Traveling Bees Have More Stress and Shorter Lives


Research from North Carolina State University, published in Scientific Reports, shows that travel can adversely affect bee health and lifespans. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are frequently trucked around the United States to pollinate crops like apples, almonds and berries. The new research shows that traveling bees generally have shorter lives than stationary bees, and they […]

Approaches and Challenges to Managing Nosema in Honey Bee Colonies


By Erin Weeks It’s a tough time to be a pollinator. Bee, butterfly, and bat populations are in decline across the globe. Even the honey bee, perhaps the best-studied pollinator, has suffered great losses as beekeepers and researchers struggle to identify the causes. In recent years, it’s become clear that no one factor is responsible […]

Why Do Varroa Mite Populations Sometimes Increase in the Fall?


The Varroa mite is public enemy number one to honey bees in the United States. Like little vampires, they suck the bees’ “blood” (hemolymph) and transmit viruses that can harm or kill them. According to Kirsten Traynor, a postdoctoral researcher in entomology at UMD, “We know that Varroa acts as a vector for viruses. The […]

Varroa Mites and Associated Honey Bee Diseases More Severe than Previously Thought


Researchers from the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently completed the first comprehensive, multi-year study of honey bee parasites and disease as part of the National Honey Bee Disease Survey. Key findings, which are published in the journal Apidologie, show that the Varroa mite, a major honey bee pest, is far […]

Old Data May Provide New Insights on Honey Bee Populations


By Josh Lancette Over the past decade, beekeepers in the U.S. and other countries have had problems keeping their bees healthy. Some of the potential causes of their problems include the Varroa destructor mite, pesticides, pathogens, and the reduction of floral resources due to land development or conversion. This problem is of concern to both […]

An Opportunity to Study Bees and Pollination in Costa Rica


By Gerrit van de Klashorst The importance of bees and other pollinators for natural and agricultural ecosystems has been well documented. But during the past decades, pollinators have been in decline in North America and Europe. This decline is attributed to a number of factors, including pesticides, habitat loss caused by changing land use, and […]

Extreme Temperatures During Shipping Can Affect Honey Bee Queens’ Reproductive Abilities


Many beekeepers order honey bee queens from breeders, who ship them to the beekeepers by mail. According to an article in the journal PLOS One, high temperatures during shipping and elevated pathogen levels may be contributing to honey bee queens failing faster today than they did in the past. “Either stress individually or in combination […]

MorphoMetric Software Can Help Measure Insect Specimens


By Tomas Bustamante The Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory at the University of Florida (UF HBREL) is making a free computer program called MorphoMetric to streamline the collection of measurements from images that could have applications in ecology research, citizen science, conservation, monitoring for invasive pests, and education. We are designing the software to […]

Caffeine Makes Bees More Likely to Do the Waggle Dance


Researchers have reported that honey bees seem to like caffeine. As a result, plants may be lacing their nectar with caffeine as a way to pass off cheaper goods. “The effect of caffeine is akin to drugging, where the honey bees are tricked into valuing the forage as a higher quality than it really is,” […]

Study Finds Glyphosate and Acetamiprid to Have Relatively Low Toxicity for Honey Bees


By Andrew Porterfield Honey bees are crucial for pollination and crop production worldwide. But since episodes of Colony Collapse Disorder began arising in the mid-2000s (and have subsided somewhat), the causes of costly deaths of adult bees have focused on mites, viruses, and a number of pesticides. One group of pesticides, the neonicotinoids, has been […]