(KCBS) “We know that smoke interacts with the type of smells used to find food, and basically either hides them or destroys them. So, it could well be that if you have these effects over such prolonged periods of time that bees start to get real trouble to find food.”
(The Art Newspaper) The sculpture is able to absorb up to 15% of her own weight in nitrogen dioxide molecules. When it rains, the absorbed toxins are washed away as a harmless liquid, enabling the continuous ingestion of pollution from the surrounding air. Nitrogen dioxide can mask the scent of flowers, thus preventing bees from finding their food.
(Massive Science) Bees have evolved to become extremely successful pollinators, and generally have a mutually beneficial relationship with plants. But nectar-robbing is a behavior in which an insect lightly bites a small hole in the a flower’s tissues at the base of the petal to access nectar, without performing the act of pollination. It can have a profound impact on a plant’s ability to reproduce.
(Arizona State University) There’s a learning behavior called latent inhibition. It screens out irrelevant stimuli, allowing the mind to focus on the most pressing and practical issues. If you’ve ignored emails to get a report in on deadline, you’re familiar with it. Honey bees with high latent inhibition forage at the same trusted spots, day in and day out. Low latent inhibition bees learn new and familiar food locations equally well. What happens in the bee world in a mixed colony? Who wins out?
(New York Times) For a century, scientists have known how honey bees drink nectar: They lap it up. Now scientists have discovered bees can also suck nectar, which is more efficient when the sugar content is lower and the nectar is less viscous. And not only do honey bees have this unexpected ability, but they can go back and forth from one drinking mode to another.
(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?”
(ScienceDaily/University of Würzburg) After more than 70 years, a great mystery of zoology has been solved: Honey bees actually use different dance dialects in their waggle dance. Which dialect has developed during evolution is related to the radius of action in which they collect food around the hive.
(The Guardian) A controlled experiment reveals how high wind speeds can significantly reduce the efficiency of foraging honey bees. With no wind, the bees on average took nectar from 5.45 flowers during their 90-second time trial. When wind speeds were increased, this fell to an average of 3.73 flowers. Over the course of a day, a bee’s capacity to supply its colony with food would be significantly curtailed.