One problem with honey bees is that we move them around so much. Specifically half of the bees in the US go to California during a critical 22 day period to pollinate the almond orchards.
This means that most bees are best adapted to survive in the California, which means that the PNW bees don’t really thrive in their colder than optimal environment.
Well one bee keeper is taking it upon himself to stop honey production and focus on making queens that are best suited for the Washington and PNW environment! Read about it here.
The title of this post is not my own, but it kind of has a point. Not “everything dies” but rather, a lot more apocalyptic.
A brown-black beetle (the polyphagous shot hole borer) breeds inside trees. It drills networks of tunnels, which then get infected by a fungus it carries to feed it’s young. Eventually the tree dies, the beetle moves on and the whole cycle starts again.
This would be a cute horror story, if the beetle wasn’t on track to kill 26.8 million trees across Southern California. Which is going to directly link to the death of humans. Interested? Find out why here.
The domesticated honey bee dominates headlines as beekeepers struggle to stop mass die-offs. But they are not the only pollinators out there, and not the only bees that are declining.
“The needs of wild bees are so different that, as some experts say, raising honeybees to save pollinators is like raising chickens to help birds.”
Want to know more? Read about it here.
Back in the sixties, a group of hunters in Oregon were found dead at their campsite, and the only clue to what had killed them was – there was a newt that was boiled in their coffee pot.
Want to know how this is related to coevolution, or learn about the awesome work being done by rockstar evolutionary biologist Joel McGlothlin from Virginia Tech?
Check out the Pulse of the Planet audio program.
The Aztecs were once a great sprawling civilization, until they were brought low by a pestilence that devastated the native population of Mexico. And a pair of studies now suggest that it may have been caused by a deadly form of samonella from Europe.
Read about it over at Nature!
An interesting new article in the Journal of Functional Ecology asks this question, trying to see pollination from a pollinators perspective.
Read about it here!
Yes, you read that correctly. There are bees. In the ocean.
Well, sort of. Similar to land plants, sea grasses need pollinating. But it’s long been assumed that pollination is facilitated by the current, and the pollen just floats from one plant to the next.
But it turns out that some crustaceans are actually pollinating the grass. Making them the bees of the ocean.
Read about it here!