In The News: May Edition

Fight for Flight For the first time, scientists the University of California San Diego showed that a commonly used pesticide, neonicotinoid, can significantly impair the ability of healthy honey bees to take flight. This has increased the concern on how pesticides affect the bees ability to pollinate. Scientists are also questioning the long-term effects pesticides could have on bees. It’s not the first time the neonicotinoid have shown to have a negative effect on our bees. Previous research has shown that ingested pesticides commonly used in agriculture, negatively influenced the bee's chances of navigating home. Read more about the impact common pesticides have on bees. Meet BOB: The Blue Orchard Bee While we are all familiar with our friend and amazing pollinator, the honey bee, did you know that she is not native to North America? These girls are what we refer to as old world insects, originating in Africa or Asia. A bee that is native to our land, the Blue Orchard Bee! The Blue Orchard Bee, also known as BOB, is the best known and most useful native bee in North America. Besides their cool nickname, these bees are a favorite pollinator among farmers due to how they collect pollen. They actually collect with their abdomens, (unlike honey bees who collect with hairs on their legs) through a swimming-like motion. This motion amongst the flower’s pollen actually works well for spreading pollen to other plants, so well that it is argued that they are better pollinators than their cousins the Honeybees! Way to go BOB! Feel free to read more about BOB. Pollen or Pesticides? Think that it's pollen you're topping on your smoothie bowl? You may have to think again! After placing 120 pristine honeybee colonies near 30 apple orchards around New York state and allowing the bees to forage, the scientists found some troubling news. After testing the bee bread (aka fermented pollen) 17% of colonies, had acutely high levels of pesticides, while 73% were found to have chronic exposure. This research ties into how important it is to look at the environment of the bees around the hives, not just the hive’s land. Check out about more on the heavy pesticide peril.