Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2009

Researchers have identified which types of farmland are most attractive to queen bumblebees looking for both nesting sites and wildflowers from which to gather nectar. [Read full article]

Planet Earth Online

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

BWARS in association with BBCT are again mapping the distribution of this relatively new bumblebee species to the UK. Although widespread in Europe, Bombus hypnorum, which has coined the name ‘tree bumblebee’ because of its habit of nesting in tree cavities or bird nestboxes, was first found on the south coast of England in 2001. Since then it has gradually spread north as far as Northumberland (see map below).

Have you seen one? Or possibly have a photo? If so, click HERE for further info on this bumblebee, how to recognise it, and details on how to report your sightings.

Current distribution of Bombus hypnorum (10 Aug 09). Courtesy of BWARS

Current distribution of Bombus hypnorum (10 Aug 09). Courtesy of BWARS

Read Full Post »

For decades, Britain’s native black bee has been an outcast. The Victorians threw Apis mellifera mellifera out of hives in favour of more industrious foreign species. Modern beekeepers brand it lazy and aggressive.

Now, the nation’s original honeybee is coming in from the cold. Scientists believe the insect that made honey for the tables of medieval kings could reverse the collapse of bee numbers that has imperilled the annual pollination of crops worth £165m. [Read full article]

Independent

Read Full Post »

Chemical weapons against uninvited dinner guests: ETH Zurich scientists test whether the pollen of certain flowers contains toxins that give bees an upset stomach and protects the plant from the diligent pollen gatherers. [Read full article]

Science Daily

Read Full Post »

The notion that a decline in pollinators may threaten the human food supply – producing a situation that has been referred to as a “pollination crisis” – can be considered a myth, at least where honey bees are concerned, say researchers reporting online on May 7th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication. First of all, most agricultural crop production does not depend on pollinators. On top of that, while honey bees may be dwindling in some parts of the world, the number of domesticated bees world-wide is actually on the rise, their new report shows. [Read full article]

EurekaAlert

Read Full Post »

Life really stinks for Argentine ants. New research shows that while alive, the ants produce two odoriferous chemicals that prevent their compatriots from immediately carting their bodies away to the ‘morgue’.

Within minutes of their death, however, the conspicuous absence of these chemicals prompts workers to remove the carcasses, explaining how the foraging ants are able to detect and dispose of their dead before infectious pathogens and pungent chemicals fill the corpse. [Read full article]

New Scientist

Read Full Post »

A couple of interesting video talks from TED. Credit to Bug Girl for links to these.

Dennis vanEngelsdorp: a plea for bees.

Deborah Gordon: How do ants know what to do?

Read Full Post »