Bumblebees

Study reveals striking decline of Vermont's bumble bees

A new study examining 100 years of bumble bee records reveals that almost half of Vermont's species, which are vital pollinators, have either vanished or are in serious decline. After conducting the state's most extensive search for bumble bees, and combing through historical records from museum collections, the team has concluded that four of Vermont's 17 bumble bee species appear to have gone extinct. The study, led by University of Vermont (UVM) and Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE) researchers, was published in the Journal of Insect Conservation.

Imidacloprid Found to Make Bees Less Social

Scientists said they’ve found that exposure to the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid produces complex changes in the social behaviors and activities of bumblebees – a very bad thing for creatures who rely on their colonies to survive. Bumblebees exposed to imidacloprid became less social and spent less time together. The bees also spent less time nursing larvae, foraging and constructing the wax canopy which insulates and regulates the temperature of the hive.

Neonicotinoid Residues in Nectar and Foliage of Systemically Treated Woody Landscape Plants

We measured uptake and dissipation of soil-applied imidacloprid and dinotefuran in nectar and leaves of 2 woody plant species, a broadleaf evergreen tree (Ilex attenuata) and a deciduous shrub (Clethra alnifolia), to assess concentrations to which pollinators and pests might be exposed in landscape settings. Three application timings, autumn (postbloom), spring (prebloom), and summer (early postbloom), were evaluated to see if taking advantage of differences in the neonicotinoids’ systemic mobility and persistence might enable pest control while minimizing transference into nectar.

Glyfosaat blijkt indirect bij te dragen aan de sterfte onder bijen

Dat hebben onderzoekers van de universiteit van Texas (Austin) ontdekt. Ze stelden honingbijen bloot aan glyfosaat, het actieve bestanddeel van Roundup. Drie dagen later reeds bleken de bijen behoorlijk wat goede bacteriën in hun darmen kwijt te zijn geraakt. Met name de bacterie Snodgrassella alvi werd hard geraakt. Deze bacterie is heel belangrijk voor de bijen, omdat deze ze helpt om voedsel te verwerken en zich tegen ziekteverwekkers te beschermen.

Study shows EU pesticide ban failing to protect suburban bees

Bees living in suburban habitats are still being exposed to significant levels of pesticides despite the EU ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on flowering crops, new research from University of Sussex scientists shows. The study, with colleagues at Stirling University and Rothamsted Research, found that neonicotinoid exposure for rural bumblebees declined after the ban's implementation in 2015 but the risk to bumblebees in suburban gardens remained largely the same.

Exposure of hummingbirds and bumble bees to pesticides

New research reveals that hummingbirds and bumble bees are being exposed to neonicotinoid and other pesticides through routes that are widespread and complex. The findings are published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry. To measure exposure to pesticides in these avian pollinators, investigators made novel use of cloacal fluid and fecal pellets from hummingbirds living near blueberry fields in British Columbia. They also collected bumble bees native to Canada, and their pollen, and blueberry leaves and flowers from within conventionally sprayed and organic blueberry farms.

Irish bumblebee population in decline

Irish bumblebee populations recorded in 2017 were at the lowest since monitoring began six years ago, with marked losses in critical native species, according to the latest monitoring figures. The declines are confirmed by the All-Ireland Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme co-ordinated by Dr Tomás Murray, senior ecologist at the National Biodiversity Data Centre in Co Waterford.

Neonicotinoids act like endocrine disrupting chemicals in newly-emerged bees and winter bees

Pesticides can act as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in animals providing characteristic multiphasic dose-response curves and non-lethal endpoints in toxicity studies. However, it is not known if neonicotinoids act as EDCs in bees. To address this issue, we performed oral acute and chronic toxicity studies including concentrations recorded in nectar and pollen, applying acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam to bumble bees, honey bees and leafcutter bees, the three most common bee species managed for pollination.

Michael McCarthy: We’ve lost half our wildlife. Now’s the time to shout about it

Most Britons remain blithely unaware that since the Beatles broke up, we have wiped out half our wildlife. Yet we are not alone. Last week, the French woke up in a dramatic way to the fact that their own farmland birds, their skylarks and partridges and meadow pipits, were rapidly disappearing: Le Monde, the most sober of national journals, splashed the fact across the top of its front page.