Tag Archives | Bees

Bees Fight to Death Over Females

By Matt Walker of BBC Earth News:

It is rare for any species of animal to regularly kill its own in combat. However, male Dawson’s bees, one of the world’s largest bee species, are so aggressive that they kill each other en masse in a bid to mate with females.

The bees enter a frenzy of fighting, and by the time their deadly combat is over, every male bee is either killed or has perished. The extreme behaviour, which can lead to even females being killed, is caught on film by a BBC natural history crew.

Video on BBC Earth News

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High-Fructose Corn Syrup Produces Toxic Chemical “HMF” When Heated

Mike Adams writes in NaturalNews:

If you know anything about the food supply, you know that honey bees are a crucial part of the food production chain. In the United States, they pollinate roughly one-third of all the crops we eat, and without them, we’d be facing a disastrous collapse in viable food production.

That’s why, when honey bees started to disappear a few years ago, scientists scrambled to find the root cause of the phenomenon, which has since been dubbed “Colony Collapse Disorder.”

The name is a bit of a misnomer, though. It’s not really a “disorder.” It’s more of a poisoning. Or at least that’s what we may be learning from new research that’s just been published in the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

It’s been difficult, of course, trying to determine the cause of colony collapse disorder. Some of the suggested theories for explaining the phenomenon included chemical contamination from pesticides, genetic contamination from genetically modified crops, changes in the Earth’s magnetic field, climate change and air pollution.

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Mobile Phones And Towers Kill Bees

Mobile towers are posing a threat to honey bees in Kerala [India] with electromagnetic radiation from mobile towers and cell phones having the potential to kill worker bees that go out to collect nectar from flowers, says a study.

A plunge in beehive population has been reported from different parts of Kerala and if measures are not taken to check mushrooming of mobile towers, bees could be wiped out from Kerala within a decade, environmentalist and Reader in Zoology, Dr Sainudeen Pattazhy says in his study.

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Cocaine Buzz for Bees

Buzz has a whole new meaning now that scientists are giving bees cocaine.

To learn more about the biochemistry of addiction, scientists in Australia dropped liquefied freebase cocaine on bees’ backs, so it entered the circulatory system and brain.

The scientists found that bees react much like humans do: cocaine alters their judgment, stimulates their behavior and makes them exaggeratedly enthusiastic about things that might not otherwise excite them.

What’s more, bees exhibit withdrawal symptoms. When a coked-up bee has to stop cold turkey, its score on a standard test of bee performance (learning to associate an odor with sugary syrup) plummets.

“What we have in the bee is a wonderfully simple system to see how brains react to a drug of abuse,” said Andrew B. Barron, a senior lecturer at Macquarie University in Australia and a co-leader in the bees-on-cocaine studies. “It may be that when we know that, we’ll be able to stop a brain reacting to a drug of abuse, and then we may be able to discover new ways to prevent abuse in humans.”

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The Mysterious Disappearance Of Bees

Over the past year, some beekeepers have lost up to 90 percent of their hives. The losses could have serious effects because honeybees help produce a third of the foods we eat. When certain fruits and vegetables start disappearing from the supermarket shelf, will Americans start being concerned about the fate of bees and beekeepers (many who expect to go out of business next year)?

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