(KREM) Bee investigators from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture arrived this week to begin looking into what caused the rapid die off. Investigators are asking questions to people who live in Corbin Park about what they’ve noticed to try and pinpoint a cause. They suited up, took pictures of the neighborhood, collected some of the dead bees and took samples of hives.
(Press-Republican) At a northern New York bee farm this week, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer once again criticized the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to suspend data collection on U.S. honey bee colonies for its annual survey.
(California Department of Fish and Wildlife) The California Wildlife Conservation Board approved approximately $10.7 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Included is a $750,000 grant to implement monarch butterfly and pollinator habitat improvements on privately owned land in various counties.
(University of Virginia) “While migration is often viewed as a means for species to proliferate in new environments, in this research we find that there also are inherent perils of expansion, such as a shallow gene pool. While migration will lead to individuals that are better able to reproduce in the small populations expected in new habitats, it may also cause genetic change that limits their ability to survive in the long term.”
(KREM) Thousands of bees are dying around Spokane. People who live in Corbin Park believe pesticides are to blame. A closer look at the bees shows that their tongues are sticking out, which is a common indicator they’ve been poisoned.
(Oregon State University) The study found that almond, cherry and meadowfoam provide ample pollen to honey bees, but highbush blueberry and hybrid carrot seed crops may not. In addition, California almonds don’t provide as much pollen diversity as other crops. The findings are important because a diet low in pollen diversity hurts a colony’s defense system, which consequently increases disease susceptibility and pesticide sensitivity.
(WBUR) This summer is turning out to be a particularly bad one for the mosquito-borne virus Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and Massachusetts has been conducting aerial spray operations in areas where mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus using a pesticide called Anvil 10+10. Officials don’t rule out the possibility that this pesticide could harm bees or other insects, but they say there’s no evidence that it has.
(Julius-Maximilians-Universität) Pesticides, habitat destruction, climate change all contribute to bee mortality. But there could be another important factor to consider as well: the bacteria that live in and with bees. Many of them are important for the health of bees, and if they suffer, so do the bees. Until now, research has been based on the assumption that the knowledge gained from honey bees can be transferred to solitary bees – which is true only to a limited extent. So researchers have started to investigate the landscape ecological factors that influence the microbial associations of solitary bees as well.