(Scientific American) To many people, honey bees symbolize prosperity, sustainability and environmentalism. And while they are important for agriculture, honey bees also destabilize natural ecosystems by competing with native bees – some of which are species at risk.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(The Telegraph $) In a fatal mix of fashion and ignorance, urban hive numbers have soared, whilst green spaces and wild pollinator numbers shrink.
(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.
(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.