Event to address possible impacts of commercial bees on Utah’s forests

Image of lake in front of forest in front of mountain.

(The Times-Independent) Grand County bee inspectors Aug. 22 will give a presentation at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center regarding a plan to temporarily house over 8,000 commercial bee colonies used to pollinate crops in the West on Utah’s national forests, including the Manti-La Sal. Inspectors fear the commercial bee colonies would threaten native bees by competing for food and spreading disease.

Planting trees is important for urban pollinator conservation

Image of big tree with roots spreading out.

(Xerces Society) Planting trees is an important action many of us can take to help fight the climate crisis. It’s also an action that will have a significant impact on pollinator conservation. The urban heat island effect, which is caused by large amounts of impervious surfaces, poses serious problems not only for the humans living in urban areas, but for the bee populations living there too. However, trees can provide a signifiant cooling effect in these urban areas that benefit both people and pollinators.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes Endangered Species Act protection for Franklin’s bumble bee

Image of Franklin's bumble bee on yellow flower.

(Xerces Society) Responding to a petition from the Xerces Society and the late Dr. Robbin Thorp, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service will propose to list Franklin’s bumble bee as an endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, making it the first bee in the western U.S. to be officially recognized under the ESA. The proposed rule by FWS can be found in the Federal Register.

Trump administration weakens protections for endangered species

Image of bald eagle perched on tree.

(New York Times) The Endangered Species Act has been the most essential piece of United States legislation for protecting fish, plants and wildlife, and has acted as a safety net for species on the brink of extinction – including the rusty patched bumble bee. The changes could clear the way for new mining, oil and gas drilling, and development in areas where protected species live. The new rules will make it harder to consider the effects of climate change on wildlife when deciding whether a given species warrants protection. The new rules would also, for the first time, allow economic factors to be taken into account when making determinations.

Bees swarm Berlin, where beekeeping is booming

Image of honey bees on comb.

(New York Times) Many newcomers to beekeeping mistakenly see it as a fairly easy hobby, when in reality they have neither the knowledge nor the time for it. Like anyone who gets fed up with a lousy landlord, the bees leave, turning up in seething clumps under eaves, on lampposts or in backyards. “We have too many people who keep bees who don’t do enough for their bees.”

Road verges provide refuge for pollinators – if managed appropriately

Image of flowers along a roadside.

(University of Exeter) A study from the University of Exeter shows that roadside verges provide a vital refuge for pollinators. But the study emphasizes that not all verges are equal. It found pollinators prefer less busy roads and areas deeper into verges. It also found that cutting verges in summer, which removes wildflowers, makes them useless for pollinators for weeks or even months.

Rusty patched bumble bee spottings on the rise at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

Image of bee researcher in prairie.

(The Herald-News) Olivet Nazarene University monitors have been active for three seasons. They spotted two rusty patched bumble bees last year, and their studies year-over-year have provided information about a variety of other species of bumble bees and their life habits. Their data helps measure how the restoration work of Midewin volunteers, partners and staff is helping to bring back habitat for native Illinois prairie species. The ONU report that specifically focuses on the rusty patched bumble bee can be found here.