bees

One of the foundations of American agriculture is under attack on several fronts. The victims - bees. WUSF visits one beekeeper in Polk County who has to drive thousands of miles every year to keep his hives humming.

The controversial herbicide Roundup has been accused of causing cancer in humans and now scientists in Texas argue that the world's most popular weed killer could be partly responsible for killing off bee populations around the world.

Miami Herald

Bees have struggled for years with Colony Collapse Disorder. And there are all sorts of ideas on how to solve it. They include everything from backyard beehives to filling empty lots in cities with hives - even using robot bees

NPR

A Florida State University study links declining bumble bee populations with climate change.

The researchers examined three bumble bee species in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and found warmer temperatures are affecting flowers, the animals’ food source.

Lead investigator Jane Ogilvie considers the findings a warning for other places like Florida, where she says the issue is not as well-studied.

“There could be subtle changes in how flowers are distributed in a place like Florida that could have these knock-on effects on pollinators.”

Bees often bring to mind images of large hives dripping with honey and buzzing with the common honey bee. But thousands of North American bee species live solitary lives gathering the nectar and pollen they need to survive. A new study by a University of Florida Ph.D. student found these lonely bees using innovative strategies to get the sugar they need when flowers are scarce.

Wild bees, such as bumblebees, don't get as much love as honeybees, but they should. They play just as crucial a role in pollinating many fruits, vegetables and wildflowers, and compared to managed colonies of honeybees, they're in much greater jeopardy.

Near Esparto, in the beautiful Capay Valley region of central California, 1,400 young almond trees flourish in a century-old orchard overlooking the hills. Since November, they've stood in perfect rows without a hint of foliage — resting, naked and dormant, for the upcoming growing season. Their branches now swell with bright pastel blooms in preparation for pollination.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated the rusty patched bumblebee an endangered species — the first such designation for a bumblebee and for a bee species in the continental U.S.

The protected status, which goes into effect on Feb. 10, includes requirements for federal protections and the development of a recovery plan. It also means that states with habitats for this species are eligible for federal funds.

The Importance Of The Bee Population

Aug 21, 2014
Maciej A. Czyzewski - Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

08/21/14 - Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN guest host Peter J. talk about the importance of the bee population, why we are losing so many bees and what is being done about it.  John Gentzel, a Homestead Beekeeper is in studio; He is on the Board of the Dade County Farm Bureau. Also joining the conversation is Aaron Mullins, a senior biological scientist at the University of Florida, Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center.