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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4 December 2015

Animal welfare is often and intensely discussed for mammals or poultry. Bees on the other hand, only seldomly are considered in these discussions. This may be because it is hard to define what welfare could be for them. We see if a dog or a cow is not well, they are mammals as we are…

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28 July 2015

The news bumblebees were suffering from climate change perhaps was not that surprising – bumblebees are the polar bears amongst the bees, they usually prefer cool temperatures. But the extent of the impact and how quick the distribution range of bumblebees is changing is nonetheless scary. In one of the press releases related to the…

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14 March 2015

Reading about a healthy and persistent wild bee population in the USA resisting also varroa infestation made me think of the original host of the varroa mite, the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana. For my PhD, I studied the fertility regulation of Varroa destructor. As the mites do not reproduce in the worker brood of their…

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