Pollinators welcome at Pitt, a new Bee Campus USA member

Image of man in pollinator garden near street.

(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) The University of Pittsburgh recently became a member of the Bee Campus USA Network, an honor that recognizes its efforts to attract pollinators to campus as part of a larger commitment to sustainable practices. Pitt is the latest of 103 Bee Campus USA affiliates and one of five in Pennsylvania. The other four are Chatham, Penn State and Susquehanna universities and Dickinson College.

Who likes – and doesn’t like – bees?

Image of researchers conducting in-person survey.

(The Wildlife Society) A new study found that many people in Phoenix, Arizona, feel either neutral about bees or dislike them but overall don’t see bees as a problem in their yards. The researchers hope their findings can help inform education outreach to citizens in order to help conserve the pollinators. “We were trying to understand who likes bees and who doesn’t.”

Wild bees depend on the landscape structure

Image of researcher in field with net.

(EurekAlert/University of Göttingen) New research was out by agroecologists from the University of Göttingen indicate that sowing strips of wildflowers along conventional cereal fields and the increased density of flowers in organic farming encourage bumblebees as well as solitary wild bees and hoverflies. Bumblebee colonies benefit from flower strips along small fields, but in organic farming, they benefit from large fields.

Checklist of Pennsylvania bees documents 49 new species and some that may be endangered

Image of cuckoo bee on white flowers.

(Penn State) A study documenting bees that are reported to occur in Pennsylvania has found the presence of 437 species, including 49 never before recorded in the state. Researchers said the resulting checklist of bees in the commonwealth also identifies species not native to North America and several native species that may be of conservation concern.

Community scientists identify bumble bees correctly 50% of the time

Image of bumble bee on clover flower.

(York University) Think you can identify that bumble bee you just took a photo of in your backyard? York University researchers have found that a little more than 50% of community science participants, who submitted photos to the North American Bumble Bee Watch program, were able to properly identify the bee species. “Accurate species level identification is an important first step for effective conservation management decisions. Those community science programs that have experts review submitted photos to determine if the identification is correct have a higher scientific value.”

Horned-face bees sublet in a honey bee colony

Close-up image of horn-faced mason bee.

(Olney Daily Mail) A Maryland state apiary inspector was stumped by the identity of insect cocoons that she had found inside the hexagonal cells of a beekeeper’s honey bee colony. After studying the cocoons, researchers definitively identify the intruders as a type of solitary mason bee: the horned-face bee (Osmia cornifrons). Horned-face bees have never previously been reported cocooning in honey bee colonies.