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.

Unpopular opinion: saving honey bees does very little to save the bees

Image of garden path.

(Garden Ecology Lab, Oregon State University) “I am not suggesting that you extinguish honey bees from your garden. What I am asking, instead, is that you take the time to learn about and to notice some of the other 80+ species of bee that you might find in your garden… The first step to saving something you love is to be able to recognize it and to call it by name.”

Farmed bees are mating with native bees – and that could endanger them

Image of managed bee boxes among plants.

(NewScientist) The hybridization can threaten the long-term survival of the native bees, says Ignasi Bartomeus at the Doñana Biological Station in Seville, Spain. “Diversity is the best insurance against [environmental] perturbations because it creates variability from which to adapt to new situations,” he says. “If we homogenize the genetic diversity of some species, we are losing this insurance.”

New England power line corridors harbor rare bees and other wild things

Image of researchers collecting bees beneath power lines.

(The Conversation) To many people, power line corridors are eyesores that alter wild lands. But ecologically they are swaths of open, scrubby landscapes under transmission lines that support a rich and complex menagerie of life. New England researchers have surveyed bee communities in these corridors, finding numerous native species – including one of which is so rare it was thought to have been lost decades ago from the United States.