(University of Hawai’i) Researchers examined the true “independence” of a new self-fertilizing almond variety called ‘Independence’. They found that this variety still performed better when bees were assisting in pollination. “This article highlights the danger of misinformation – the variety is marketed as ‘self-fertilizing’, but growers don’t know they will get less yield without bees.”
(Reuters) Beekeepers in China, the world’s top honey producer, are bracing for a bleak start to the key spring pollinating season as travel curbs aimed at containing a coronavirus outbreak keep them at home while their bees go without food for weeks.
(The Conversation) As awareness increases about native bee death, some companies are taking advantage of public concern by touting their products as bee-friendly or making other claims. This marketing strategy, called bee-washing by critics, uses the plight of bees to mislead consumers.
(The Sealy News) Texas law allows bees and beehives to qualify for reducing property taxes on plots ranging from five to 20 acres similar to livestock or raising hay.
(The Guardian) Pollination has become big business, and thieves are now targeting hives with growing sophistication in the U.S. The heists are often undertaken in the dead of night using forklifts and trucks. Hives are regularly split open or dismantled, interventions that can kill tens of thousands of the kidnapped bees. The problem has become severe enough in California that certain police officers now specialize in hive crime.
(NPR) Winter is downtime for honey bees. They settle in their hives and rest. But this winter has been unusually warm in some places, and that’s causing some major headaches for beekeepers.
(Capital Press) A new agreement between the California Almond Board and the Pollinator Partnership aims to improve habitat for bees by increasing the number of farmers taking steps to protect pollinators, and to recognize producers for best practices.
(Bloomberg) The fires destroyed about 6,000 hives in New South Wales state alone. More than 2,000 hives were reported destroyed in fires on Kangaroo Island, in the Adelaide Hills and in the state’s southeast. Five million hectares of eucalyptus forest where bees feed have also been razed.