(EurekAlert/CIAT) What the global climate emergency has in store may vary from one back yard to the next, particularly in the tropics where microclimates, geography and land-use practices shift dramatically over small areas. A data set created by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture is filling this niche. While it has primarily served agricultural research, the data has also been used to map the potential global spread of Zika (a mosquito-borne disease), to plan investment strategies for international development, and to predict the ongoing decline of outdoor skating days in Canada due to warmer winters.
(Gulf News) The United Arab Emirates is crossbreeding bees to develop a resilient Queen that can endure the harsh desert climate and sustain crucial pollination rates crucial for the country’s food security. And technology company Oracle is collaborating with the World Bee Project on a Global Hive Network using AI and cloud computing to track and retrieve data through sensors attached to hives.
(Boston University News Service) Researchers have begun working with local beekeepers nationwide to test Buzz, an app where beekeepers can see real-time information on how their hive is doing and be alerted to any potentially dangerous changes within the hive. “If there’s an infection, there’s medicine in a little component in the smarthive that can release. It will have an ion trap spectrometer that can detect pesticide levels and open a vent. It can communicate to the beekeeper by text, email or phone call when the temperature is dropping in winter so that the bees don’t freeze to death.”
(Verizon) Honey bee colonies are dying off in massive quantities. The troubling news has inspired a lot of people to help the insect population, including citizen scientists and amateur beekeepers. These new enthusiasts are bursting onto the scene without the experience and wisdom of professional beekeepers, many of whom come from families that have raised hives for generations. To make up for a lack of experience, the “newbees” are utilizing smartphone apps, Internet of Things connectivity, and data sharing to keep colonies as healthy as possible during a time when insects are battling pesticides, parasites and climate change.
(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.
(ABC 11) New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show hornets, wasps and bees have killed more people every year for the last five reported years. The new statistics show data on deaths attributed to the flying insects from 2000 to 2017. The fewest deaths, 43, occurred in 2001. The most deaths, 89, occurred in 2017. Men accounted for approximately 80 percent of all the recorded deaths. The actual CDC QuickStats on the number of deaths from hornet, wasp, and bee stings can be found here.
(Post-Star) “We need this data to keep New York an agricultural juggernaut,” Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York said in a release. “To enact a new policy that discounts bees and their impact on New York is bad environmental, economic and agricultural policy. We are here today to say: reverse the decision…”
(CNN) It is at least the third bee-related dataset to be suspended under the current administration. The Cost of Pollination survey and the Honey survey have also been suspended or scaled back in the last year. “Understanding what’s going on with honey bees is incredibly important to having a sense of what’s impacting pollinators in general.”