. It's estimated that they contribute around $3bn to the value of agriculture every year.

Read more ....

CSN Editor: This is not a positive trend.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How Bees Reverse Brain Aging

Old bees collect nectar and pollen. Most bees start doing this job when they are 3-4 weeks old, and after that they age very quickly. Their bodies and wings become worn and they loose the ability to learn new things. Most food collector bees die after about 10 days. (Credit: Christofer Bang)

Bees Can 'Turn Back Time,' Reverse Brain Aging -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (July 3, 2012) — Scientists at Arizona State University have discovered that older honey bees effectively reverse brain aging when they take on nest responsibilities typically handled by much younger bees. While current research on human age-related dementia focuses on potential new drug treatments, researchers say these findings suggest that social interventions may be used to slow or treat age-related dementia.

Read more ....

My Comment: I have to concur. Activities always keep the brain young.

Friday, June 8, 2012

'Prime Suspect' In Bee Colony Deaths Is Found

Photo: Bee populations have been falling rapidly in many countries, fuelled by a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder

'Prime Suspect' In Bee Colony Deaths Is Found - A Parasitic Mite That Spreads Viruses While Feeding On The Insects' 'Blood' -- Daily Mail

* Study into impact of mite on 'fresh' territory - Hawaii - has revealed devastation it can cause in bee colonies
* Mite carries deadly virus
* It is 'prime suspect' in worldwide colony deaths

Parasitic mites have 'turbo-charged' the spread of a deadly virus that is killing honey bee colonies around the world.

Bee populations have been falling rapidly in many countries, fuelled by a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder.

Many suspects have been named for bee colony collapse, including popular pesticides.

Read more ....

My Comment: A parasitic mite has always been the prime suspect. It's good to know that they are now isolating the specific cause.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How Bee Navigation May Assist Transportation And Travel

When landing, bees adjust their flight speed and altitude by measuring the optic flow generated by the ground. Credit: Xia Di

Bee Navigation Aids Robot Aircraft -- Cosmos

A scientist’s passion for bees and their remarkable flying skills is opening up undreamed-of possibilities in human transportation and travel.

Air travel is likely to become a great deal safer, more precise and efficient in future - thanks to the humble honeybee. From take-off to landing, both piloted and pilotless aircraft as well as ground vehicles are now starting to employ the vision and navigation strategies of these remarkable flying insects.

A wide range of aerial tasks that are repetitive or dangerous for humans, such as checking reservoirs, inspecting power transmission lines, bushfire and weather monitoring, mapping and exploring, and crop dusting as well as defence roles may soon be carried out based on what we have learned from bees. One day their abilities may even help us to explore Mars.

Read more ....

My Comment: A detailed look on how they fly.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Cost Of Britain's Bee Decline

Under threat: Numbers of honeybees in managed hives have fallen by half since the 1980s and wild honeybees are nearly extinct

The Honey Trap: How The Demise Of Britain's Bees Could Cost Us £1.8billion A Year -- Daily Mail

Losing bees would cost Britain £1.8bn to foot the costs of hand-pollinating plants, a study has found.

Researchers at the University of Reading say the decline in their numbers would be disastrous for crops and drive up food prices.

Simon Potts, professor of biodiversity, and his team tested teams hand-pollinating all Britain’s major crops.

Read more ....

My Comment: £1.8bn is a lot of money.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bee Collapse Linked To Controversial Pesticide

Image: Jack Wolf/Flickr

Controversial Pesticide Linked To Bee Collapse -- Wired Science

A controversial type of pesticide linked to declining global bee populations appears to scramble bees’ sense of direction, making it hard for them to find home. Starved of foragers and the pollen they carry, colonies produce fewer queens, and eventually collapse.

The phenomenon is described in two new studies published March 29 in Science. While they don’t conclusively explain global bee declines, which almost certainly involve a combination factors, they establish neonicotinoids as a prime suspect.

Read more ....

Monday, January 16, 2012

Massacre In The Hive



Massacre In The Hive: Amazing Footage Of 30 Giant Japanese Hornets Slaughtering 30,000 Tiny Honeybees To Eat Their Young -- Daily Mail

Tens of thousands are dead, hundreds more of the dying lie writhing on the battlefield, powerless to protect their children.

These horrifying and yet fascinating scenes are the highlights of a three-hour battle between just 30 giant Japanese hornets and 30,000 European honeybees.

The video, from a National Geographic documentary called Hornets From Hell, shows a full-scale attack on the honeybees' comb in order that the hornets can get at their larvae.

Read more ....

My Comment:
I got the chills from just watching the video.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Honeybee Losses Reported Over Winter

Honeybees are dying off and last winter U.S. populations dropped by 30 percent. NOAA

Heavy Honeybee Losses Reported Over Winter -- Discovery News

The 30 percent drop was significant, but was at least less steep than the previous winter.

* Honeybee colonies nationwide have reduced in number by 30 percent, based on a recent survey.
* The decline is higher than normal but is less than losses of 34 percent sustained for the previous winter.
* Experts encourage individuals to plant pollinator gardens and otherwise join in the fight to save honeybees.

Honeybee colonies in the United States reduced in number by 30 percent over the 2010-2011 winter, according to a recently released annual survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA).

Read more
....

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How One Man And Half A Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America

The Beekeeper’s Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America By Hannah Nordhaus HarperCollins 336 pp

The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man And Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America -- Christian Science Monitor

Our bees are dying in apocalyptic numbers. What does it mean to us?

Bees are amazing. That’s the first reason to read The Beekeeper’s Lament, journalist Hannah Nordhaus’s rewarding account of migratory beekeeping and the mysterious scourge stalking the domestic bee population.

For the past week I’ve been telling everyone I’ve met stories from the miraculous lives of bees, like this one about the queen bee: Dihttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifd you know that she makes only one flight her entire life, when she’s a few days old, and that it’s out among the swarms of male drones where she intertwines with as many as she can before returning to her colony carrying all the sperm she’ll ever need over the course of a reproductive lifetime in which she’ll lay hundreds of thousands of eggs?

Read more ....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Australia's Honeybees To Be Devastated By The Asian Bee

Asian honeybees (right) might be much smaller than European honeybees (left), but they are much quicker, and can often get past the European bees' guards to rob their hoards. Credit: Paul Zbrowski/Queensland Government

Asian Bee Will Devastate Australia's Honeybees -- Cosmos

SYDNEY: Scientists have predicted the spread of a wild and highly invasive species of bee across Australia, and being a natural carrier of the deadly varroa mite, will likely devastate current populations of farmed honeybees.

The Asian honeybee (Apis cerana) was first identified in the north-eastern city of Cairns in 2007, after having spread from Papua New Guinea to the Solomon Islands. According to experts at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), these bees are impossible to farm and are prone to robbing farmed honeybees of their hoards and building nests in houses and letterboxes.

Read more ....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Secret Life Of Bees

Many plants produce toxic chemicals to protect themselves against plant-eating animals, and many flowering plants have evolved flower structures that prevent pollinators such as bees from taking too much pollen. Now ecologists have produced experimental evidence that flowering plants might also use chemical defences to protect their pollen from some bees. (Credit: iStockphoto/James Knighten)

Secret Life Of Bees Now A Little Less Secret -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Feb. 6, 2011) — Many plants produce toxic chemicals to protect themselves against plant-eating animals, and many flowering plants have evolved flower structures that prevent pollinators such as bees from taking too much pollen. Now ecologists have produced experimental evidence that flowering plants might also use chemical defences to protect their pollen from some bees.

Read more ....

My Comment: Nothing can remain secret forever.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Reports From The Hive, Where The Swarm Concurs

The author, on Appledore Island, watching a swarm launch into flight from the vertical board that he uses as a swarm mount. The two feeder bottles on the mount provide sugar syrup to keep the swarm well fed. From the book “Honeybee Democracy” by Thomas D. Seeley

From The New York Times:

What can we learn from the bees? Honeybees practice a kind of consensus democracy similar to what happens at a New England town meeting, says Thomas D. Seeley, author of “Honeybee Democracy.” A group comes to a decision through a consideration of options and a process of elimination.

Read more ....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fears Of A Decline In Bee Pollination Confirmed

A recent study provides the first long-term evidence of a downward trend in pollination. (Credit: iStockphoto)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Sep. 7, 2010) — Widespread reports of a decline in the population of bees and other flower-visiting animals have aroused fear and speculation that pollination is also likely on the decline. A recent University of Toronto study provides the first long-term evidence of a downward trend in pollination, while also pointing to climate change as a possible contributor.

Read more ....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

On Its Way To Britain: The Killer Asian Hornet Which Threatens Our Native Honeybees

An Asian hornet is seen in a beehive in south western France. The pest has decimated hives in Europe and is on its way to Britain

From The Daily Mail:

Giant hornets with a searing sting and a hearty appetite for honeybees are making a beeline for Britain.

The Asian hornet is four times the size of our native honeybees and is armed with a sting that has been compared to a hot nail being hammered into the body.

Aggressive and belligerent, it preys on honeybees, 'picking them off' as they leave their hive, until the colony is so exhausted that the hornets can move in and ransack it.

Read more ....

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bees See Color 3 Times Faster Than Humans

Bees have surprisingly fast color vision, about 3 to 4 times faster than that of humans depending on how it's measured, a new study finds. Credit: dreamstime

From Live Science:

Bees see color at about triple the speed that humans do, a new study finds.

The findings are the first to measure bumblebee color vision speed and show how it compares with that of monochromatic vision, or the "black-and-white" vision used to track motion.

Read more ....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Honeybees Dying: Scientists Wonder Why, And Worry About Food Supply

From ABC News:

A Third of Our Food Depends on Plants Pollinated by Bees; 'We're Really Cutting It Close'.

No matter where you live -- in a brick Philadelphia row house, the sprawling suburbs of Dallas or an apartment in Seattle -- you depend, more than most of us know, on lowly honeybees raised in California or Florida.

The bees have been dying in extraordinary numbers, and scientists are trying to figure out why.

Read more ....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Found... The Honey Bees With Built-In Central Heating

Scientists have discovered 'heater' bees who keep the hive warm

From The Daily Mail:

Scientists have long attributed the success of the honey bee to the division of labour within the hive.

But thermal imaging research for a TV series has identified a previously unknown skill performed by a specialist bee that is vital for a colony's survival.

'Heater bees' use their bodies to provide a 'central heating' system, it has emerged.

Read more ....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mystery Of The Giant Honeycomb Built In A Wood By Thousands Of Bees In Freezing February

Sweet success: The incredible honeycomb built by bees despite the
freezing weather at Holly Hill, Fareham, Hampshire


From The Daily Mail:

If you go down to these woods today you are sure of a sweet surprise - bees swarming in sub-zero temperatures around a giant honeycomb.

Even Sir David Attenborough would be stumped by the discovery as thousands of bees have constructed the comb in an oak tree at Holly Hill Country Park, Fareham, Hants.

The hardy workers have created the giant two-foot long structure and have been spotted by walkers and winter wildlife spotters more used to seeing deer and badgers at this time of year.

Read more ....