A call to refocus away from bowl traps and towards more effective methods of bee monitoring

Image of pan trap.

(Annals of the Entomological Society of America) “Effective monitoring is necessary to provide robust detection of bee declines. In the United States and worldwide, bowl traps have been increasingly used to monitor native bees and purportedly detect declines. However, bowl traps have a suite of flaws that make them poorly equipped to monitor bees.”

The Asian giant hornet resurfaces in the Pacific Northwest

Image of Asian giant hornet on man's jacket.

(New York Times) The Asian giant hornet has resurfaced in the Pacific Northwest, with two reported discoveries that indicate the invasive insect has already been circulating in a broader territory than previously known. On the U.S. side of the border, state entomologists received a report this week of a dead hornet on a roadway near Custer, Wash. Several miles north in Canada, a provincial apiculturist for British Columbia confirmed that one of the large hornets had been discovered in the city of Langley this month.

Honey bee venom vs. COVID-19?

Image of honey bees.

(National Center for Biotechnology Information/Toxicon) “There is one discovery we would like to report here… A total of 5115 beekeepers were surveyed from February 23 to March 8, including 723 in Wuhan, the outbreak epicentre of Hubei. None of these beekeepers developed symptoms associated with COVID-19… After that, we interviewed five apitherapists in Wuhan and followed 121 patients of their apitherapy clinic… none of them were infected eventually… Our purpose in writing this letter is to ask scholars with appropriate research conditions to test this assumption.”

EPA asked to approve dinotefuran on apples, peaches, nectarines

Image of apple trees.

(Center for Biological Diversity) The Environmental Protection Agency is considering granting “emergency” approval of a neonicotinoid pesticide for use on more than 57,000 acres of fruit trees, including apples, peaches and nectarines, in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. If granted, this would mark the tenth straight year that emergency exemptions of dinotefuran have been granted in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania to target the brown marmorated stink bug on pome and stone fruit trees, which are highly attractive to bees.

‘Murder hornet’ panic driving a surge in insecticide interest

Image of bumble bee with red flower.

(Washington Post $) Google searches for “hornet spray,” “hornet traps” and “insecticide” have surged. Searches for “how to kill hornets,” for instance, are currently running 20 to 30 times their usual levels for this time of year. Similarly, searches for hornet spray and hornet traps are up three to tenfold. It’s not clear how much increased online interest translates into real-world behavior.

Pesticides disrupt honey bee nursing behavior and larval development

Image of honey bee cells with larvae.

(ScienceDaily/Goethe University Frankfurt) A newly developed video technique has allowed scientists to record the complete development of a honey bee in its hive. Researchers discovered that neonicotinoids caused nurse bees to feed the larvae less often. Larval development also took up to 10 hours longer; a longer development period in the hive can foster infestation by parasites.

75% of staff impacted as California Academy of Sciences projects $12 million in lost revenue

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(California Academy of Sciences) Since March 12, the California Academy of Sciences has been temporarily closed in response to COVID-19. As a result, the Academy is projecting a 36 percent decrease in revenue due to what will likely be a gradual return of visitors. Beginning June 13, the Academy will implement layoffs, furloughs, and reductions to salary and hours impacting 75 percent of the institution’s 504 employees.

New app helps Wisconsin farmers, researchers track wild bee populations

Image of app interface.

(University of Missouri) Researchers at the University of Missouri discovered that the spiny pollen from a native wild dandelion species in the southern Rocky Mountains has evolved to attach to traveling bumblebees. When compared with the average lawn dandelion, which does not need pollen to reproduce, the researchers saw that the pollen on the lawn dandelion has a shorter distance between these spines, making it harder to attach to traveling pollinators.