bee habitat, meadow

25 June 2021

Agriculture and gardens are important elements in the discussions about bee habitat. Usually, they’re presented as a contrast: “More bee diversity in gardens than in farmland!” and similar headlines are quite common. This may be even true in some cases. There are studies showing this, and I’ve talked about simplified landscapes and their risks to…

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bee conservation, good practices

28 May 2021

Bee conservation – the term seems pretty straightforward. However, even such a noble goal can divide and create conflicts. Also between bee people. When I do talks and courses for beekeepers about “other” bees, I often get the question: “But you do like ‘real’ bees, too, don’t you?”. My answer is that I like all…

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native bees, bee diversity, bee conservation

21 May 2021

“Native bees” is a buzzword and is becoming more and more a synonym for all bee species except honey bees. Not even all honey bees: Generally, it’s used to contrast Western honey bees, Apis mellifera. It mainly comes from North American and Australian bee researchers. In these regions, honey bees aren’t native. Therefore, the contrast…

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bee diseases, Managed bees, bee health, one health, bumblebees, honey bees

14 May 2021

Bee health and biodiversity may not be the most obvious connection. The first thing that comes to your mind could be flower diversity – it’s important for bee nutrition and, therefore, health. But this time, it’s all about the value of biodiversity for avoiding virus infections. Something mostly unexplored. To be honest, a connection I…

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flower strips, pollination, bees

7 May 2021

Flower strips at field edges are quite popular. They’re promoted as “bee-friendly”, as increasing biodiversity in farmland. Noble goals. However, it’s a legitimate question if this is true. Some studies show contradicting results. It’s also a common criticism that with flowering strips you first attract pollinators, which are then killed by pesticide applications. This is…

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silent hunger, Year of fruit and vegetables, pollinator limitation, crop production

27 March 2021

Silent hunger means a deficiency of nutrients that affects billions of people worldwide. When wanting to eradicate hunger it’s not only about the calories – the vitamins, the minerals, and antioxidants are important, too. And that’s where pollinators come in. I already talked about the – in my opinion – missed opportunity of including pollinators in the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables. In addition…

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