(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.”
(New York Times) When a bumble bee is choosing which flowers to gather nectar from, she might consider a plant’s distance, the shape of the petals and how sugar-rich the nectar is. The bumble bee likely considers another variable as well: How fast can she barf it back up?
(Boulder Weekly) The Cornell team collected bees at 11 hemp farms in central New York in the summer of 2018. Their findings show that hemp plants at least 2 meters tall attract nearly 17 times the number of bee visits compared to short plants. The number and species of bees increased proportionally with plant height, with 16 different bee varieties making cannabis pit stops.
(Entomology Today) When it comes to flowers, the traits humans prefer – things like low pollen production, brighter colors, and changes to the height and shape of plants – are a mixed bag for pollinators. Researchers are now trying to understand what characteristics make ornamental plants attractive to pollinators. “I think this research is an important step to understanding how to design urban and suburban landscapes that are practical for humans and pollinators.”
(British Ecological Society) Researchers found that exposure to chronic low-dose radiation, similar to levels found in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, negatively affects bumble bee energy use by increasing their metabolic rate and food consumption. “An increase in nectar consumption for an individual bee could have important ecological consequences…”