Studying interactions between ground-nesting bees and soils

Image of tiny nest holes in soil.

(Phys.org) Researchers at Oregon State University are studying the interaction between the bees and soil in agricultural settings. The team looked at physical and chemical properties of soils collected from active bee and sand nest wasp sites in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon. They compared soil properties among seven farm sites to identify similarities and differences. An interesting finding from the research is that the team found lipids in the soil nest linings. The lipids may provide a type of waterproofing for the nests and their inhabitants.

Launching Bee Better Certified in California vineyards

Image of two people examining flowers by a road.

(Xerces Society) In the fall of 2019, Xerces received a Conservation Innovation Grant from the Natural Resource Conservation Service to demonstrate the benefits of Bee Better Certification within the wine industry. To kick off the implementation stage of the project, Xerces conducted site visits at the five participating California vineyards to assess the potential for habitat and to discuss the pesticide practices outlined under Bee Better Certified.

Study traces how farmlands affect bee disease spread

Image of solitary bee on yellow flowers.

(Cornell University) A new study on bees, plants and landscapes in upstate New York sheds light on how bee pathogens spread, offering possible clues for what farmers could do to improve bee health. The study found that 65 percent of bee species and 75 percent of flower species carried pathogens, and that pathogens are transmitted between bees and flowers.