Does city life make bumble bees larger?

Image of city street.

(ScienceDaily, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg) Does urbanization drive bumble bee evolution? According to a new study, bumble bees are larger in cities and, therefore, more productive than their rural counterparts. The research team reports that differences in body size may be caused by the increasingly fragmented habitats in cities.

Even during pandemic beekeeping remains an essential service

Image of beekeeper looking at honey bees on a fence.

(AP) For the past five years, the D.C. Beekeepers Alliance has responded to calls from residents about bee swarms. These beekeepers call themselves the “Swarm Squad” and will come to all areas of the region to take away unwanted bees and give them a home. When district officials began looking at the possibility of shutting down the city due to the coronavirus outbreak, the group’s president reached out to her contact at the D.C. Department of Energy & Environment. “I called up our regulators and said essentially, ‘If we’re going to catch swarms we need to not be arrested.’”

Pollinators welcome at Pitt, a new Bee Campus USA member

Image of man in pollinator garden near street.

(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) The University of Pittsburgh recently became a member of the Bee Campus USA Network, an honor that recognizes its efforts to attract pollinators to campus as part of a larger commitment to sustainable practices. Pitt is the latest of 103 Bee Campus USA affiliates and one of five in Pennsylvania. The other four are Chatham, Penn State and Susquehanna universities and Dickinson College.

Who likes – and doesn’t like – bees?

Image of researchers conducting in-person survey.

(The Wildlife Society) A new study found that many people in Phoenix, Arizona, feel either neutral about bees or dislike them but overall don’t see bees as a problem in their yards. The researchers hope their findings can help inform education outreach to citizens in order to help conserve the pollinators. “We were trying to understand who likes bees and who doesn’t.”

Get off the grass and let the wildflowers and the bees flourish, council told

Image of wildflowers.

(The Scotsman) Stirling Council is being called up to change its approach to grass cutting with two petitions asking the local authority to back down on trimming back verges and other green spaces on a regular basis. “Normally these spring wildflowers wouldn’t have the chance to bloom as grass cutting starts before their flowering period, but this year, as a result of lockdown, they have been left alone to do what they do best; feed the bees, and provide a beautiful display to cheer us all up in the process.”

Bee population in Wisconsin city increases in abundance and diversity with No Mow May

Ground-level image of dandelions.

(Post-Crescent) A sampling of No Mow May lawns at the end of May found a fivefold increase in bee abundance and a threefold increase in bee diversity in comparison to nearby parkland that was mowed regularly. An assistant biology professor at Lawrence University said the findings demonstrate that not mowing lawns for an extended period is beneficial for pollination.