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If you want to reduce your carbon footprint. Clean the inside of your smoker !


Study sheds light on 'overlooked' bee species
Study sheds light on 'overlooked' bee species The UK's first citizen science project focusing on solitary, ground-nesting bees has revealed that they nest in a far broader range of habitats than previously thought.
There are approximately 250 species of solitary bee in the UK, but far less is known about these important pollinators compared to honeybees or bumblebees.


Global bee decline
Global bee decline GBIF analysis supports the hypothesis that we are undergoing a major global collapse in bee diversity that needs the immediate attention of governments and international institutions. Under the best scenario, this collapse can indicate that thousands of bee species have become too rare; under the worst scenario, they may have already gone extinct. In any case, a decline in bee diversity driven by either increasing rarity or irreversible extinction will have consequences for the pollination of wild plants and crops and knock on ecological and economic consequences.


Life Through A Bee's Eyes: New Software Replicates Animal Vision
Life Through A Bee's Eyes How other animals see the world is still something of a mystery — but a new software intends to make their perspective easier to picture.
Explained in a paper published in Methods in Ecology and Evolution, a research team has assembled a kind of extreme photoshop that lets users change image clarity, color and brightness to more closely resemble what other species might perceive.


Successful Field Trials of Edete’s Artificial Pollination Technology Advance Entry into the Huge California Almond Market
Successful Field Trials of pollination system in almond orchards  Israeli agritech startup Edete Precision Technologies for Agriculture has successfully completed field trials in almond orchards in Israel using its unique mechanical pollen harvesting and pollination system. The field trials are crucial for advancing the company’s planned entry into the huge almond market in California. The trials resulted in a substantially increased yield in Israel. Additionally, Edete has recently tested its technology in Australia and proved its ability to produce high-quality viable pollen.


Neonicotinoids: Despite EU moratorium, bees still at risk
Neonicotinoids: Despite EU moratorium, bees still at risk Since 2013, a European Union (EU) moratorium has restricted the application of three neonicotinoids to crops that attract bees because of the harmful effects they are deemed to have on these insects. Yet researchers from the CNRS, INRA, and the Institut de l'Abeille (ITSAP) have just demonstrated that residues of these insecticides—and especially of imidacloprid—can still be detected in rape nectar from 48% of the plots of studied fields, their concentrations varying greatly over the years


How conventional soy farming starves honey bees
How conventional soy farming starves honey bees A significant, multi-year study published Monday provides new evidence that commodity crop production can be detrimental to honey bees, putting colonies at risk by depleting their access to food.
It’s no secret that the recent decline of bee populations is strongly linked with modern agriculture. It’s not just that commonly used pesticides can weaken and confuse bees, jeopardizing their ability to return to the hive after forage. In recent years, scientists have increasingly focused on the ways that monoculture farming—large tracts of land that specialize in a single crop—can deprive honeybees of much-needed dietary diversity, making them more susceptible to disease. Since not all pollen is nutritionally equal, bees need many different kinds to stay healthy. Now, by examining the health of honey bees in Iowa soy fields, scientists have showed precisely how damaging that lack of variation can be.


Israeli Students Make Fake Honey
Israeli Students Make Fake Honey With the global population of bees in decline, honey could become a rare commodity on supermarket shelves.
A team of 12 students from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology has been working for the past year on the development of a bee-free honey. It’s produced by the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, which “learns” to make honey following reprogramming in a lab.
Their efforts have paid off sweetly: The team won a gold medal at the recent iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) competition held in Boston.Some 300 teams from universities around the world took part.


Tesco agrees to withdraw ‘fake’ honey
Tesco agrees to withdraw ‘fake’ honey Tesco has withdrawn one of its own brands of honey from sale after tests suggested it contained cheap syrups made from ordinary sugar.
The retail chain initially refused to remove the honey but changed its mind last night after a leading food safety expert called on it to do so to maintain consumer trust.
The suspected fraud was detected by Richmond council in west London, which had sent a sample of Tesco honey for testing after a complaint from the public. The council said there was "likely to be adulteration with non-natural products".


The Cocktail Effect Report
The Cocktail Effect Report UK citizens and the natural environment are being exposed to potentially harmful mixtures of pesticides.
These mixtures appear in our food, water and soil and can affect the health of both humans and wildlife. There is a growing body of evidence that pesticides can become more harmful when combined, a phenomenon known as the ‘cocktail effect’. Despite this, the regulatory system designed to protect us from pesticides only looks at individual chemicals and safety assessments are carried out for one pesticide at a time.


Pollinator friendliness can extend beyond early spring
Pollinator friendliness can extend beyond early spring A study out of the University of Arkansas investigated whether bulbs can flower and persist in warm-season lawns while providing nutrition for pollinating insects.
Michelle Wisdom, Michael Richardson, Douglas Karcher, Donald Steinkraus, and Garry McDonald sought to determine the parameters by which bulbs can survive and be serviceable beyond their peak seasons.
Their findings are illustrated in the article "Flowering Persistence and Pollinator Attraction of Early-Spring Bulbs in Warm-season Lawns" as published in HortScience.


Years-long Drought Threatens Honey Bees in Chile
Years-long Drought Threatens Honey Bees in Chile Beekeeper Pablo Alvarez sits near his hives and points up into a cloudless, blue Chilean sky. Bees come and go along an imaginary line he makes with his finger. They travel as if following an unseen road in the air.
This season, Alvarez says, there is much less bee traffic than usual.
A quick look around his yard tells the story. Southern hemisphere spring rains once led to fields of dandelion flowers in Casablanca, a town on the Chilean Pacific coast. Now, there is just dry earth.


Strategies of a honey bee virus
Strategies of a honey bee virus The Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus is a pathogen that affects honey bees and has been linked to Colony Collapse Disorder, a key factor in decimating the bee population. Researchers have now analyzed in detail how the virus hijacks the cellular protein production machinery and misuses it for its own purposes. The research, published in the EMBO Journal, is an important step towards the development of strategies to fight the Colony Collapse Disorder.


Honey bees stuck in water can create a wave to "surf" to safety, scientists believe.
Honey bees stuck in water can create a wave to 'surf' to safety When bees land on water, the liquid sticks to their wings and therefore they can't quickly fly away. To test out how bees are able to escape from such situations, researchers took a pan of water, which they let go still. They placed bees in the water and pointed a light at their tiny bodies so they would cast shadows in the container.
The team behind the study, published in the journal PNAS, watched as the bees used their wings to create waves that pushed them forward. These waves gathered behind the bees, but left the path ahead of the insects remains relatively clear. This propelled the bugs forwards.


European beekeeping in crisis
European beekeeping in crisis Europe's bee population is dying. The number of pollinator species threatened by extinction is increasing each year, and human activity is the main cause.
Those are the alarming findings of a report published by experts of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (Ipbes), founded by 124 UN member states and based on the findings of hundreds of scientists. Findings of the report, entitled Pollination, pollinators and food production are supported by other researchers as well.


New report reveals true impact of insect apocalypse and calls for urgent action
New report reveals true impact of insect apocalypse and calls for urgent action A new report by a Professor at the University of Sussex warns that if insect declines are not halted, ecosystems will collapse with ‘profound consequences for human wellbeing.’
Commissioned by a group of Wildlife Trusts in the south west, Professor Dave Goulson’s report reveals the eating birds, bats, and fish, and the cost to society in terms of the millions in lost revenue and broken ecosystems.
“They are also food for numerous larger animals, including birds, bats, fish, amphibians and lizards. If we don’t stop the decline of our insects there will be profound consequences for all life on earth.


Bees: It's not all about honey for Wales' 180 varieties
The large mason bee is one of Wales' most threatened species Could you tell a nomad bee from a blood bee or sharp-tail bee ?
Honey bees grab most of the limelight with their produce used for food, drink, drugs and skincare products. But they are just one of the 180 species found in Wales.
The rest are wild bees - a mix of solitary and bumblebees - with more than half finding sanctuary in former colliery sites, according to experts.
Seven species have already been wiped out in Wales, Buglife Cymru has said.
And five more are on the brink of extinction.


Munich study confirms severe decline in insect populations in Germany
Munich study confirms severe decline in insect populations in Germany In October 2017 a long-term, study by the Entomological Society Krefeld hit like a bomb: Within thirty years, the number of flying insects in Germany was said to have decreased by three quarters. Now a research team led by Sebastian Seibold and Wolfgang Weisser, who teach terrestrial ecology at the Technical University of Munich, is confirming the reported decline. The biologists published their results on October 30 in the journal Nature. "Previous studies have concentrated either exclusively on biomass, i.e. the total weight of all insects, or on individual species or groups of species," said Seibold, head of the research group, highlighting the special nature of his new research work. His group combined both approaches.


Rampant Honey Fraud Spawns Creation of New Certification Program
Rampant Honey Fraud Spawns Creation of New Certification Program Confusion among honey consumers in Canada and the United States reached its peak over the last few weeks when the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and a lawsuit filed in Kansas alleged that the honey industry in both countries is rife with fraud.
For over 10 years, Mitchell Weinberg, founder of the food fraud investigation firm INSCATECH®, has been speaking about the pervasiveness of food fraud. In responding to the recent news about honey fraud, Weinberg stated: "Finally, consumers are being made aware of the fact that they are being grossly misled about the authenticity of the food they consume. The situation with honey is particularly egregious, because honest beekeepers and a handful of ethical honey packers are battling severely declining honeybee populations, authentic honey shortages and unscrupulous actors in the honey industry."


Argonne Team Looks to Insect Brains as Models for Computer Chip Innovation
Argonne Team Looks to Insect Brains as Models for Computer Chip Innovation Scientists at the Energy Department’s Argonne National Laboratory have pioneered a cutting-edge neuromorphic computer chip—modeled off the brains of bees, fruit flies and other insects—that can rapidly learn, adapt and use substantially less power than its conventional computer chip counterparts.


MEPs block member states’ move to weaken bee protection from pesticides
MEPs block member states’ move to weaken bee protection from pesticides MEPs sent the Commission back to the drawing board after member states watered down draft measures to protect bees.
The European Commission’s draft proposal was intended to incorporate into EU law the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) 2013 guidance to cut the use of pesticides that harm bees. The guidance indicated how pesticides should be tested, in order to protect bees from both acute and chronic exposure. Pesticides would remain available on the market only if they pass these new tests


From biomedicine to buzz pollination: why we need a plan 'bee'
From biomedicine to buzz pollination: why we need a plan 'bee' As pollinators, bees are responsible for many of our plants flowering and for many of the fruits and veggies in our diet.
And of course, it's thanks to them we have honey.
But have we underestimated the humble bee ? Researchers report that some Australian honeys act as a potent antimicrobial agent, with amazing healing properties.


Making a business from honey: Beekeeper's mead mission
Making a business from honey: Beekeeper's mead mission Not many people are lucky enough to turn a hobby into a career.
But that is what Matt Newell, 30, has done, using honey from his beehives to make mead - an alcoholic drink - that is now on sale across the Wye Valley.
"I've been beekeeping as a hobby for 15 years, and have wanted to make mead commercially for such a long time," Mr Newell said.


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