(Colorado State University) When southern Rocky Mountain forests are viewed from a distance these days, it may not look like much is left. Large swaths of dead, standing Engelmann spruce trees tell the tale of a severe regional spruce beetle epidemic in its waning stages. But new research suggests that spruce beetle outbreaks may help create habitat for pollinator communities in wilderness settings. The research team found significant increases in floral abundance and wild bee diversity in outbreak-affected forests, compared to similar, undisturbed forest.
(ScienceNews) Washington state officials are racing to find and kill ‘murder hornets’ before they can spread. Efforts are under way to catch a live hornet, attach a radio tag and track it back to a nest. The plan is to destroy the nest, hopefully before more hornets can start nests of their own hatch.
(EurekAlert, University College of London) The study predicts the number of non-native plant and animal species – particularly insects, arthropods and birds – will increase by 36% worldwide by 2050, compared to 2005 levels.
(WSDA) The hornet was found in a WSDA trap set near Birch Bay in Whatcom County. This was the first hornet to be detected in a trap, rather than found in the environment as the state’s five previous confirmed sightings were. “This is encouraging because it means we know that the traps work.”
(Curtin University) Research from Curtin University has recorded the first known appearance of the African carder bee in Western Australia and has highlighted the need to closely monitor the impacts of such introduced species on the ecosystem. “Unlike native Australian bees, which all are solitary nesters, the African carder bee nests communally, where masses of brood cells from multiple females are found in the one place.”
(USDA ARS) Exotic Bee ID, a website created to help identify non-native bees in the United States, has been expanded to include more information and species.
(New York Times) The Asian giant hornet has resurfaced in the Pacific Northwest, with two reported discoveries that indicate the invasive insect has already been circulating in a broader territory than previously known. On the U.S. side of the border, state entomologists received a report this week of a dead hornet on a roadway near Custer, Wash. Several miles north in Canada, a provincial apiculturist for British Columbia confirmed that one of the large hornets had been discovered in the city of Langley this month.
(University of California, Riverside) Though “murder hornets” are dominating recent headlines, there are no Asian giant hornets currently known to be living in the U.S. or Canada, according to UC Riverside Entomology Research Museum Senior Scientist Doug Yanega. “There have not been any sightings in 2020 that would suggest the eradication attempt was unsuccessful.”