Common bee virus causes bees to forage prematurely

Image of honey bees with egg cells.

(University of Minnesota) A new study from the University of Minnesota found that deformed wing virus causes a honey bee’s brain to function as though the bee is older than it is. This often leads infected bees to forage prematurely, which can cause diminished spatial memory and colony failure. Additionally, these infected foragers may be more likely to spread the virus to neighboring colonies because of their disoriented state.

‘Self-fertilizing’ almonds still do better with bee pollination

Aerial image of beekeepers with hives in almond orchard.

(University of Hawai’i) Researchers examined the true “independence” of a new self-fertilizing almond variety called ‘Independence’. They found that this variety still performed better when bees were assisting in pollination. “This article highlights the danger of misinformation – the variety is marketed as ‘self-fertilizing’, but growers don’t know they will get less yield without bees.”

‘Buzz off honey industry, our national parks shouldn’t be milked for money’

Image showing collection of Australian native bees and one wasp.

(The Conversation) “Native pollinator populations have been decimated in burned areas. They will only recover if they can recolonise from unburned areas as vegetation regenerates. Since the fires, Australia’s beekeeping industry has been pushing for access to national parks and other unburned public land… But our native pollinators badly need these resources – and the recovery of our landscapes depends on them. While we acknowledge the losses sustained by the honey industry, authorities should not jeopardise our native species to protect commercial interests.”