(Florida Blueberry Growers Association) Blueberry growers know that to get good yields, you need bees. So researchers looked at the three main pollinators of blueberries in Florida: honey bees, managed bumble bees and southeastern blueberry bees (Habropoda laboriosa). They found that the southeastern blueberry bee had the greatest effect on both percent fruit set and yield.
(Twitter, Jay Evans @JayDEvans88) “Nice work from the UK on when bees do and do not share viruses.” Here’s the original paper.
(IamExpat) The start-up introduced a new service last year for farmers and their advisors. The platform allows them to indicate how large of an area they need pollinating, what crops are being grown and whether there are other agricultural fields in the immediate vicinity. This allows them to calculate how many bees are needed for their fields, as well as what kind of bees they need: mason bees, bumble bees or honey bees.
(East Oregonian) While a lack of regional data doesn’t allow for definitive conclusions on how increased temperatures will impact regional bee populations, preliminary data alludes to the dangers they face. They suggest that as temperatures rise in the region, the variance and quantity of bumble bee species may decline.
(Georg-August-Universität Göttingen) About one third of the payments received by German farmers are linked to specific “greening measures” to promote biodiversity. The cultivation of nitrogen-fixing legumes is very popular. However, these measures have been criticized because the benefits for biodiversity are unclear. It turns out that bumble bees benefit from the cultivation of faba beans, while all other wild bees depend on the presence of semi-natural habitats.
(ScienceDaily, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg) Does urbanization drive bumble bee evolution? According to a new study, bumble bees are larger in cities and, therefore, more productive than their rural counterparts. The research team reports that differences in body size may be caused by the increasingly fragmented habitats in cities.
(Twitter, Brian Spiesman @BrianSpiesman) “I invite you to check out BeeMachine.org, a deep learning web app for identifying bumble bee species from images. BeeMachine v1.0 IDs 36 species of N. American bumble bees.”
(Xerces Society) A project to better understand the status of Missouri’s bumble bees is being launched this month thanks to a new conservation partnership. The Missouri Bumble Bee Atlas will combine the efforts of the Missouri Department of Conservation; the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; two nonprofit organizations, Quail and Pheasants Forever and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation; and volunteers spread throughout the state.