(BBC) New labels from the National Botanic Garden of Wales will guarantee eligible plants have no synthetic insecticides and are grown in peat-free compost. “Lockdown has seen a massive growth in gardening with many more people spending extra time and money buying plants to make their gardens more wildlife-friendly, without realizing the plants could contain residues of synthetic insecticides that are extremely damaging to pollinators and to our environment.”
(CBC) Urban beekeeping has been touted as a way to boost pollination and improve sustainability, food security and biodiversity in cities. Many people and businesses who’ve added beehives to their backyards and rooftops (including CBC) say they’re doing it to help fight declines in bee populations. But researchers say urban beekeepers are likely doing just the opposite when it comes to wild bee species.
“This whole story began for me with an experience with one honeybee on the floor of my apartment in Manhattan, and there he was walking really slowly. I just had this opportunity to get out my magnifying glass and look really closely at a bee for the first time. And I just noticed how beautiful they were.”
(Xerces Society) A project to better understand the status of Missouri’s bumble bees is being launched this month thanks to a new conservation partnership. The Missouri Bumble Bee Atlas will combine the efforts of the Missouri Department of Conservation; the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; two nonprofit organizations, Quail and Pheasants Forever and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation; and volunteers spread throughout the state.
(Xerces Society) “This report discusses what’s known about the wider ecological impacts of dicamba and related herbicides to native plant communities and the wildlife they support, and provide a few short-term and long-term recommendations for reducing environmental harm from these volatile herbicides.”
(Center for Biological Diversity) The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice today of its intent to sue the city of Minnetonka, Minnesota, for failing to protect endangered rusty patched bumble bees from a planned mountain-bike course in Lone Lake Park, home to one of the largest populations of the bee in the state. “The Endangered Species Act is 99% effective at protecting our most imperiled wildlife, but it can only work when its mandates are followed.”
(National Geographic) While checking his hives this June, a master beekeeper discovered something highly unusual. Whereas all the other honeybees in the hive had normal black eyes, one insect sported a pair of creamy yellow peepers that were impossible to miss. And that wasn’t all. When the beekeeper looked closer, he realized that not only were the bee’s eyes off-color, but they were abnormally large. In fact, they looked like the radar-dish eyes typical of male honeybees, or drones, despite the fact that the rest of the bee—the abdomen, stinger, and wings—were clearly female.
(WSDA) The hornet was found in a WSDA trap set near Birch Bay in Whatcom County. This was the first hornet to be detected in a trap, rather than found in the environment as the state’s five previous confirmed sightings were. “This is encouraging because it means we know that the traps work.”