Bee Informed: Beenome 100 Project, My Garden of a Thousand Bees, and Cool Spring Reduces Pollination of Cherry Crops
Each month our Bee Informed Blog highlights current news, science, and research related to solitary bee conservation, food insecurity, and sustainability.
1. What genetic sequencing can reveal about the secret lives of bees
(pbs.org) Bees are, in many ways, the darlings of the insect world. Not only do they play a crucial role in thriving ecosystems, but they’re also harbingers of the worsening consequences of climate change.
To bolster our knowledge of bee biology and behavior, a new effort dubbed the “Beenome100 Project” is building a first-of-its-kind library of dozens of different bee genomes. Researchers can use that information to tackle big picture questions like how to protect these tiny creatures, and how they’ve evolved alongside us over time. Continue reading...
2. My Garden of a Thousand Bees (Documentary)
(pbs.org) A story of surprise and revelation. A wildlife filmmaker spends his time during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown filming the bees in his urban garden and discovers the many diverse species and personalities that exist in this insect family.
3. In cool spring, bees struggle to pollinate Northwest cherry crop
(The Seattle Times) Here in the Hood River valley in northern Oregon, and all throughout the prime Pacific Northwest cherry-growing regions, the cool spring weather has often kept the bees — billions of which are brought into the region’s fruit orchards each year — inside, or close by, the hives of their wooden box colonies.
The low temperatures have resulted in slower and later flowering of the cherry trees. In some orchards, when temperatures prime for bee flight finally arrived, the window for blossom pollination had already closed.
B. J. Thurlby, president of Northwest Cherry Growers, says the challenges in pollinating this crop, along with damage from the cold, are expected to reduce this year’s cherry crop by 35% compared with the average volume of the past five years. Continue reading...
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