Event to address possible impacts of commercial bees on Utah’s forests

Image of lake in front of forest in front of mountain.

(The Times-Independent) Grand County bee inspectors Aug. 22 will give a presentation at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center regarding a plan to temporarily house over 8,000 commercial bee colonies used to pollinate crops in the West on Utah’s national forests, including the Manti-La Sal. Inspectors fear the commercial bee colonies would threaten native bees by competing for food and spreading disease.

Wildflower strips bring farmers extra money while helping native bees

Image of researcher with net in wildflowers.

(Entomology Today) One practice that can bolster native bee populations is planting strips of wildflowers next to crops; however, a study in 2017 found that, without incentives, few farmers choose to plant flower strips. The key to adoption, therefore, is adequate incentives. Researchers examined all the economic costs and benefits of planting wildflower strips and of selling the resulting seeds; their analysis revealed how profit could be made on the sale of seeds.

The Bees of Grand Staircase-Escalante is an “Awesome Project”

Image of researchers hiking into desert.

(The Bees of GSENM project) Back in July, ioby – the not-for-profit crowdfunding team and platform we used for our project – chose to showcase The Bees of Grand Staircase-Escalante as an “Awesome Project”. They spent quite a bit of time talking with me, asking questions, and crafting a really solid piece explaining both the how and the why of the project. If you haven’t yet read ioby’s showcase of our project, please do.

Who wants a sneak peek of our 10 days in Utah?

Screenshot of vimeo video.

(The Bees of GSENM project) After a two-month break from this project (spent catching up on other projects, taking a little vacation time, and marrying the most amazing woman in the world), I’ve once again thrown open the treasure chest of footage, images and sound from our fieldwork in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and begun sorting through all the jewels we gathered. Because it’s time to start sharing this incredible adventure with all of you!

Turkish bee survives 1,850-mile trip to Britain in suitcase – but could pose risk to local native bees

Image of bee on ledge.

(The Sun) Osmia avosetta bees, which are commonly found in the Middle East, are known for their unique nests made from flower petals. The family contacted the British Beekeepers Association which then alerted the UK’s environmental authority, Defra, and the National Bee Unit. A spokesperson from the association said, “Non-native species like this bee pose several problems and need to be controlled. They may carry viruses that will wipe out native species or they may simply out-compete similar species for food sources.”

MSU researchers collaborate with one-room schoolhouses to collect bee data

Image of one-room schoolhouse in Montana.

(TriState Livestock News) “We are in year two of a 15-year project to document the 500 to 1,000 species of native bees in Montana.” But to examine all 147,000 square miles of the state would require significant manpower, and to fill that need, an unlikely partnership was created. The researchers put together boxes that included curriculum and bee-sampling tools and sent them to one-room schoolhouses across the state.

New bee inventory sheds light on what native bees live in northern New Mexico

Image of woman collecting bees in desert.

(The Bees in Your Backyard) Olivia Carril and the Institute for Applied Ecology are inventorying the bees of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument (RGNM) in New Mexico. Before the start of this project in 2016, fewer than 40 bee species were known to exist in Taos County. Now, initial results have identified at least 140 species and 32 genera of bees in the monument area.