Chemicals Used on Almond Trees Linked to Bee Deaths Animals Botany Environment 

Chemicals Used on Almond Trees Linked to Bee Deaths

By Emily Rhode @riseandsci Americans have a serious obsession with almonds. In 2016, 1.2 million metric tons were grown worldwide, and 80% of that was grown in California alone. As our taste grows for the protein-packed nut, a looming crisis threatens not only the almond crop, but the global food industry as a whole. Over the last decade, honeybee populations, which are necessary for sustaining a healthy almond industry, have been steadily declining. The reasons for the decrease are not fully clear. What if our rabid consumption of this tasty…

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parasitic bees Animals 

Parasitic Bees: Natural-Born Robbers

By Steven Spence Photography by John Kimbler When we think of bees, most of us picture honeybees or possibly bumblebees. In fact, there are over 20,000 species of bees. Some are social, such as honeybees and bumblebees, while others are solitary. Bees typically build nests, collect pollen and nectar, and care for their offspring. Some bees, though, do not busy themselves with these things; instead, they move in as parasites, taking over other bees’ nests. Estimates based on surveys of North American bees indicate that as many as 15 percent…

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A handful of honeybee pollen. Purdue University/Tom Campbell. Animals Environment 

Honeybee Pollen and Pesticides in Your Garden

By Kate Stone Scientists at Purdue University have been investigating where bees collect most of their pollen—and, consequently, unintended pesticides. The results are unexpected. Even in agricultural areas dominated by soybeans and corn, honeybees collect most of their pollen from plants other than agricultural crops. Furthermore, the pollen is consistently contaminated with pesticides.  Christian Krupke, professor of entomology, and Elizabeth Long, now an assistant professor of entomology at Ohio State University, collected pollen from honeybee hives in Indiana. What the researchers found surprised them. Spare the Bees in Your Backyard…

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Bumblebees: A bumblebee covered in tiny body hairs. University of Bristol Biology 

Bumblebee Hairs Detect Floral Electric Fields

It is well known that bees dance to tell each other where to find the best flowers, but have you ever wondered how bees find the flowers in the first place? A new study suggests that each bumblebee has tiny hairs that vibrate in response to electrical signals transmitted by flowers. It’s been known for a while that flowers communicate with pollinators, such as bumblebees, by sending out electric signals. However, scientists have been wondering how the bees detect those floral messages. The Hair of the Bumblebee Researchers at the University…

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Research from North Carolina State University finds that bees in urban areas stick to a flower nectar diet, steering clear of processed sugars found in soda and other junk food. (Lauren Nichols) Animals Biology Environment 

No Junk Food for Urban Honeybees

By Kate Stone Urban bees have access to soft drinks, candy, and other sweet junk food, but bees don’t want our processed sugars. Instead, they stick to a diet of flower power. But are there enough flowers in cities to satisfy the bees? Researchers at North Carolina State University have found that urban bees stick to a flower nectar diet and don’t eat the processed sugars found in our sodas and junk food. “Urban habitats are growing, as is urban beekeeping, and we wanted to see if bee diets in…

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Winter Bee (Steven Spence); bees make honey Animals Videos 

How Do Bees Make Honey?

How bees make honey, courtesy of Dr. Joe Hanson and PBS Digital Studios Western honey bees, or European honey bees, are responsible for pollinating about three quarters of the crops we eat. But bees may be more famous for the ability to make sweet, sweet honey. Watch as Dr. Joe explains how bees make the honey we love. More about honey bees: Hungry Baby Bees More Resilient to Starvation as Adults Ten Fun Facts about Honeybees and Honey Winter Bees, First Visitors Declining Bee Populations Revisited Nature’s Medicine Cabinet for…

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Bees Biology Environment 

Hungry Baby Bees More Resilient to Starvation as Adults

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore When was the last time you ate an apple? We rarely think about how fruits develop; apples, as well as many other fruits, nuts, and vegetables we take for granted, are the result of pollination by honeybees. Global demand for food production is surging, but in the past decade, honeybee colonies worldwide have been plagued by colony collapse disorder, a mysterious phenomenon where most of the worker bees in a colony vanish, leaving behind the queen bee, ample food stores, and a few nurse bees to…

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Declining bee populations: A healthy honeybee visiting a backyard apple tree Animals Biology Environment 

Ten Fun Facts about Honeybees and Honey

Honeybees and Honey Honeybees do not exactly make honey. Instead, they improve the nectar produced by flowers. The honey we love to eat is nectar that bees have swallowed, regurgitated, and condensed for us (and for themselves). In the course of her lifetime, one healthy worker bee will produce 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey, without added environmental stress. The average American consumes about one pound of honey per year. That’s about 1 1/3 cups. To produce one pound of honey, the worker bees in a single hive collectively fly…

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