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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1 February 2015

My “bee career” began with bumblebees. It was in a course of evolutionary ecology at the university; together with another student I observed different bumblebee species on different flowers in the garden of the faculty. We noticed that some bumblebee species fly on open, more disc-shaped flowers, while other species preferred flowers with long corollas […]

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managed bees, parasites, bee health, Bombus dahlbomii

30 January 2015

When I heard that Bombus dahlbohmii is near to extinction at the EurBee conference in Murcia last September, I was shocked. It was just a small part of Dave Goulson’s plenary talk the first day of the conference, only a comment before coming to the main argument, the impact of pesticides on bumblebees. For me […]

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