Research in the Sierra Nevada region of California illustrates the varying flower choices of bumble bees: The five most common bumble bee species studied each selected a different assortment of flowers, and each selected at least one flower species not selected by the others. The findings are already being put to use in forest restoration efforts to increase and improve quality of bumble bee habitat.
Woodboring beetles make good food for woodpeckers, and researchers studying how forest fires affect bird populations have studied the patterns of woodboring-beetle colonization of forests after fires. Their findings offer clues and raise new questions about the impact of fires on forest ecosystems, in a time of increased fire activity and longer fire seasons.
Sticky traps used to monitor orchards for the Asian citrus psyllid often catch an array of larger non-target organisms. But a thin layer of mesh fabric—the same kind used in bridal veils and ballet tutus—makes an effective screen to eliminate most bycatch while still catching the target pests.
Pest management is more than just matching pests with control methods. A tangled web of societal influences also play a role in growers' decisions and their uptake of integrated pest management, and researchers say the science of "social ecological systems" can inform efforts to increase IPM adoption.
Bumble bee nests can be hard to find and study, so researchers hope they can create artificial nest boxes for them to use and be observed more easily. But will bumble bees use such boxes? New research offers some clues about optimal design and placement of bumble bee "domiciles."