(Science) They’re the undertakers of the honey bee world: a class of workers that scours the hive for dead comrades, finding them in the dark in as little as 30 minutes, despite the fact that the deceased haven’t begun to give off the typical odors of decay. A new study may reveal how they do it.
(Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute) In a neotropical forest in Panama, an unusual bee was born. Its form was that of a male on one half and a female on the other half. Given the singularity of the occurrence, the group decided to describe an aspect of its behavior that hadn’t been previously studied in gynandromorphs: the circadian activity – the internal clock that drives an organism’s daily activities.
(Penn State) Pesticide-coated seeds – including neonicotinoids – are increasingly used in the major field crops but are underreported, in part, because farmers often do not know what pesticides are on their seeds, according to an international team of researchers. “One of the most important findings of this study is that farmers know less about pesticides applied to their seeds than pesticides applied in other ways.”
(Utah State University) A new paper provides a framework for understanding how light and noise pollution affects wildlife. The framework is the product of an effort among worldwide experts in ecology and physiology and reveals the presence of “sensory danger zones,” or areas where sensory pollutants influences animal activity. For example, artificial lights cover the glow of the moon, preventing birds or insects from detecting it. “From a conservation biology point of view, we don’t know how to mitigate the effects of sensory pollution if we don’t know what the pathway of harm is.”
(Cornell University) A new study found that squash and pumpkin pollen have physical, nutritional and chemical defense qualities that are harmful to bumble bees. But the results also suggest that deterring bumble bees from collecting and eating pollen may provide an evolutionary benefit to cucurbit plants.
(Washington State University) Washington State University is celebrating the opening of its new Honey Bee & Pollinator Research, Extension and Education Facility. The nearly 50-acre property will house most of WSU’s Honey Bee and Pollinator program.
(ScienceDaily/University of Würzburg) After more than 70 years, a great mystery of zoology has been solved: Honey bees actually use different dance dialects in their waggle dance. Which dialect has developed during evolution is related to the radius of action in which they collect food around the hive.
(videtteonline) The Three Minute Thesis is a research communication competition that challenges master’s and Ph.D. students to describe their research topic and its significance in just three minutes to a general audience. This year’s first-place winner is Austin C. Calhoun, whose thesis is focused on the interactive impact of a fungicide and parasite on bumble bee health.