“Honeybees are voracious”: is it time to put the brakes on the boom in beekeeping? (via the Guardian)

The number of beehives in Britain’s cities is growing rapidly, putting pressure on native bees “that really need our help”, say scientists and experienced beekeepers.

There is growing concern from scientists and experienced beekeepers that the vast numbers of honeybees, combined with a lack of pollinator-friendly spaces, could be jeopardising the health and even survival of some of about 6,000 wild pollinators across the UK.

Full article here: the Guardian

New Study: Undisclosed Inert Ingredients in Some Popular Roundup Products Found to Be Highly Toxic to Bumblebees (via Center for Biological Diversity)

Popular herbicide products widely available at hardware and garden stores contain undisclosed “inert” ingredients that can kill bumblebees, according to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

The study compared several products, most of which contained the herbicide glyphosate, which is best known as the active ingredient in Roundup products. They found highly variable toxicity to bumblebees, including one formulation that killed 96% of the bees within 24 hours. Yet another herbicide formulation was found to cause no harm to bumblebees.

Unlike the active ingredients in pesticide products, such as glyphosate, these so-called inert ingredients are not subjected to a mandatory set of tests by the Environmental Protection Agency. But the study shows these inert substances can be toxic and harmful in their own right, including some that appear to block the bees’ breathing holes and gas-exchange systems, essentially drowning them.

Full article here: Center for Biological Diversity

Types of bee in the UK (via Woodland Trust)

Get to know the UK’s bees, from bumblebees to mining and mason bees, including some of the species most commonly encountered when you’re out and about.

Spring has never truly arrived until you catch sight of your first bee, but do you know what species it is?

You might be surprised to learn there are more than 250 species of bee in the UK. Bumblebees, mason bees, mining bees – these are just one small part of a big, beautiful family. Take a look at how to identify some of the most common types of bees in the UK.​

Full article here: Woodland Trust

Effects of sublethal doses of glyphosate on honeybee navigation (via journals.biologists.com)

We performed an experiment in which forager honeybees were trained to an artificial feeder, and then captured, fed with sugar solution containing traces of GLY and released from a novel site either once or twice.

These results suggest that, in honeybees, exposure to levels of GLY commonly found in agricultural settings impairs the cognitive capacities needed to retrieve and integrate spatial information for a successful return to the hive. Therefore, honeybee navigation is affected by ingesting traces of the most widely used herbicide worldwide, with potential long-term negative consequences for colony foraging success.

Full article here: journals.biologists.com

Defra launches the Healthy Bees Plan 2030 to help protect honey bees (via GOV.UK)

Honey bees contribute directly to local food production and make an important contribution, through pollination, to crop production and the wider environment.

Defra and the Welsh Government have today (Tuesday 3 November) published the Healthy Bees Plan 2030 to protect and improve the health of honey bees in England and Wales.

The plan sets out four key outcomes for beekeepers, bee farmers, associations and government to work towards to help protect honey bees, which continue to face pressure from a variety of pests, diseases and environmental threats including the invasive non-native species Asian hornet.

Full article here: GOV.UK

Dancing honeybees assess the health of the environment (via New Scientist)

Eavesdropping may be rude, but snooping on honeybee conversations could reveal a lot about the environment. Their unique mode of communication, the waggle dance, contains clues about the health of the landscape they live in. In effect, the bees are giving a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to different methods of conservation.

A worker honeybee performs the waggle dance to tell her hive mates where the best food is located. That suggests the dance can indicate areas of the landscape that are healthy, at least in terms of food for pollinators.

Full article here: New Scientist

How to bee friendly (via WWF)

There are more than 250 species of bees in the UK, including the honey bee that normally lives in hives managed by beekeepers.

Bees are pollinators and play a critical role in healthy ecosystems, so are essential for our food production. Pollinators are worth a staggering £690 million per annum to the UK economy, and more than three quarters of the world’s food crops are in part dependent on them. Yet, bee populations are suffering.

Here in the UK, habitat loss and fragmentation combined with climate change are having huge impacts on bee populations. In East Anglia – 17 species have gone regionally extinct and many others are at risk. Local biodiversity is being negatively affected by the changing climate, and bees are being badly hit.

So here are some tips on how to “bee friendly” to encourage bee populations thrive in the UK once again.

Full article here: WWF

Different kinds of bees (via www.bbowt.org.uk)

We’re all familiar with the sound of masses of buzzing bees on a warm summer’s day. But did you know that these bees can be many different species?

There are several hundred different types of bee resident in the British Isles. We talk about two different groups: social bees and solitary bees.

Other insects like hoverflies, hornet moths and clearwing moths, mimic the colours of bees so they don’t get eaten.

Full article here: www.bbowt.org.uk

The Problem with Honey Bees (via Scientific American)

“By introducing tens or hundreds of beehives, the relative density of honey bees increases exponentially compared with wild native pollinators,” Valido explains. This causes a drastic reduction of flower resources—pollen and nectar—within the foraging range. “Beekeeping appears to have more pervasive, negative impacts on biodiversity than it was previously assumed,” says Jordano.

Read the full article here: Scientific American

Beekeeping in cities is harming other wildlife, study finds (via www.nhm.ac.uk)

A honeybee on a honeycomb.

Beekeeping in cities is harming other wildlife, study finds.

Enthusiasm for beekeeping in the UK’s major cities is threatening other local wildlife, according to a new report.

Evidence is revealing that there is insufficient nectar and pollen to support current beehive numbers in UK cities, particularly London.

Full article here: https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/news/2020/september/beekeeping-in-cities-harming-other-wildlife.html