(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.
(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.
(CBC) Torontonians with more time on their hands might be itching to do some yard work as the weather improves, but local conservationists say wildlife would indeed benefit from people letting their lawns grow a little wilder than usual. Plantlife, which is spearheading the initiative, says mowing your lawn just once a month can lead to a 10-fold increase in the number of bees pollinating the area.
(UPI) The Iowa Soybean Association is leading a project to convert several acres of unused agricultural land to habitat for endangered native bees and fish in coming years. The project is targeting habitat for the rusty patched bumble bee. Syngenta, a global seed and pesticide company, has agreed to provide tens of thousands of dollars of upcoming work.
(Phys.org) Even as Rome endured a recently ended two-month lockdown, some lucky honey bees residing in hives atop the special forestry unit of Italy’s carabinieri – the military police which has a special force charged with protecting forests and the environment – were thriving. The coronavirus epidemic offered a unique opportunity for research, as traffic, pollution and noise in the sprawling city virtually stopped overnight in early March after a nationwide quarantine was ordered.
(The Conversation) The HMS Endeavour’s week-long stay on the shores of Kamay in 1770 yielded so many botanical specimens unknown to western science, Captain James Cook called the area Botany Bay. Today, however, the site better reflects 20th-century European exploitation of the Australian landscape than it does early or pre-British Botany Bay. Yet not all is lost. “We studied pollen released from flowering plants and conifers, which can accumulate and preserve in sediment layers through time. Looking at this preserved pollen lets us develop a timeline of vegetation change over hundreds to thousands of years.”
(Florida Museum of Natural History) Florida’s iconic wildlife includes the American alligator, the Florida panther, the scrub jay and the manatee. But some species unique to the state are less familiar, like the ultra-rare blue calamintha bee. First described in 2011, scientists weren’t sure the bee still existed. But that changed this spring when a Florida Museum of Natural History researcher rediscovered the metallic navy insects.
(University of California, Riverside) Though “murder hornets” are dominating recent headlines, there are no Asian giant hornets currently known to be living in the U.S. or Canada, according to UC Riverside Entomology Research Museum Senior Scientist Doug Yanega. “There have not been any sightings in 2020 that would suggest the eradication attempt was unsuccessful.”