(Cornell University) A new study found that squash and pumpkin pollen have physical, nutritional and chemical defense qualities that are harmful to bumble bees. But the results also suggest that deterring bumble bees from collecting and eating pollen may provide an evolutionary benefit to cucurbit plants.
(Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation) The Virginia Pollinator-Smart Program is an initiative to encourage pollinator-smart solar development in the commonwealth. A key focus the certification is the use of Virginia native plant species for these projects.
(ScienceDaily/Pensoft Publishers) Many cities are introducing green areas to protect their fauna. Among such measures are flower strips, which provide support to flower-visiting insects. According to the first quantitative assessment of the speed and distance over which urban flower strips attract wild bees, scientists from the University of Munich found that one-year-old flower strips attracted a third of the 232 species recorded from Munich since 1997.
(University of California, Riverside) Research indicates that a queen bumble bee’s diet can impact how quickly her brood develops, or whether she’s able to live through hibernation. A new study from Dr. Hollis Woodard and her team at UC Riverside demonstrates that without adequate sugar, the queen’s fat body, which functions like a human liver, does not correctly produce the enzymes required for healthy metabolism and detoxification from pesticides.
(Virginia Tech) The bees-and-beef study is seeking to integrate native wildflowers into pasture systems in a way that does not decrease cattle production, and that creates enough bloom that it helps to preserve pollinators.
(TUM) In this experiment, the more fat pollen contained, the less the bumble bees consumed that pollen. Bumble bees actually accepted death over having to consume the high-fat pollen. The German researchers concluded that fat in pollen adversely affects the bumble bees’ reproductive capabilities and survival, which is why it is avoided.
(Hartford Courant) Honey bees collect a surprising amount of pollen from plants like goldenrod, poison ivy, clover and ragweed. “Perhaps the lesson to be learned is that honeybees have a much wider range of flowers they enjoy than we humans do.”
(Entomology Today) “We discovered plants that were big winners for all bumble bee species but, just as importantly, plant species that were very important for only a single bumble bee species. This study allowed us to provide a concise, scientifically based list of important plant species to use in habitat restoration that will meet the needs of multiple bumble bee species and provide blooms across the entire annual life cycle.”