(EurekAlert/Flinders University) The adaptation to new habitats and niches is often assumed to drive the diversification of species. But rare bees found in high mountain areas of Fiji provide evidence that they have evolved into many species, despite the fact they can’t readily adapt to different habitats. “Perhaps, if Darwin had studied Fijian bees instead of Galapagos finches, he might have come to rather different conclusions about the origin of species.”
(EurekAlert/University of Portsmouth) Mechanical accidents happen to plants fairly often and can, in some cases, stop the plant from being able to attract pollinating insects and so, make seeds. But according to a new study some flowers have a remarkable and previously unknown ability to bounce back after injury, bending and twisting themselves back into the best possible position to ensure successful reproduction within 10 to 48 hours of being knocked over.
(Jeremy Hemberger) The chaos brought about by the global coronavirus pandemic has not only claimed lives, it has disrupted experiments in labs across the world. Some scientists can thankfully carry on their pieces of work at home or in back yards, including those of us who study bumble bees. This post lays out the supplies needed to rear bumble bees on a budget at home, how to capture and install queens, providing colonies optimal conditions, and some hints that might make troubleshooting issues easier.
(Museum für Naturkunde) Help the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin make its Hymenoptera collection digitally accessible by transcribing labels for bees and other species in the collection. All you need is some time and a computer. Here’s how you can help.
(The Bee Report) The novel coronavirus is affecting every aspect of our lives in ways big and small, obvious and unpredictable. How will it affect plans for bee research this year? Based on the response to this survey, here is how things are looking in the U.S. and Canada.
(Washington State University) In the first-ever sightings in the U.S., the Washington State Department of Agriculture verified two reports and received two unconfirmed reports of the Asian giant hornet late last year. WSDA scientists are now working with WSU researchers, beekeepers and citizens to find, trap and eradicate the pest. At home in the forests and low mountains of eastern and southeast Asia, the hornet feeds on large insects, including native wasps and bees. In Japan, it devastates the European honey bee, which has no effective defense.
(Museum of the Earth) The current special exhibit at the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, New York, is “Bees! Diversity, Evolution, Conservation”. While the museum has made the decision to keep the physical building closed until further notice, they are pleased to announce that an online version of the exhibit is now available. The physical exhibit was developed in conjunction with Bryan Danforth, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology at Cornell University.
(Entomology Today) Collecting information on insects and other small arthropods is time-consuming and expensive. The methods used to collect arthropods living in the microhabitats of trees can be especially challenging – and destructive. But a group of Israeli researchers have developed a simple and seemingly effective arthropod trap: rolled-up tubes of corrugated cardboard tied to trees with string. They captured numerous types of insects including cockroaches, spiders, wasps and bees.