By Sam Schipani
"Save the bees" is a rallying cry we've been hearing for years now—one that conjures up images of fuzzy black and yellow honeybees, sipping nectar from colorful flowers or swarming with their bee brethren among tessellated combs while human defenders spread the word about dwindling bee populations. But honeybees are at no risk of dying off. While disease, parasites, and other threats are certainly real problems for beekeepers, the total number of managed honeybees worldwide has risen by 45 percent over the last half century.
Scientists are increasingly realizing the importance of biodiversity for sustaining life on earth. The most comprehensive biodiversity study in a decade, published in March by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), warned that the ongoing loss of species and habitats was as great a threat to our and our planet's wellbeing as climate change.
By Brian Barth
Many of these so-called "solitary bees," which include mason bees, leafcutter bees and carder bees, look more like flying ants than fuzzy yellow bees, but they're valuable pollinators just the same. The traditional hive boxes used to house honeybees do nothing to attract native bees to your garden, but these unsung heroes will happily take up residence in a "bee hotel," where each can have a private room of their own.
By Brian Barth
The first of those is straightforward enough, and the second two are taken care of by planting nectar-rich flowers that bloom over a long period of the year. The foliage itself provides habitat—most insect pollinators like dense vegetation in which they can hide from predators and lay eggs—and the flowers provide the fuel. Plants native to your area are the best bet because they have co-evolved with the native pollinators.
The move completely bans the outdoor uses of three neonicotinoids, or neonics, across the European Union. They include Bayer CropScience's imidacloprid, Syngenta's thiamethoxam and clothianidin developed by Takeda Chemical Industries and Bayer CropScience.
A study published in Ecology and Evolution Monday shows that the big changes humans make to the land can have important consequences for some tiny microorganisms honeybees rely on to stay healthy.
By Michael T. Luongo
The buzz about Detroit has been its resurgent development. Historic buildings are being renovated into bars and hotels as new stadiums rise along Woodward Avenue, the city's central corridor. But there's a literal buzz as well: Detroit is home to a healthy population of bees, both wild and domestic.