The Bees and the Birds

United States, Vermont, 1962, Springtime. Walking through the forests, all seemed to be in order, except for one startling peculiarity: the air was still. No birds flew amongst the trees and without them, their songs were gone as well. This unnerving detail was not localised to Vermont. Birds were vanishing from ecosystems all across North […]

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Are bees wildlife?

Why don’t we see bees like another nuisance insect that stings like a vulgar scolopendra or worse, a mosquito? Somewhere deep down, humans have computed that these originally coloured flying darts are more than “just” insects. Bees are one of the most well spread out species families in the kingdom of life. Where there are […]

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Victory! European Union Bans Neonic Pesticides

Environmentalists, health care professionals and food lovers everywhere will be celebrating the European Union’s (EU) decision for an almost complete ban of neonicotinoid (called neonics) pesticides across member states in Europe. The EU had previously restricted use of three neonics from use in 2013, but today’s new ban is more extensive, now completely banning any […]

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De-extinction Versus Wildlife Conservation

Advances in mapping the genomes of long extinct animals of the past raises an interesting debate about whether wildlife conservation is needed at all, especially if scientists can just conjure up dead species like they were never wiped off the face of the Earth. This seems to be similar to the plot of Jurassic park, […]

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POLL: Should neonicotinoids be banned to save bees?

Pesticides used on oilseed rape crops, whose bright yellow flowers have become an increasingly common sight across the British countryside, are harming native populations of wild bees, scientists have conclusively proved. Species that feed most on the flowers of the now-profitable cash crop used for vegetable oils and animal fodder are down by as much […]

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POLL: Should neonicotinoid pesticides be banned to save our bees?

More than a quarter of American honeybee colonies were wiped out over the winter, with deadly infestations of mites and harmful land management practices heaping mounting pressure upon the crucial pollinators and the businesses that keep them. Preliminary figures commissioned by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) show that 28% of bee colonies in the […]

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Bees and pesticides ‘missing link’ found

Scientists say they have found the “missing link” in the debate over the risk of pesticides to bees. French researchers say neonicotinoid pesticides harm individual honeybees, but whole colonies are able to recover in the wild. This accounts for discrepancies between lab and field studies, they report in Royal Society journal Proceedings B. A Europe-wide […]

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A Four-toothed Mason Wasp

This lovely wasp can be found drinking nectar at flowers throughout the eastern United States right now. It is a good wasp to have around the garden because the females round up leaf-rolling caterpillars — the kinds that eat your plants — to provision their nests. When it is time to reproduce, the female wasp […]

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5,000 Honeybees Strap On Backpacks in the Name of Science

There’s been a lot of buzz about colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon causing bees to die off around the world, and Australian scientists are trying a new approach to studying the phenomenon: They’re attaching tiny sensors to bees. More than 5,000 honeybees are being equipped with 2.5mm x 2.5mm sensors that relay data to recorders […]

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