(Twitter, Leif Richardson @leifr7) “Has the rusty-patched #bumblebee declined due to loss of food resources? Not according to this analysis of pollen loads from museum specimens.” The original paper.
(Twitter, Anthony Vaudo @ThatBeeAnthony) “With metabarcoding of Osmia cornifrons larval provisions we found they have distinct family level preferences, but can switch host species native to many regions, a mechanism for how introduced bees can establish in new habitats?”
(National Geographic) Bumble bees aren’t merely bumbling around our gardens. They’re actively assessing the plants, determining which flowers have the most nectar and pollen, and leaving behind scent marks that tell them which blooms they’ve already visited. Now, a new study reveals that bumble bees force plants to flower by making tiny incisions in their leaves – a discovery that has stunned bee scientists.
(USDA) A microscopic algae could provide a complete and sustainably sourced supplemental diet to boost the robustness of managed honey bees, according to scientists with the Agricultural Research Service. The microalgae, Arthrospira platensis, has a nutritional profile that closely resembles pollen.
(Penn State) Trees, shrubs and woody vines are among the top food sources for honey bees in urban environments, according to an international team of researchers. By using honey bees housed in rooftop apiaries in Philadelphia, the researchers identified the plant species from which the honey bees collected most of their food, and tracked how these food resources changed from spring to fall.
(EurekAlert/University of Bonn) A team of German and Swiss researchers have demonstrated that the diversity of food plants for insects in Zurich has dramatically decreased over the past 100 years. Overall, all plant communities have become much more monotonous, with just a few dominant common species. This means that bees, flies and butterflies are increasingly deprived of their food base. 250 volunteers helped map the flora and process historical records.
(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.