(Twitter, Kelsey K. Graham, PhD @kelsey_k_graham) “New paper out showing benefits of wildflower plantings on fruit farms for stem-nesting #bees. Nesting almost exclusively at farms with plantings, though bees often used ‘volunteer’ species for pollen collection (not seeded species!).” The original paper.
(EurekAlert, University of Cambridge) Mammals, birds and amphibians worldwide have lost on average 18% of their natural habitat range as a result of changes in land use and climate change, a new study has found. In a worst-case scenario this loss could increase to 23% over the next 80 years.
(Twitter, Lynn Dicks @LynnDicks) “One way to ensure that nature thrives in farmland and planted forests is to protect patches of natural habitat throughout. We argue that working landscapes need at least 20% native habitat to preserve” The original paper.
(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.
(PerishableNews.com) Major U.S. food retailer, Giant Eagle, released a new policy making the company the only top retailer to make a clear commitment to reduce toxic pesticide use, according to a new Bee-Friendly Retailer Scorecard released today by Friends of the Earth. The scorecard ranks 25 of the top food retailers in the United States on policies and practices related to pesticide use in their food and beverage supply chains.
(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.
(Mongabay) Tetragonula biroi, a stingless bee native to the Philippines, is being cultivated on a farm to both produce honey and pollinate coconut trees. The farm has seen an increase of up to 50% in its coconut yields. Researchers say the presence of these pollinators, known as kiwot bees, can boost yields by up to 80%.
(ABC News) How do you keep bees in your orchard when there are more attractive flowering plants in the vicinity? The answer may lie in pheromones. Dollops of pheromones have been sprayed into flowering almond orchards in Australia, with the aim of creating excitement among bees, thus creating more nuts.