(The Intercept) Lobbying documents and emails obtained by The Intercept show a vast strategy by the pesticide industry to influence academics, beekeepers, and regulators, and to divert attention away from the potential harm caused by neonicotinoids. As a result, the global neonics industry generated $4.42 billion in 2018. In the meantime, the effects are being seen in massive insect die-offs. Certain insects are nearing extinction.
(PennState) During the past 20 years, insecticides applied to U.S. agricultural landscapes have become significantly more toxic — over 120-fold in some midwestern states — to honey bees when ingested, according to a team of researchers, who identified rising neonicotinoid seed treatments in corn and soy as the primary driver of this change.
(EurekAlert/CIAT) What the global climate emergency has in store may vary from one back yard to the next, particularly in the tropics where microclimates, geography and land-use practices shift dramatically over small areas. A data set created by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture is filling this niche. While it has primarily served agricultural research, the data has also been used to map the potential global spread of Zika (a mosquito-borne disease), to plan investment strategies for international development, and to predict the ongoing decline of outdoor skating days in Canada due to warmer winters.
(Michigan Technological University) Three-quarters of those surveyed said a species deserves special protections if it had been driven to extinction from any more than 30 percent of its historic range. Not everyone was in perfect agreement. Some were more accepting of losses.
(CBS4) Colorado state legislators, environmental advocates and beekeepers announced the introduction of a bill to protect bees. The “Protect Pollinators Regulate Neonicotinoids” bill is designed to reduce the use of neonics. Environment Colorado said it would present thousands of petitions gathered across Colorado in support of this initiative.
(WEAU 12 News) The Chippewa Valley Beekeepers Association teamed up with Xcel Energy to provide a community apiary. The beekeeping space will be set up on 32 acres that is being developing into wildflower habitat next to an Xcel Energy substation. Members of the club say this new land will provide people access to the proper resources needed to run a bee hive.
(Columbia Basin Herald) Bees were one of the topics discussed at by the Washington State Tree Fruit Association during the 115th annual meeting and Northwest Horticultural Expo. Dr. Natalie Boyle, of Penn State University, shared the research she recently completed on blue orchard bees.
(North Country Public Radio) The field of electric ecology: The surface of the earth, and the flowers growing from it, tend to have a more negative charge. Bees are moving and flying around, and tend to be more positive. So just like your hair with a balloon, the hairs on a bumble bee or honey bee tend to bend towards a flower in the presence of its static field. This helps guide the bee into the flower. Honey bees even seem to carry an indication of the flower’s charge back to their hive, helping to communicate the location of target flowers to hive mates.