(ScienceDaily/PLOS) Researchers from RWTH Aachen University in Germany surveyed diverse green spaces across the city of Aachen to assess plant-pollinator interactions within an urban environment. Pollinator visits varied significantly between different types of green space.
(York University) Researchers have found that climate change and an increase in disturbed bee habitats from expanding agriculture and development in northeastern North America over the last 30 years are likely responsible for a 94% loss of plant-pollinator networks. The researchers looked at plant-pollinator networks from 125 years ago through present day. The networks are comprised of wild bees and the native plants they historically rely on, although most of those have now been disrupted.
(Twitter, Ben Phillips @ben_phi11ips) “Road verges are often comparable to other grasslands, so can be managed as such. BUT… Pollinators in road verges are also exposed to pollution, roadkill etc. so we need a specific assessment of if/how we should best use them. We reviewed 140 studies to answer the following Qs…”
(The Guardian) Conservation charity Buglife hopes to help restore and create at least 150,000 hectares of wildflower pathways with the launch of its B-lines network for England. B-Lines are a strategically mapped network of existing and potential wildflower habitats that criss-cross the country. The 3 km-wide corridors stretch from the coast to the countryside, towns, and cities, covering a total of about 48,000 sq. kilometers of England.
(Twitter, Zach Portman @zachportman) “The results were a little unexpected — we predicted that higher surrounding agriculture would lead to less diverse bee communities, but that didn’t really seem to matter. Instead, the local forb diversity was the most important driver of bee diversity in these restorations.”
(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) The University of Pittsburgh recently became a member of the Bee Campus USA Network, an honor that recognizes its efforts to attract pollinators to campus as part of a larger commitment to sustainable practices. Pitt is the latest of 103 Bee Campus USA affiliates and one of five in Pennsylvania. The other four are Chatham, Penn State and Susquehanna universities and Dickinson College.
(EurekAlert/University of Göttingen) New research was out by agroecologists from the University of Göttingen indicate that sowing strips of wildflowers along conventional cereal fields and the increased density of flowers in organic farming encourage bumblebees as well as solitary wild bees and hoverflies. Bumblebee colonies benefit from flower strips along small fields, but in organic farming, they benefit from large fields.
The town of University Park has restored a meadow to provide food and shelter for local wildlife and flowers for bees. Working with the Honey Bee Lab at the University of Maryland, the town planted native grasses and flowers, including butterfly milkweed, purple coneflowers and wild senna as well as black-eyed Susans.