A study looking at floral density and pollinators finds that some types of pollinating insects prefer dense flower patches more than others, but that preference can also vary by flower species, too. The complicated findings offer clues to how multiple pollinator species co-exist and compete for floral resources.
Separate studies on bumble bees and mason bees exposed to imidacloprid add to the body of evidence that wild bees may be particularly vulnerable to neonicotinoid insecticides.
In June 2013, a pesticide application on ornamental trees in a shopping-center parking lot in Wilsonville, Oregon, led to the largest documented mass fatality of bumble bees in North America. A new analysis of the incident estimates more than 100,000 bees from nearly 600 colonies were killed, which researchers cite as a cautionary tale about the dangers of pesticides to native bee populations.
A new study has mounted perhaps the most intricate, detailed look ever at the diversity in structure and form of bees, offering new insights in a long-standing debate over how complex social behaviors arose in certain branches of bees' evolutionary tree. The report offers strong evidence that complex social behavior developed just once in pollen-carrying bees, rather than twice or more, separately, in different evolutionary branches—but researchers say the case is far from closed.
Researchers have synonymized the bumble bee species Bombus fernaldae with Bombus flavidus, establishing the latter, a cuckoo that parasitizes other bumble bee colonies, as the most broadly distributed bumble bee species of any kind in the world.