Bee bits in the news
It was quite a week in the bee world, and it’s getting harder and harder to keep up. Here are links to a few stories that caught my attention.
- Down in Palm Desert, California, a 71-year-old woman was stung over 1000 times by Africanized honey bees. Apparently she and six other people, including five firefighters, are recovering. The bees were living inside a metal Verizon box containing fiber optic equipment.
- An Italian apiary near Pisa was attacked with insecticide in what is now believed to be a mob hit. The beekeeper lost about two million of his prize-winning honey bees. Reporters are calling it a mob sting.
- More honey bees in California are being fed sugar syrup to make up for the lack of wildflowers in the dry California landscape. What the article doesn’t mention is the impact this will have on wild bees that won’t be getting any supplemental feed.
- The story of plastic-recycling bees (Megachile campanulae and M. rotundata) continue to circulate. Many of the stories, like this one, start off by showing hives of honey bees.
- Members of the Somerset Beekeepers Association (UK) continue to rescue bees from the flood waters. Using canoes and waders, beekeepers are checking on their hives and saving those they can. Others are making plans to raise queens and help beekeepers recover their losses.
And a finally a reminder of the pollinator challenge: Adopt a pollinator this year and learn everything you can about her. If you get a good photo, send it to me for posting. The following photo of a bee on wisteria is from beekeeper Jonathan Sterling. He calls this “swat team bee” because it is all dressed in black. I believe it is a male carpenter bee. Let me know if you think otherwise.