(Penn State) Pumpkin growers frequently rent managed honeybee colonies to pollinate their crops, but a recent study suggests wild bees may be able to do the job just as well and for free. Approximately 97 percent of the field observations consisted of three pollinators: bumble bees, honeybees, and squash bees. However, hand collections from the blossoms revealed 37 different bee species visiting the flowers. And the pollen transfer from just the wild species easily exceeded the pollination requirements for pumpkins.
(ScienceDaily / University of California – Davis) Orchid bees are master perfumers, and research suggests that the perfumes males concoct are unique to their specific species. A new study now links the evolution of sexual signaling in orchid bees to a gene that’s been shaped by each species’ perfume preferences.
(Julius-Maximilians-Universität) Wild populations of the western honey bee were widely assumed to be extinct in Europe. “However, recent fieldwork studies reveal that wild honey bees still exist in forests: Their colonies mainly nest in tree cavities.” So far, wild honey bees have only been observed in northern Poland and Germany, but new research estimates there could be as many as 80,000 wild honey bee colonies in European forests.
(Geek.com) Sweden had everyone buzzing this spring with its launch of the “world’s smallest McDonald’s” – a miniature replica of the golden arches that doubles as a beehive. Now, McDonald’s restaurants are replacing regular roadside billboards with signs that double as “bee hotels.”
(New York Times) Many newcomers to beekeeping mistakenly see it as a fairly easy hobby, when in reality they have neither the knowledge nor the time for it. Like anyone who gets fed up with a lousy landlord, the bees leave, turning up in seething clumps under eaves, on lampposts or in backyards. “We have too many people who keep bees who don’t do enough for their bees.”
(Washington Post) “Some honey hunters claim they are finding fewer hives than in the past, because bee populations are impacted by heavy pesticide use among local farmers and global warming.”
(Science Alert) In the crop fields of Argentina, bees have been building nests for their young out of some strange materials. For the first time, scientists have found bee nests made entirely out of plastic waste.
(University of New Hampshire) Out of the declining species, say researchers, 13 are ground-nesters and one is a cavity-nester. The researchers also found that most of the declining species experienced significant shifts in both elevation and latitude.