22 July 2016

Two days ago I had a big surprise in the garden of the CREA-API in Bologna: I met my first Megachile sculpturalis, a really giant bee: they become up to 25 mm long. Some of the specimens I see downstairs look even bigger to me, but this may be an impression. First, I was quite […]

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10 June 2016

Today the Bee Week is starting in Brussels. Since 2012 it is organized every year, hosted by the European Parliament. This year’s theme is “Bees caring for Europeans. Europeans caring for Bees?”. The aim is to give different stakeholders and policy makers an opportunity to meet: representatives of European and national institutions, beekeepers, farmers, NGOs, […]

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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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varroa treatments

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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12 February 2016

Last week Science published a study about the manmade dispersal of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV). This virus alone causes asymptomatic infections, but in association with Varroa destructor, it becomes a clinical disease closely related to winter losses of honeybees. The parasites are vectors for the virus and only together they cause symptoms like crippled wings […]

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5 February 2016

Bees are an exception to the rule saying that biodiversity is highest in the tropics. This is not true for bees – the climate in the tropics is not favourable for the flowers they forage on. In tropical areas you find other pollinators – like bats or birds – much more often than bees. Hotspots […]

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