75% of staff impacted as California Academy of Sciences projects $12 million in lost revenue

Image of California Academy of Sciences building and grounds.

(California Academy of Sciences) Since March 12, the California Academy of Sciences has been temporarily closed in response to COVID-19. As a result, the Academy is projecting a 36 percent decrease in revenue due to what will likely be a gradual return of visitors. Beginning June 13, the Academy will implement layoffs, furloughs, and reductions to salary and hours impacting 75 percent of the institution’s 504 employees.

Bees, birds and butter: New study shows biodiversity critical for shea crop in Africa

Image of woman processing shea nuts.

(EurekAlert/Trinity College Dublin) Shea trees, an important agroforestry crop in West Africa, benefit from bees moving pollen between their flowers to produce fruit. A new study found that in sites with low tree and shrub diversity, fruit production was severely limited by a lack of pollination. In higher-diversity sites, more honey bees were observed, and other bees visited flowers in greater numbers, boosting pollination services.

Why are bees important in the vineyard?

Image of vineyards and estate house.

(Decanter) The correlation between bees and fine wine quality may not be an obvious one, but Nicole and Xavier Rolet of Ventoux’s Chêne Bleu wine estate feel so passionately about the subject that they are funding research into the role of bees in sustainable viticulture, focusing on beehives as a catalyst for fine wine.

Indiana company bringing bees to former mine properties

Image of honey bees on comb.

(WISHTV) An Indiana-based company that specializes in the redevelopment of former mining properties is adding another focus to its efforts. Land Betterment Corp. has formed a new subsidiary, Pollinate, which aims to cultivate bee colonies at the mines. Land Betterment says the goal of the subsidiary is to further the company’s overall mission of enhancing the ecosystem of the mining sites and creating sustainable community development and jobs.

Launching Bee Better Certified in California vineyards

Image of two people examining flowers by a road.

(Xerces Society) In the fall of 2019, Xerces received a Conservation Innovation Grant from the Natural Resource Conservation Service to demonstrate the benefits of Bee Better Certification within the wine industry. To kick off the implementation stage of the project, Xerces conducted site visits at the five participating California vineyards to assess the potential for habitat and to discuss the pesticide practices outlined under Bee Better Certified.

Emergence of deadly honey bee disease revealed

Image of honey bees at hive.

(EurekAlert/Newcastle University) A new study shows that honey bee colonies from across the U.K. are increasingly suffering from chronic bee paralysis. The scientists also found that clusters of chronic bee paralysis, where disease cases are found close together, were becoming more frequent. Symptoms include abnormal trembling, an inability to fly, and the development of shiny, hairless abdomens. Infected bees die within a week.