Each month our Bee Informed Blog highlights current news, science, and research related to solitary bee conservation, food insecurity, and sustainability.
(Sam Westreich, PhD, NewsBreak Contributor) For a tiny insect, bees are vitally important to many aspects of our daily life, even if you don’t enjoy a bit of honey in your tea.
But recently, commercial honeybees have been under attack by a dangerous bacterium. This bacterium is named Paenibacillus larvae, and it causes a disease in bees known as American Foulbrood. The bacterium infects the bee larvae, growing in their guts until the sheer mass of bacteria bursts out of the larvae, killing them in the process. It spreads rapidly through a hive, and the only solution for beekeepers has been to burn the entire hive…
…until now. Now, we might have a vaccine.
Here’s how the vaccine works, how it’s provided to the bees — and why it’s not going to solve all our problems. Continue reading...
(Oregon State University) During the bleak days of winter, bees and other pollinators look to gardeners for the nourishment that keeps them going until the more abundant seasons of the year arrive.
“Black-tailed bumblebees are out as early as January,” said Andony Melathopoulos, Oregon State University Extension Service pollinator specialist and assistant professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences. “Native bees are just starting and will be seen more often later in February when the wild willow starts blooming.”
Though there are winter-flowering plants growing in the wild, many pollinators don’t live near them. That makes using cultivated winter bloomers an important consideration when planning a garden.
“Even a small amount of habitat will sustain bees, even rare species,” Melathopoulos said. “These are tiny creatures. Well-thought-out landscapes can provide all the food they need in winter. Gardeners can really help with that.” Continue reading...
(Insider NJ) Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) will host four free, monthly webinars focused on native plants and the essential role pollinators play in the ecosystem. The webinars are in anticipation of the organization’s 3rd annual, online Native Plants for Pollinators sale taking place beginning on April 3 and running through April 28.
Each webinar will offer a different component of pollinators and the pollination process.
(The Guardian) The global loss of pollinators is already causing about 500,000 early deaths a year by reducing the supply of healthy foods, a study has estimated.
Three-quarters of crops require pollination but the populations of many insects are in sharp decline. The inadequate pollination that results has caused a 3%-5% loss of fruit, vegetable and nut production, the research found. The lower consumption of these foods means about 1% of all deaths can now be attributed to pollinator loss, the scientists said.The researchers considered deaths from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers, all of which can be reduced with healthier diets. The study is the first to quantify the human health toll of insufficient wild pollinators. Continue reading...
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