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Pexels

How the Honeybee Buzz Hurts Wild Bees

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.

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Wild bumble bees provide natural pollination for blueberries in North America. John Flannery / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Beyond Honey Bees: Wild Bees Are Also Key Pollinators, and Some Species Are Disappearing

By Kelsey K. Graham

Declines in bee populations around the world have been widely reported over the past several decades. Much attention has focused on honey bees, which commercial beekeepers transport all over the U.S. to pollinate crops.

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Pixabay

How to Build a Native Bee Hotel

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.

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Purple coneflower. Jmeeter / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

The Best Plants to Attract Pollinators, by Region

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.

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Animals
Unsplash

All About Monarchs: The Royals of the Butterfly World

The Migration and Importance of Monarchs

Monarch butterflies, which pollinate many different kinds of wildflowers, are among nature's great wonders. Their annual migration is one of the most awe-inspiring on Earth: Each fall, millions of these striking black-and-orange butterflies take flight on a 3,000-mile journey across the U.S. and Canada to wintering grounds in Mexico's Sierra Madre mountains.

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Greenpeace EU / Twitter

EU Approves Ban on 'Bee-Killing' Neonicotinoids

European governments approved Friday a proposal to widen a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides that studies have found are harmful to bees and other 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.

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Animals

Honeybees Are Struggling to Get Enough Good Bacteria

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.

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Paul Glaum

Detroit's Newest Industrial Workers: Bees

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.

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Business
A robot bee from a season three episode of Black Mirror on Netflix

Walmart Files Patent for Robot Bees

With the mass die-off of bees spelling trouble for agriculture, the world's largest retailer has filed patents for the use of "unmanned vehicles," or drones, to aid with pollination and crop production.

In U.S. Patent Office documents made public last week, Walmart has applied for six patents on drones designed to identify pest damage, spray pesticides and pollinate plants.

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