Bark beetle outbreaks benefit wild bee populations, habitat

Image of spruce forest damaged by bark beetles.

(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.

Research finds first African carder bees to reach Western Australia

Image of African carder bee in flower.

(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.”

The Asian giant hornet resurfaces in the Pacific Northwest

Image of Asian giant hornet on man's jacket.

(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.

Murder hornets invade headlines, not the US

Close up image of Asian giant hornet.

(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.”