Some of Australia’s smallest species could be lost to wildfires

Image of burned trees.

(New York Times) One-third of Kangaroo Island, a government-declared bee sanctuary off South Australia, has been burned so far this fire season, threatening the “last remaining pure stock” of Ligurian honeybees in the world. Foreign honeybees have an advantage, because they can abscond with their queen in the face of threats. Native stingless bees can’t — their queens can’t fly.

Dr. Hollis Woodard announces creation of national native bee monitoring network

Image of bee on American flag background.

(Twitter, @bee_witcher) “Exciting news: this spring, we are forming a US National Native Bee Monitoring Network – the goal of which is to coordinate & support wild native bee monitoring projects across the country… Collaborators Sam Droege, Dan Cariveau, Shalene Jha, Bryan Danforth, Tam Smith, Jamie Strange, Becky Irwin, Sarina Jepsen, Rufus Isaacs, David Inouye, Neal Williams – and we hope to work with everyone in the bee monitoring community!”

Seeking the building blocks of pollinator conservation

Image of bumble bee visiting milkweed.

(Great Lakes Echo) Great Lakes researchers are seeking fundamental knowledge about pollinators like bumble bees and butterflies, hoping to reverse their decline. “Part of this project is to create a baseline for future comparison. We’ve been resampling places where pollinators were sampled 50 years or 100 years ago and trying to see how the populations have changed.”

Aussie scientists need your help keeping track of bees (please)

Image of African carder bee on flower.

(The Conversation) “We need the public’s help to identify the bees in Australian backyards. There’s a good chance some are not native, but are unwanted exotic species. Identifying new intruders before they become established will help protect our native species.” You don’t need to be sure exactly what species you’ve seen. All you need to do is take clear, high-resolution photos and share them on a citizen science platform like iNaturalist.

One year anniversary for our paper on the bees of GSENM

Map showing bee species richness in the monument.

It was one year ago today that Joe Wilson, Olivia Carril and I published our paper that explores how shrinking and carving up the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument might impact the incredible bee communities that live there. The issues raised in the paper are what took us back to the monument this past summer to continue studying the bees and create our documentary film. Give it a read when you have the chance, it’s open access.