UK government launches Healthy Bees Plan 2030 to help protect honey bees

Image of honey bees on comb.

(GOV.UK) The U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Welsh Government have published the Healthy Bees Plan 2030 to protect and improve the health of honey bees in England and Wales. The plan sets out four key outcomes for beekeepers, bee farmers, associations and government to work towards to help protect honey bees, which continue to face pressure from a variety of pests, diseases and environmental threats including the invasive non-native species Asian hornet.

Combplex wins $500,000 to save the bees

Image of honey bees in grass.

(Ithaca.com) Varroa mites have been listed by the USDA as the number one stressor to bee colonies, contributing to the loss of 42% of all colonies of five or more. The Complex team believes their new technology can drive those numbers down. They’ve described their process of removing the parasitic insects is like “laser hair removal gone slightly wrong” for bees. And this week Combplex finished the 2020 NYSERDA 76West Competition as finalists, securing $500,000 for their business venture.

Genome sequencing shows climate barrier to spread of Africanized bees

Image of honey bees on frame.

(ScienceDaily, University of California, Davis) Since the 1950s, ‘Africanized’ honeybees have spread north and south across the Americas until apparently coming to a halt in California and northern Argentina. Now genome sequencing of hundreds of bees from the northern and southern limits shows a gradual decline in African ancestry across hundreds of miles, rather than an abrupt shift.

How can bees tell friend from foe?

Image of honey bees.

(Washington University in St. Louis) For a honey bee, few things are more important than recognizing your nest mates. Being able to tell a nest mate from an invader could mean the difference between a honey-stocked hive and a long, lean winter. New research shows that honey bees rely on chemical cues related to their shared gut microbial communities, instead of genetic relatedness, to identify members of their colony.

Pest control company promotes pollinator protection

Image of honey bee boxes.

(Pest Control Technology) Relocating bee swarms, funding bee research and promoting beekeeping are just some of the ways Abell Pest Control, Ontario, Canada, protects pollinators and raises awareness of the worldwide bee population decline. As part of its Abell Saves Bees program, the company distributed 10,000 wildflower seed packets this summer to celebrate World Honey Bee Day.

Do more bees mean more berries? A blueberry pollination research update

Image of southeastern blueberry bee.

(Florida Blueberry Growers Association) Blueberry growers know that to get good yields, you need bees. So researchers looked at the three main pollinators of blueberries in Florida: honey bees, managed bumble bees and southeastern blueberry bees (Habropoda laboriosa). They found that the southeastern blueberry bee had the greatest effect on both percent fruit set and yield.