Natural history of an Australian bee community, studied for ten years

Image of blue vane trap.

(Austral Entomology) “We surveyed bees using a blue vane trap during spring, summer and autumn from 2008 to 2017 at one location in Canberra, Australia. To the best of our knowledge, this is the longest near‐continuous record of bee activity in the southern hemisphere… Our findings relate only to our study site but are similar to findings from other long‐term studies conducted in the northern hemisphere, which collectively present a picture of high natural variability in bee communities that must be considered when interpreting findings of bee responses to anthropogenic disturbances.”

Collectors find plenty of bees but far fewer species than in the 1950s

Image of Bombus dahlbomii bumblebee in Chile.

Declines in the number of species occurred on nearly every continent, starting at various points in the last four decades but largely in the 1990s on most continents. One exception was Australia and nearby islands, where the number of bee species estimated from observations spiked in the 2000s before dropping back down in the 2010s. Globally, thousands of bee species have become so rare that they are difficult to find or have gone extinct.

Return of long-lost bees creating a lot of Presidio buzz

Image of research in field with net.

(San Francisco Chronicle) Silver digger bees began to disappear as the vast coastal prairie on the western side of San Francisco was paved over for development and were all but gone by the mid-20th century. But their recent rediscovery is an example of how the removal of invasive plants and the restoration of dunes and grasses at a former military base have helped bring back this lost species that had thrived here for tens of thousands of years before the city was built.