California Wildlife Conservation Board funds environmental improvement and acquisition projects, including pollinator habitat

Image of field with wildflowers.

(California Department of Fish and Wildlife) The California Wildlife Conservation Board approved approximately $10.7 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Included is a $750,000 grant to implement monarch butterfly and pollinator habitat improvements on privately owned land in various counties.

What a Virginia wildflower can tell us about climate change

Image of American bluebell flower.

(University of Virginia) “While migration is often viewed as a means for species to proliferate in new environments, in this research we find that there also are inherent perils of expansion, such as a shallow gene pool. While migration will lead to individuals that are better able to reproduce in the small populations expected in new habitats, it may also cause genetic change that limits their ability to survive in the long term.”

Researchers determine pollen abundance and diversity in five major pollinator-dependent crops

Image of researcher looking at container of honey bees in field.

(Oregon State University) The study found that almond, cherry and meadowfoam provide ample pollen to honey bees, but highbush blueberry and hybrid carrot seed crops may not. In addition, California almonds don’t provide as much pollen diversity as other crops. The findings are important because a diet low in pollen diversity hurts a colony’s defense system, which consequently increases disease susceptibility and pesticide sensitivity.

As Massachusetts sprays for EEE, beekeepers worry about fragile bees

Image of hand with honey bees on it.

(WBUR) This summer is turning out to be a particularly bad one for the mosquito-borne virus Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and Massachusetts has been conducting aerial spray operations in areas where mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus using a pesticide called Anvil 10+10. Officials don’t rule out the possibility that this pesticide could harm bees or other insects, but they say there’s no evidence that it has.

How solitary bees live with bacteria

Image of solitary bee emerging from nest in tube.

(Julius-Maximilians-Universität) Pesticides, habitat destruction, climate change all contribute to bee mortality. But there could be another important factor to consider as well: the bacteria that live in and with bees. Many of them are important for the health of bees, and if they suffer, so do the bees. Until now, research has been based on the assumption that the knowledge gained from honey bees can be transferred to solitary bees – which is true only to a limited extent. So researchers have started to investigate the landscape ecological factors that influence the microbial associations of solitary bees as well.