(Twitter, Laura Russo @lrusso08) “Senna marilandica is a great example of a buzz-pollinated flower with extra-floral nectaries. The green Augochlorini here are buzzing the flowers, while a diversity of bees, flies, and moths visit the nectaries above #FeedABee”
(Twitter, Laura Russo @lrusso08) Our paper on pollen nutrition and invasive thistles is out! Why is an invasive thistle so attractive to resident bees in Pennsylvania? We found that it might be because it has high pollen protein.
(Lancaster Farming) “Our native thistles are sort of a largely forgotten and wrongly maligned group of wildflowers.” Thistles are popular among pollinators, include the American bumble bee, the tiger swallowtail and monarch butterflies. Despite their conservation value, native thistles have lost habitat due to farming, development and failure to distinguish them from invasive species.
(UC Riverside) “Our study is the first to look at diet during this stage where queen bumbles are trying to start a nest, and to show that the diets they have access to impact how quickly they can transition to having helpers.” And without a variety of pollens available, the queens are constrained to fewer options, some of which appear to be bad for them.
(University of Bristol) “It’s not just how much nectar there is that matters, but what time of year that nectar is available. If a bumble bee queen comes out of hibernation in March and finds nothing to eat, it doesn’t matter how much nectar there is in summer, because she won’t be alive.”
(Rutgers) The scientists found that the diets of male and female bees of the same species were often as dissimilar as the diets of different species of bees.
(Michigan State University) “Species that declined collected pollen from fewer species of plants and seem to have a narrower range of plants they visit for pollen. In contrast, the stable species visit a much wider variety of plants. This suggests that picky eaters are less able to switch if a favorite plant isn’t available.”