Scientists find clues to queen bee failure

Image of beekeeper holding up frame of honey bees.

(University of British Columbia) Scientists are unraveling the mysteries behind a persistent problem in commercial beekeeping that is one of the leading causes of colony mortality: queen bee failure. This occurs when the queen fails to produce enough fertilized eggs to maintain the hive. New research has identified specific proteins that are activated in queen bees under different stressful conditions (extreme heat, extreme cold, and pesticide exposure) that can affect the viability of the sperm stored in the honey bee queen’s body.

Even bees argue over where to get dinner

Image of honey bee being held by fingers.

(Arizona State University) There’s a learning behavior called latent inhibition. It screens out irrelevant stimuli, allowing the mind to focus on the most pressing and practical issues. If you’ve ignored emails to get a report in on deadline, you’re familiar with it. Honey bees with high latent inhibition forage at the same trusted spots, day in and day out. Low latent inhibition bees learn new and familiar food locations equally well. What happens in the bee world in a mixed colony? Who wins out?

Bee breeder loses everything in LNU Lightning Complex fires

Image of burned bee boxes.

(CBS13) It’s a hard reality to see what’s left of Caroline Yelle’s Bee farm in ashes. Five hundred of her hives in Vacaville and at another location in Napa Valley all burned. The flames from the LNU Lightning Complex Fires surrounded Yelle’s seven years of work. The fire also destroyed her mentor’s home and four decades of his own legacy that he left to her.

Kind is the first food brand to commit to buying ‘bee-friendly’ almonds

Image of almond blossoms with honey bee.

(Fast Company) The snack company Kind says it plans to source almonds only from “bee-friendly” farmland by 2025. Almond suppliers working with Kind are making two major changes. They’ve stopped using two types of pesticides – neonicotinoids and chlorpyrifos – that can kill bees. They will also convert between 3% to 5% of their orchards to a habitat that supports bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

New bee hives added for UGA veterinary training

Image of veterinarians with honey bees.

(Athens Banner-Herald) Scientists have long known two facts about the world’s bee population: pollinating bees are vital contributors to healthy crops and a thriving ecosystem, and many bee species are under threat of extinction from pollution, disease and other factors. The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine has joined the fight to save the bees by building a set of hives on campus. The new program will give residents and senior veterinary students in clinical training experience caring for these insects.