bumblebee

Bees prefer road-side snacks

A new study from Plymouth University seems to show that bumble bees would rather dodge the traffic when foraging on hedges than pop over the other side for a peaceful snack in a field. After study hedgerows at 30 locations in Devon and Cornwall the researchers concluded that road-facing hedges offered more resources to bees […]

Neonicotinoids shuts down bees power plants

Neonicotinoids are a prime suspect in the loss of honey bees. They have been shown to interfere with the way that bees forage and navigate. New research now shows that the neonicotinoid pesticdes also impact on the way that cells in bees produce energy. Imidacloprid – a neonicotinoid – and Fibronil – a pyrazoles – have […]

Controversial bee project buzzing with success

A bee re-introduction plan in Kent which led to outrage in Sweden appears to be working as researchers discover workers in the fields – a sure sign of the queen bees having bred. There has been a number of failed attempts at reintroducing the short-haired bumblebee to Kent in this year it may have finally […]

Radio-tagged bumble-bees reveal impacts of pesticides

A study involving the tagging of bees shows how neonicotinoid based pesticides influence the foraging of bees and interferes with the insects learning new foraging skills. The study was undertaken by researchers from Guelph’s School of Environmental Sciences and Imperial College London and was published in British Ecological Society’s journal Functional Ecology. The study by by Nigel […]

International taskforce back action on neonicotinoids

An international team affiliated with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has come down in favour of regulatory control of the neonicotinoids basec pesticides. The task force undertook a meta-analysis of 800 peer-reviewed studies and concluded that the evidence was sufficient to support regulatory action. The scientists from the Task Force on […]

Europe’s bumblebees heading for disaster

Of the 68 species of bumblebee that live in Europe almost a quarter (24%) are at real risk of extinction. This was the findings of a recently published report produced by the European Union. The study which aimed to look at the state of the species on a European level is a concern because of the […]

Global Re-introductions case studies published

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has released the latest volume of case studies involving the re-introduction of endangered species. The 298 page book is available to download free of charge in pdf format. It covers 236 re-introduction programmes and is the 4th in a series from the Reintroduction Specialists Group. The […]

Spiders opt for a side portion of veg with their meat

Far from being purely meat eaters it appears that some species of spider opt for a side portion of vegetable matter with their protein. A study by researchers from Exeter University has discovered that some orb spiders will eat pollen as well as predating on insects and that pollen can make up 25% of a […]

CITES checklist now online

With 35,000 different species covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) it can be difficult for wildlife traders and customers to ensure that they have the adequate documentation and certificates. Many exotic pet or plant owners may not even be aware of the need for certification of some species. THat has all […]

Air pollution impacts on bees ability to find food

Diesel fumes from modern transport and agricultural equipment could be preventing honeybees from finding their food flowers according to scientists. The researchers from Southampton have discovered that air pollution can mask the odour of flowers. By masking the floral smells of different species the honey bees are unable to find their preferred source of food. […]

Scotland loses a third of its honeybees over winter

Last winter saw one of the biggest losses of managed honeybees in Scotland for many years. The results of a recent survey has just been published and last winters weather together with the slow start to this spring saw 31% of honeybee colonies fail to make it for the new season. The survey run by Strathclyde […]

Fungicides implicated in honey bee parasite susceptability

A study just publishes seems to show that honey bees can be exposed to sub-lethal levels of widely used fungicides which will make them more at risk from the gut parasite Nosema ceranae. The team of researchers in the United States pollen in beehives across a wide range of crops that required pollination. The researchers examined the […]

International taxonomists name their Top 10 new species from 2012

In celebration of  Carolus Linnaeus – the scientist who established the naming system for species – the world’s top taxonomists have released their latest Top 10 new species list. The latest list  covers 2012 and is the 6th annual list they have produced. The choice of this years top species covers a wide range of […]

Dragonflies start to take centre stage

Dragonflies are growing in popularity with the general public – at least in the US – with festivals springing up across the country. It’s long overdue as dragonflies and damselflies have to be some of the most stunning and fascinating insects that can be seen. The US Wildlife and Fisheries Service has featured the new […]

Need to name a new species? Look to Yellow Pages

Discovering, describing and naming a new species used to be a long time-consuming task but thanks to DNA profiling it is much quicker and easier. That’s important with current levels of habitat loss. But what happens when new species come thick and fast? How do you name all those new species? That’s a problem that […]

Kill Bill hits the insect world

Dressed in orange with black stripes Uma Thurman as Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill leaves a trail of blood and gore throughout the movie. The Bride fights the Crazy 88 scene is one of the most bloody in Quentin Tarantino’s film. Now a blood-thirsty parasitic wasp from Thailand has been named after the lead character. Cystomastacoides […]

10 years of tropical forest bug counting

A project to count all the arthropods in the San Lorenzo forest of Panama could help to give a much more accurate estimate of the number of species on Earth. The project discovered that for every plant species there were 20 species of arthropods, for every species of birds there were 83 species of arthropods […]

Can gardens still help this years butterflies

It’s clearly coming towards the end of a washout summer and one of the insects that have really bared the brunt of the adverse weather is the butterfly. The cold and wet weather has meant that numbers are well down in many parts of the UK. However if you end up having a bit of an […]

Britains iconic moorlands could be lost due to herbicide ban

Concerns are being raised that the ban of the herbicide Asulam by the EU could lead to major losses of Britain’s heather moorlands. The chemical is the most effective bracken control herbicide available and it ban at the end of the year could mean maintaining the habitat becomes too difficult. Britain has 75% of the […]

Flickr leads to discovery of new lacewing species

A brand new species of lacewing has been discovered in Malaysia but were it not for photo sharing website Flickr the species could have remained unknown and undescribed. The insect was photographed in the rain-forest of Selangor in Malaysia and then released. The images were posted online and discovered by research scientists. The new green […]