16 May 2016

Solitary bees contribute more than double to the economic benefit of apple pollination than honeybees. This is the output of a recent study in UK. For studying the contribution of different pollinators to apple yield, they asked three questions: how good do different flower visitors pollinate a flower? how often do the diverse groups visit […]

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engineered bacteria, varroa treatments, bee health

19 February 2016

In public perception, “ecology” is used mostly in the context of conservation and sustainability. The science with this name though, deals with the relationships between organisms, species, populations and their living (biotic) and dead (abiotic) environment. Every species is embedded in a net of relationsships with its surroundings: this is true for pollinators, their pests […]

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1 February 2016

The introduction of European bumblebees in Chile brought the only native species, Bombus dahlbomii, close to extinction. Two species were introduced in Chile, B. ruderatus and B. terrestris. It seems that the latter not only pushed back the native bees, but also transmitted diseases which had this devastating effect to the world’s biggest bumblebee. An […]

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29 January 2016

Two weeks ago I wrote about my time in Thailand and how an old beekeeper preferred native Apis cerana to European A. mellifera. Unfortunately, it seems that this attitude did not persist: there are several notices that Asian honeybees are in decline. This is again bad news for biodiversity. Last year I saw a poster […]

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22 January 2016

With the International Year of Pulses, the FAO wants to promote these very valuable dried seeds. Pulses ensure food security, they are highly nutritious and as leguminous plant they fix nitrogen in the soil . The seeds are food for people, the plant residues fodder for animals – they seem to be an important element […]

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15 January 2016

Flowers and bees have a mutualistic relationsship: this is what we are all taught at school. Flowers give bees a reward for pollinating them – seems to be a win-win situation. But, as often, this does not get the whole picture. There are also bees that steal the reward without giving the service: nectar robbers. […]

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