(EurekAlert/Flinders University) The adaptation to new habitats and niches is often assumed to drive the diversification of species. But rare bees found in high mountain areas of Fiji provide evidence that they have evolved into many species, despite the fact they can’t readily adapt to different habitats. “Perhaps, if Darwin had studied Fijian bees instead of Galapagos finches, he might have come to rather different conclusions about the origin of species.”
(Santa Fe New Mexican) The state transportation department said proceeds from the new plates will help fund planting projects along state roads. The pollinator project also will create educational gardens and reduce mowing and spraying of herbicides along roadways as a way to improve habitat for bees and other pollinators. The plate features the artwork of a sixth-grade student from the Albuquerque Sign Language Academy.
(Utah State University) Conservation biologist Joseph Wilson and illustrator Jonny VanOrman have published a new whimsical children’s book about bee diversity and broadening one’s horizons. “If we want to conserve bees, teaching our rising generation may be the best strategy.”
(NC State) Hannah Levenson has spent the past four years collecting and identifying bees from small plots of wildflowers planted at the 18 research stations operated by NC State and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Because of the network of research stations, she is able to study bees in a broad array of different climates – from the mountains 3,200 feet above sea level to the coast and from the rich Blacklands to the dry Sandhills. “To my knowledge this is the only project that has looked at bees on such a large scale across the whole state.”
(Wheen Bee Foundation) ANZ Seeds of Renewal, a grant program that helps build sustainable rural communities in Australia, recently presented a $15,000 check to the Foundation. The funds will help save the endangered green carpenter bee population on Kangaroo Island.
(The Conversation) “Native pollinator populations have been decimated in burned areas. They will only recover if they can recolonise from unburned areas as vegetation regenerates. Since the fires, Australia’s beekeeping industry has been pushing for access to national parks and other unburned public land… But our native pollinators badly need these resources – and the recovery of our landscapes depends on them. While we acknowledge the losses sustained by the honey industry, authorities should not jeopardise our native species to protect commercial interests.”
(Twitter, Zach Portman @zachportman) “This information is not publicly available, but Freedom of Information Act requests by the Grand Canyon Trust have revealed permits for 4,000 beehives on public land, with applications for 10–15k more. And this only covers the area around the grand canyon.”
(The Conversation) As awareness increases about native bee death, some companies are taking advantage of public concern by touting their products as bee-friendly or making other claims. This marketing strategy, called bee-washing by critics, uses the plight of bees to mislead consumers.