In The News: February Edition

Little Habitats on the Prairie A small city in Iowa takes a big step in helping save our pollinators. This spring, Cedar Rapids plans to seed 188 acres with both grasses and wildflowers native to the land. Eventually, 1,000 acres will be transformed into a pollinator's paradise. The seed mix will contain 39 species of wildflowers, and 7 species of native prairie grasses all specially picked to attract our pollinators! Hopefully this initiative will inspire other towns to do the same! Can I get a WOOP WOOP? Originally thought to be a signal to stop working, scientists have discovered that honeybees actually create a woop woop as a surprise reaction when they bump into each other ! The woop woop was recorded at a rate of up to 7 times a minute, making it implausible that a bee was trying to stop another or request food that many times. Through video surveillance, researchers discovered that the woop woop would occur after a bee would bump a fellow bee but not during the waggle dance or food exchange. Check out the video here! bees Trump In, Bumble Bee Out Last month we reported the good news that the rusty patched bumble bee had made the endangered list. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has placed the bumble bee’s status under pending approval. One day before the bee was to be protected, the Trump administration decided to put things on hold. This delayed what would have been the first ever endangered designation for a bee species in the continental U.S. With the administration’s planned cutbacks on federal regulations, many environmentalists fear the bumble bee’s protection might not happen after all. If this has you feeling helpless and frustrated, sign the petition. web-wo-us-bumblebee-0209 The New Drones of the Hive In an attempt to deal with the possible agricultural crisis that is pollination, engineers have developed pollinating robots, similar to that episode of black mirror with robot bees! The drones are thanks to the design of Eijiro Miyako, of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, in Tsukuba, Japan. The funny thing is, actual bee drones aren’t pollinators. Their existence is purely to help populate the hive. These bee pots do not actually resemble bees, rather, are more of a robot quadcopter, but the bot does pollinate in a similar way to honeybees. The bots have little hairs covered in gel that help pollen stick to them, holding on until the bot brushes against something else. While the first prototype is controlled by a person, the hopes are to program the bots to recognize the flowers without human interference. Could this bee a solution? drone