Bees in Fiji point to new evolutionary answers

Close up image of Fijian bee.

(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.”

New Mexico unveils ‘pollinator protection’ license plate

Image of new license plate.

(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.

Grad student studies how state-mandated pollinator plots support native bees

Image of researcher in field of flowers.

(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.”

‘Buzz off honey industry, our national parks shouldn’t be milked for money’

Image showing collection of Australian native bees and one wasp.

(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.”