(Boston University News Service) Researchers have begun working with local beekeepers nationwide to test Buzz, an app where beekeepers can see real-time information on how their hive is doing and be alerted to any potentially dangerous changes within the hive. “If there’s an infection, there’s medicine in a little component in the smarthive that can release. It will have an ion trap spectrometer that can detect pesticide levels and open a vent. It can communicate to the beekeeper by text, email or phone call when the temperature is dropping in winter so that the bees don’t freeze to death.”
(USDA-ARS) This new tool calculates the probability of a managed honey bee colony surviving the winter based on two measurements: the size of colony and the percent varroa mite infestation in September. By consulting the probability table for the likelihood of a colony having a minimum of six frames of bees – the number required for a colony to be able to fulfill a pollination contract for almond growers come February – beekeepers can decide in September if it is economically worthwhile to overwinter the colony in cold storage.
(Oregon State University) The study found that almond, cherry and meadowfoam provide ample pollen to honey bees, but highbush blueberry and hybrid carrot seed crops may not. In addition, California almonds don’t provide as much pollen diversity as other crops. The findings are important because a diet low in pollen diversity hurts a colony’s defense system, which consequently increases disease susceptibility and pesticide sensitivity.
(Tufts University) Bee keepers have long relied on several antibiotics that are common in human medicine to treat hives for diseases. Such bee antibiotics were once sold over the counter, but now are available only once a veterinarian has conducted an exam to ensure they’re truly needed. The problem is that “there are not enough veterinarians who know about bees out there to help them.”
(Twitter, Bees In Your Backyard @BeesBackyard) The critter hitchhiking on the bee we posted yesterday is a triungulin larva, the larva of a blister beetle. These larvae hide on a flower and jump onto an unsuspecting bee. They then ride with the bee back to her nest where they will consume the bees larva and the pollen.
(Crunchbase News) Pollination services, biotech application, data collection, and health care for bees.
(KULR 8) This Missoula entomologist says 30 seconds to record and 12 seconds to analyze is all it takes to test the health of a bee colony. But the team still needs to raise more than $6,000 before the app is officially launched to the public.
(University of Guelph) “These results showed a complex and non-additive interaction between these two stressors.” TBR Editor: In other words, these are some wacky results that show the impact of neonics on bees is not simple or straight forward.