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The New England Bee Hotel For Pollinators

A newly constructed “bee hotel” at the University of New Hampshire’s Woodman Farm isn’t much to look at — with its cinder block floors and pine cone-littered suites — but for the region’s pollinators, it’s as appealing as any five-star resort.

The bee hotel is at the center of the first-ever comprehensive study of New England’s bee population. The study, led by researchers at the University of New Hampshire’s New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station (NHAES), aims to assess the condition of the region’s estimated 250 species of bees.

“The study will establish the first complete diversity assessment of native bees in the region and also provide a better understanding of pollinator diversity and ecology,” Sandra Rehan, lead NHAES researcher and assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of New Hampshire’s College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA), said in a statement.

The study, called “Sustainable Solutions to Problems Affecting Bee Health,” was launched to coincide with National Pollinator Week (June 16-22), an annual event sanctioned by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture that highlights the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations in the United States.

“Basic data on species diversity and habitat preferences will be fundamental to future studies to ameliorate declining bee populations and to target species at risk,” Rehan said.

In addition to helping protect native bees in New England, Rehan said the project is designed to raise awareness about how humans are affecting pollinator populations in the region, as well as across other areas of the country.

Bees, which play a critical role in the health of food crops and natural ecosystems, have experienced rapid declines in population and diversity over the past several years, research from NHAES shows.

And humans deserve at least part of the blame for this decline. Loss of habitat and agricultural environments, as well as the widespread use of pesticides and chemicals in farming, are believed to be contributing to the current bee crisis throughout the United States.

 

The value of pollination to agriculture is estimated at more than $200 billion each year worldwide, said Rehan, who oversees the University of New Hampshire’s Bee Lab.  This makes the university’s research into the subject even more pressing, and has led to the launch of a longer-term project to monitor the biodiversity of bees in New Hampshire. The bee hotel at Woodman Farm represents one part of this project, with other monitoring sites at NHAES facilities also contributing much-needed data.

“By documenting what species are abundant, common and rare to the area, we can track species habitat and floral preferences,” Rehan said.  “By further developing long-term monitoring, we can identify species at risk and changes in bee communities.”

The researchers plan to use genomic screening on the winged guests of the bee hotel to identify which species suffer low genetic variability. This trait, the researchers explained, may indicate certain genetic issues that can lead to the decline or even extinction of a species.

John Wraith, NHAES director and dean of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, expressed enthusiasm for the bee hotel project and its related studies, noting the impact that pollinators have in New Hampshire and its neighboring regions.

“These are critically important, time-sensitive issues that face our state and regional producers, gardeners, residents and visitors,” Wraith said in a statement.

“We’re excited to support this work within our engaged research portfolio.”

 

Rehan is equally excited about the studies, and hopes that continued research and education can help reverse the trend in declining bee populations in New England and other regions.

“By educating New Hampshire citizens, farmers and policymakers about native bees and habitat preferences, we can encourage the regional and national authorities to create and maintain native bee habitats,” Rehan said.

Saturn’s Polar Hexagon Explained

This may seem like an odd thing for a bee-based skincare and honey site to be posting about, but we love all aspects of what makes up a beehive. One of those very important things is the shape of the honeycomb. fjallraven kanken classic 16 L A hexagon is the most erognomic shape and the perfect match for something as complex yet simple as a honeycomb. Adidas Pas Cher So whenever we see interesting news related to our favourite shape, we just have to share it, and what’s more fascinating than a naturally occurring hexagon on Saturn?

The unusual structure with a hexagonal shape surrounding Saturn’s north pole was spotted on the planet for the first time thirty years ago. Nothing similar with such a regular geometry had ever been seen on any planet in the Solar System. Womens Air Jordan 5 The Planetary Sciences Group has now been able to study and measure the phenomenon and, among other achievements, establish its rotation period. What is more, this period could be the same as that of the planet itself. Saturn is the only planet in the Solar System whose rotation time remains unknown. The research illustrates the front cover of the journal Geophysical Research Letters and has been highlighted by the publication’s editor.

In 1980 and 1981 NASA’s Voyager 1 and 2 space probes passed for the first time over the planet Saturn, located 1,500 million km from the Sun. Among their numerous discoveries they observed a strange, hexagon-shaped structure in the planet’s uppermost clouds surrounding its north pole. Air Jordan 2 Retro The hexagon remained virtually static, without moving, vis-à-vis the planet’s overall rotation that was not accurately known. Dennis Pitta Ravens Jerseys What is more, the images captured by the Voyager probes found that the clouds were moving rapidly inside the hexagon in an enclosed jet stream and were being dragged by winds travelling at over 400 km/h.

Thirty years later –the equivalent of one Saturn year, in other words, the time the planet takes to go all the way around the Sun– and over more than six consecutive years, researchers in the UPV/EHU’s Planetary Sciences Group, in collaboration with astronomers from various countries, were able to observe Saturn’s northern polar region in detail once again and confirmed that the hexagon continued in place.

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  • After measuring the positions of the hexagon vertices with great precision, they determined that its movement remains extremely stable, and on the basis of the cloud movements, that the jet stream inside it remains unchanged. For this study the researchers used images taken from the Earth between 2008 and 2014; they used, among others, the astronomical cameras PlanetCam (developed by the Planetary Sciences Group itself) and Astralux, fitted to the telescopes of the Calar Alto Observatory in Almería (Spain); in addition, they used the very high resolution images obtained by t he Cassini spacecraft, which has been orbiting Saturn since 2004. New York Giants Jerseys

    Due to the tilt of approximately 27º of the planet Saturn, its polar atmosphere undergoes intense seasonable variations with long polar nights lasting over seven years, followed by a long period of 23 years of variable illumination. However, the seasonal variations do not affect the hexagon and its jet stream at all, so both are part of an extensive wave, deeply rooted in Saturn’s atmosphere. Fjallraven Kanken Kids UK The UPV/EHU researchers suggest that the hexagon and its stream are the manifestation of a “Rossby wave” similar to those that form in the mid-latitudes of the earth. On our planet the jet stream meanders from west to east and brings, associated with it, the system of areas of low pressure and anticyclones which we have been seeing regularly on weather maps.

    On Saturn, a hydrogen gas planet, ten times the size of the Earth, cold in its upper clouds, without a solid surface, and with an atmosphere as deep as that of an ocean, “the hexagonal wavy motion of the jet stream is expected to be propagated vertically and reveal to us aspects of the planet’s hidden atmosphere,” pointed out Agustín Sánchez-Lavega, Head of the Planetary Sciences research group. cheap jordans uk “The movement of the hexagon could therefore be linked to the depths of Saturn, and the rotation period of this structure, which, as we have been able to ascertain, is 10 hours, 39 minutes and 23 seconds, could be that of the planet itself,” he added.

    Radio Tagging Bees – For Science!

    Miniature radio tags, kind of like toll cards for cars, are being attached to the back of bees to help them survive the threat of exotic diseases.

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  • Five thousand tags are being fitted to bees in southern Tasmania. Justin Forsett Ravens Jerseys The information they generate will be used to learn more about bee movement and behaviour.

    CSIRO Science Leader Dr Paulo de Souza has been instrumental in developing the tiny radio frequency identification sensor. Yadier Molina Jersey He says the technology works because bees are social animals: “Because the communication range we have today is pretty short, we can read the data about 30 centimetres away. nike air max 1 pas cher So if we have an insect that passes a specific place that we can read the data, that will help us a lot.”

    Beekeeper Peter Norris is hopeful the technology can be used to eradicate the exotic Asian Honey Bee, found in Queensland. New Balance buty damskie “It’s fantastic for our industry, particularly if we can get to the point where we can take GPS readings.

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  • It would be a real breakthrough from a pollination point of view for working out pollination densities.

    “But probably one of the major things I’d like to see it used for is eradicating Apis cerana, which was an incursion in Cairns in 2007. Scarpe Kobe 11 Unfortunately it wasn’t eradicated and it’s now moved to a management situation. adidas yeezy boost 750 męskie But with this chip, if we could trap Apis cerana at feeding stations, we could get GPS readings of where the nests are. Nike Air Max Flyknit Heren We would be in a position to eradicate it.”

    Dr de Souza says that, in the future, even smaller radio transmitters could be used to study Queensland fruit fly, an increasingly concerning issue in New Zealand.

    via ABC.

    Halloween Week: Help Scientists Battle Zombees

    Honey bee colonies are subject to numerous pathogens and parasites. Adrian Gonzalez Jersey Interaction among multiple pathogens and parasites is the proposed cause for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a syndrome characterized by worker bees abandoning their hive. Last year scientists from the San Francisco State University provided the first documentation that the phorid fly Apocephalus borealis, previously known to parasitize bumble bees, also infected and eventually killed honey bees and may pose an emerging threat to North American apiculture.

    Scientists say the fly deposits its eggs into the bee’s abdomen, causing the insect to walk around in circles with no apparent sense of direction. The bee exhibits zombie-like behaviour, said lead investigator John Hafernik. Parasitised honey bees show hive abandonment behavior, leaving the hive at night and dying shortly thereafter. On average, seven days later up to 13 phorid larvae emerge from each dead bee and pupate away from the bee. Using DNA barcoding, the researchers confirmed that phorids that emerged from honey bees and bumble bees were the same species.

    Microarray analyses of honey bees from infected hives revealed that these bees are often infected with deformed wing virus and Nosema ceranae. Larvae and adult phorids also tested positive for these pathogens, implicating the fly as a potential vector or reservoir of these honey bee pathogens. Air Jordan 5 Uomo Phorid parasitism may affect hive viability since 77% of sites sampled in the San Francisco Bay Area were infected by the fly and microarray analyses detected phorids in commercial hives in South Dakota and California’s Central Valley.

    To learn more about how the parasitic fly affects the bees’ behavior, the scientists have built a system to track the movements of infected bees in and out of a hive. cheap fjallraven kanken Each bee has a set of tiny radio frequency trackers — each no bigger than a fleck of glitter — attached to the top of its thorax. Tennis Nike The bees leave and return to the hive through a small tube outfitted with dual laser readers that interact with the individual trackers.

    Knowing exactly when bees leave–and whether they come back–is important for understanding how and when the parasites might cause the bees to abandon their hives. The original study found bees disoriented and dying at night, for instance, but the researchers aren’t sure whether the infected bees only leave their hives to fly in the dark. adidas cloudfoam hombre The researchers hope to capitalize on the interest in the bees with a citizen science project called ZomBee Watch.

    ZomBee Watch has three main goals. nike air max nederland 1. To determine where in North America the Zombie Fly Apocephalus borealis is parasitizing honey bees. Under Armour Curry One 2. To determine how often honey bees leave their hives at night, even if they are not parasitized by the Zombie Fly. 3. To engage citizen scientists in making a significant contribution to knowledge about honey bees and to become better observers of nature. fjallraven kanken mochilas If you live in the United States, they need your help finding out where honey bees are being parasitized by the Zombie Fly and how big a threat the fly is to honey bees. So far, the Zombie Fly has been found parasitizing honey bees in California and South Dakota.

    The Science Behind Ancient Honey

    In 1905 when archaeologist James Quibell uncovered the tomb of Yuya and Tjuya, the parents of 18th dynasty Egyptian Queen Tiye, who was Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III, among the items he discovered was a jar of honey. It was noted as still being liquid, and even still preserving its characteristic scent, despite being 3,300 years old. Stephen Piscotty Authentic Jersey

    So how can honey remain perfectly edible for thousands upon thousands of years, seemingly without an expiry date? The Smithsonian Magazine endeavoured to find out, and came up with a very interesting – and very complex – answer. asics gel pulse 7 męskie It all boils down to the sugar in the honey, sugar that contains very little water in its natural state, therefore providing an impossible environment for any external bacteria to live in.

    As Amina Harris, executive director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute at Univeristy of California explains;

    Honey in its natural form is very low moisture. San Antonio Spurs Very few bacteria or microorganisms can survive in an environment like that, they just die. They’re smothered by it, essentially.

    It has a pH that falls between 3 and 4.5, approximately, and that acid will kill off almost anything that wants to grow there.

    So what is it that honey bees do to the honey that makes it so apparently everlasting? The answer is in the nectar. sac kanken pas cher This first material collected by bees to make honey is naturally very high in water–anywhere from 60-80%. Canotte Los Angeles Clippers But through the process of making honey, the bees play a large part in removing much of this moisture by flapping their wings to literally dry out the nectar. Asics Gel Lyte 5 damskie On top of the behavior, the chemical makeup of a bee’s stomach also plays a large part in honey’s resilience. Bees have an enzyme in their stomachs called glucose oxidase. New Balance 530 męskie When the bees regurgitate the nectar from their mouths into the combs to make honey, this enzyme mixes with the nectar, breaking it down into two by-products: gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. Then hydrogen peroxide goes in to work against all other organisms that could possibly grow.

    A jar of honey’s seal, it turns out, is the final factor that’s key to honey’s long shelf life, as exemplified by the storied millennia-old Egyptian specimens. C.J. Mosley Ravens Jerseys As Harris explains, ”As long as the lid stays on it and no water is added to it, honey will not go bad.

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  • As soon as you add water to it, it may go bad. Or if you open the lid, it may get more water in it and it may go bad.”

    We’re assuming by “bad” Harris means “ready to spread on our toast or have in our tea”. Adidas buty sklep We estimate that since our Raw & Unheated Honey is as pure as honey can get, with as little processing as possible, this is the honey in our range most likely to be able to retain all its goodness for the longest.

    Flight of the Bumblebee Studied for Science

    <span style="font-family: georgia, adidas chaussures femme palatino;”>Everyone is familiar with Rimsky-Korsakov’s famous interlude, however scientists from Harvard University have been studying an actual flight of the bumblebee in an effort to work out how the insects manage to remain steady in adverse weather conditions. Dr Sridhar Ravi filmed bumblebees as they flew in a wind tunnel allowing him and his team to control the airflow the bees had to contend with.

    <span style="font-family: georgia, Hogan Rebel palatino;”>Dr Ravi says “As we have all experienced, the wind speed and direction outdoors can be very variable, Nike Air Huarache [so] maintaining stable flight can be extremely challenging. The best micro air vehicles available today struggle to fly stably when there is even in a light breeze.”

    The team filmed the bees using high-speed cameras and replayed their flight in super slow motion, discovering how the insects adjusted their flight according to the airflow. Interestingly the footage revealed that the bees reduced their speed in unsteady winds, which seemed to allow them to expend more energy correcting their flight path.
    <span style="font-family: georgia, Billige Nike Sko palatino;”>“The bumblebees also seemed to be more susceptible to disturbances that pushed them sideways as opposed to up and down,” explained Dr Ravi. “The bees rolled considerably to change course and correct for the disturbances induced by the wind.”
    <span style="font-family: georgia, Garrett Richards Baseball Jersey palatino;”>
    <span style="font-family: georgia, adidas zx flux męskie palatino;”>Ravi says their research will enable them to design much more efficient robotic micro air vehicles that are faced with adverse and changeable weather conditions. Currently the smallest autonomous MAVs in use today are about 15cm, adidas yeezy heren and are mostly used for meteorological or military purposes such as the UK Military’s mini helicopter drones.
    <span style="font-family: georgia, nike pas cher palatino;”>
    <span style="font-family: georgia,

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  • palatino; font-size: x-small;”>via BBC

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    Not Just Black and Yellow: Bees Show Off Their True Colours

    You could almost be forgiven for thinking that there are two types of bee in the world; honey bees and bumblebees. Canotte Los Angeles Clippers Almost. Canotta Oklahoma City Thunder However, there are over 20,000 known species of bee, and of the 4,000 of those native to North America, only the minority bear the distinct yellow and black marking that makes them so recognisable. nike tn requin pas cher Now the full spectrum of bees’ stark beauty has been captured by photographer Sam Droege from the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring program.

    Less is known about these more colourful varieties of bees, but many live solitary rather than hive-oriented lives, and their size can vary just as greatly as their colour scheme, with some as big as bumblebees, and others smaller than a grain of rice. Nike Air Huarache What they all share in common however, thanks to these amazing images by Droege, are some spectacularly vibrant colours. Canotta Dallas Mavericks Here’s a sample from Droege’s full portfolio.

    Augochlorella aurata – One of the most common bees in Eastern North America. Nike Air Max 2017 Heren rood A particular lover of open fields, they measure around 5mm.

    Augochloropsis-metallica – A little bigger, coming in at around 9mm, they range from Ontario in Canada, throughout the US and as south as Mexico and Panama.

    Agapostemon angelicus – A more recognisable abdomen, but the thorax is a shimmering blue-green. new balance 1980 zante roma Little is known about this one, but they are known to be fairly solitary and can change foraging habits to suit conditions.

    Hylaeus volatilis – A native species of Hawaiian bee found at mid elevations on East Maui. air max pas cher This species is particularly interesting in that it is a nest parasite of other native Hylaeus species.

    Anthophora affabilis – Again, very little is known of this species, with only a few solitary males observed.

    World’s 20,000th Species of Bee Identified

    When people think of bees, they usually think of the humble Bumble or Honey Bee, but in fact there are only around 250 species of the former, and an even smaller 10 species of the latter. Nike Air Max Thea Dames The vast majority of the other approximately 19,700 species of bees come in all shapes, sizes and colours, some of which we’ve mentioned before.

    Now an article published in Auckland by an Ontario-based researcher has identified 21 more, pushing the world’s total known bee species past the 20,000 mark. All the newly identified species belong to the genus Mexalictus, which are mostly found in high elevations between Arizona and Panama, asics gel nimbus mujer with some being discovered in Guatemala, Honduras, New Balance 1600 damskie and Nicaragua.

    <span style="font-family: georgia, nike air max 1 uomo palatino;”>Unlike your common or garden Honey or Bumble Bee, Nike Air Huarache Dames these new species are very rare, some only known to science due to the discovery of one specimen. New Balance 515 hombre Like most other bees found in the world, these new species are likely solitary and nest in the ground or in twig hollows, Nike Air Max 2017 Dames roze however no nests have yet been found. As the researcher Sheila Dumesh says, “Because their habitats are often imperilled from deforestation and climate change, finding them before they become extinct is a race against time.”

    <span style="font-family: georgia, chaussures asics homme pas cher palatino;”>Despite not being as well known to the general population as their honey-making cousins, many thousands of other bee species also pollinate plants and crops. York bee lab leader Professor Laurence Packer explains, “Documenting what these wild bee species are and what they do, as well as understanding their role in agriculture and our planet’s overall ecology is all extremely important.”

     

    ~ Mr B

    via York University.

    A Live Stream Of Honey Bees Rebuilding Their Hive Is More Hypnotic Than You’d Think

    Most people wouldn’t want to go near a beehive for fear of being stung.

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  • Now they don’t have to thanks to the efforts of Explore.org.

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  • The organisation which live streams the daily activities and behaviours of everything from beluga whales to puffins to even weedy sea dragons has turned its attention to the humble honey bee. Canotta Squadra USA

    Setting up two cameras, the team is capturing images from both the entrance to a hive that has been established inside a large hollow log, and the other actually streaming from inside the hive. lunette de soleil ray ban

    The best time to see them coming and going from the hive is between the hours of 6am to 9pm Central European Time (about 4pm to 7am New Zealand Standard Time), but even if it’s dark out, it is still fascinating to see them working away inside the hive at all hours. Nike Scarpe Italia

    You may notice that they seem to be working harder than usual ( well spotted!) That’s because the hive recently suffered a collapse. nike pas cher Not the kind of collapse normally associate with Colony Collapse Disorder; the bees didn’t disappear, but rather, the comb toppled over.

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  • The honey bees are now working their abdomens off to get the hive re-established and, as of writing this, they look to be doing a great job.

    From what we’ve seen so far, the camera positioned at the entrance to the hive doesn’t move at all, but nonetheless effectively captures the ceaseless hustle and bustle of the bees’ daily trips, taking off and landing as they collect pollen for the colony. New Balance Pas Cher But it’s the cameras inside the hive that is the most intriguing. I’ve had the stream open all day on my computer and have caught myself being hypnotised watching them go about their business inside, building new combs, protecting the queen, raising new generations of workers and drones, crawling around doing general maintenance, and of course producing honey.

    The hive is situated in the small town of Wall, Bavaria, Germany but now anyone from around the world can get a glimpse of live in the hive.

    Less Urban Beekeeping, More Bee-Friendly Plants, say Scientists

    Over the last few years, the plight of the honey bee has had its profile raised in a number of ways. air max pas cher The importance of our food producing friends cannot be overstated, but one result of this public sentiment to help save them may actually end up doing them harm according to scientists. adidas gazelle uomo rosse The rise in popularity of urban beekeeping has seen many big names get in on the act and start up their own rooftop operations, among them the London Stock Exchange, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, and even the White House.

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  • There’s even an entire honey company that relies solely on the efforts of urban beekeeping.

    However scientists from the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects (LASI) at the University of Sussex have written in The Biologist that such a burgeoning practice may end up doing more harm than good. Kole Calhoun Baseball Jersey Major cities like London, New York and Toronto have brought about a 220% rise in beekeepers since 1999, while in five years alone beekeepers in Greater London tripled from 464 to 1,237. asics scarpe 2017 Professor Francis Ratnieks and Dr Karin Alton from LASI argue that such a huge increase could put a strain on the nectar and pollen supplies available to the bees in those areas.

    The scientists recognise that many urban properties set up rooftop hives in order to strengthen their ‘green’ image, or to help with team-building exercises, but they point out that simply introducing more bees is not the answer. nike air max pas cher With 75% of all the land in the UK being agricultural, there is a distinct lack of areas rich in wildflowers, so introducing a greater population of honey bees into urban areas without doing anything about their source of pollen could spell big problems.

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    “If a game park was short of food for elephants, you wouldn’t introduce more elephants, so why should we take this approach with bees?”

     

    Ratnieks explains; “Since World War Two the spread of intensive farming has greatly reduced areas rich in wildflowers, such as hay meadows. nike air max 2016 goedkoop

    “If the problem is not enough flowers, increasing the number of hives risks making that problem worse.

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  • The honey bee is just one of many insect species which feed on nectar and pollen.

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  • Having a high density of honey bee hives is not only bad for honey bees, but may also affect bumblebees and other species feeding on the same flowers.

    Furthermore, Ratnieks and Alton warn that with so many rooftop hives being set up in metropolitan areas, the rise in inexperienced beekeepers could end up spreading certain honey bee diseases, especially American foulbrood (AFB), a highly contagious bacterial infection of the honey bee larvae.

    Each new hive placed in London would need the equivalent of one hectare of borage or 8.3 hectares of lavender, so Alton suggests the honey bee cause would be better served if those concerned introduced more bee-friendly flowers and a welcoming habitat for them.