(Center for Biological Diversity) The Center for Biological Diversity and the city of Minnetonka have reached an agreement to protect the endangered rusty patched bumble bee at Lone Lake Park, the site of a planned multi-use mountain-bike trail. Under the agreement, the city will implement numerous conservation measures, including creation of habitat for the bees and other pollinators.
(UConn) Why would a psychologist study honey bees? “My research focuses on collective intelligence – how a group can work together successfully without guidance from a leader. Honeybees are a group that work together, they communicate. But the difference is that honeybees do it very well, and humans are not always as successful while working together in groups.”
(ABC News) How do you keep bees in your orchard when there are more attractive flowering plants in the vicinity? The answer may lie in pheromones. Dollops of pheromones have been sprayed into flowering almond orchards in Australia, with the aim of creating excitement among bees, thus creating more nuts.
(KCBS) “We know that smoke interacts with the type of smells used to find food, and basically either hides them or destroys them. So, it could well be that if you have these effects over such prolonged periods of time that bees start to get real trouble to find food.”
(Colossal) When Ava Roth adds the last stitch grasping horsehair or porcupine quills to her embroidered artworks, she passes the fibrous material on to her black-and-yellow counterparts. The Toronto-based artist collaborates with bees to encase her mixed-media pieces in waxy honeycomb. What emerges are organic artworks that consider interspecies interactions and the beauty that such meetings can garner.
(Daily Mail) Researchers in Argentina found that exposing bees to foods scented with synthetic sunflower odor altered their choices about which plants to visit later. Exposure to the scent of sunflowers created ‘bee memories’ that influenced the insects to seek out sunflowers and bring back more sunflower pollen to their hives. This increased visitation also boosted flower production by somewhere between 29 to 57 percent, depending on the sunflower hybrid grown.
(CNN) With bees in demand for a booming pollination industry, there are a number of other startups promoting new technologies, including ApisProtect in Ireland, Pollenity in Bulgaria, Arnia in the United Kingdom and BeeHero in Israel.
(New York Times) Just like mammals or birds, insect species of the same size may have different endowments inside their heads. Researchers have discovered some factors linked to brain size in back-boned animals. But in insects, the drivers of brain size have been more of a mystery. A new study has scrutinized hundreds of bee brains for patterns. Bees with specialized diets seem to have larger brains, while social behavior appears unrelated to brain size. This means when it comes to insects, the rules that have guided brain evolution in other animals may not apply.