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Pollen can carry disease to native bees

While studying pesticides in pollen, I was always curious about the potential for pollen to carry disease organisms as well. Indeed, a new study that appeared in the December 22 PLoS ONE confirmed my worst fears—that pollen may be a major route of viral infection from managed honey bees to wild native bees. The authors […] Read more

Christmas swarm saved by caring homeowner

About two days before Christmas I got an e-mail from an Arizona homeowner about a swarm of bees that were hanging from the eaves of her house. She said the weather had been unusually warm, but just as it started to change for the worse, the swarm of bees arrived. She didn’t want them to […] Read more

Wednesday word file: last sting-of-the-year

The last sting-of-the-year is what I got yesterday. I look a little like Rudolph-the-reindeer except I took it on the chin. I also had the last sting-of-the-year a week ago–or so I thought–when I got stung on the little finger. But at this point, that one simply turned out to be the penultimate sting-of-the-year. Now, […] Read more

Pollinators are not going to change, so we have to

It is easy to blame the loss of bee habitat on “them”—them being industrial farms, expansive orchards, sprayed fields, and freeways kept neat with herbicides. But in truth, our modern cities and suburbs are just as bad. We have covered the land with mulch, decking, concrete, flagstones, bricks, pavement, and lawns. None of these things […] Read more

Ants in Your Bee Hive?What to Do