social bees, climate change

3 March 2021

Social bees – and I don’t mean only honey bees by this – are more visible than solitary species. When there’s a bumblebee colony nearby or an apiary, you will automatically see more bumblebees of this species or honey bees flying around. It’s a numbers game. However, I always insist that the bee colonies are […]

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bumblebee ranges

19 February 2021

Bumblebee ranges are a bit different from other bees. As a rule of thumb, bees are most diverse in regions with Mediterranean climate. Bumblebees, on the other hand, like it cooler. I like to call them the polar bears between the bees. This is funny, because, as I learned today, in China apparently they’re called […]

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impact of climate change on pollinators

12 February 2021

The impact of climate change on pollinators is complex. In the examples I gave last week, we saw how a divergence between the flowering period of a plant and the activity period of a bee species can affect the latter. Such phenological mismatches happen when plants and pollinators react differently to rising temperatures. Phenology, if […]

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central place foraging, bees' needs

5 February 2021

Many, many years ago, I was coordinating a federal honey bee selection project in Germany. There was a problem, though: The season doesn’t start at the same time in the whole country. To make the data comparable, we asked the beekeepers to start with their observations when the goat willow started to bloom. This was […]

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managing pollinators, AES, pest control

28 November 2020

Most people would equate “managing pollinators” to beekeeping. Which means working with a managed pollinator, i.e. the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. Which isn’t the meaning I’m referring to here. This month, we’ve been talking about agriculture and how it depends on pollination. I tried to clarify how much crop production depends on biodiversity, gave […]

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road verges, bee conservation

12 August 2020

Road verges cover quite a bit of area. In Germany, where I live, it’s about 30,000 km². I’m not that sure how reliable the data are, but considering that this country seems to be covered in streets, it’s a good approximation, I guess. If you wonder how this relates to bees: well, road verges are […]

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