Tag Archives: honey bees

Planting to nurture nature

We all have more power than we might think.  In a world where so many things seem out of control, anyone with a small plot of land, or even an apartment balcony with room for a few potted plants can make a small but significant difference in our environment. What we plant in our gardens can do more than just look pretty.  By selecting the right plants we can sustain native pollinators and attract butterflies.  We can create habitat for birds and reptiles and other small animals. Imagine a… Read More →

Ten top pests that can hurt your home

In a recent paper, researchers from North Carolina State University tried to estimate how many species of insect-like critters (arthropods) could be found in homes.  They intensively searched 50 North Carolina houses and looked for as many different kinds of living and dead arthropods as they could find. Altogether they identified 579 different species from 304 different families.  In fact, out of the 554 rooms scoured for the research, only 5 rooms had no detectable arthropods at all (I bet they didn’t look hard enough). It shouldn’t come as much surprise… Read More →

The NYT on CCD

The New York Times just published an article and video on the complex nature of colony collapse disorder (CCD) in honey bees.  Author Clyde Haberman does a good job of presenting the case for the side of the debate that argues for multiple interacting causes of the bee problem. If you’re not familiar with CCD, it is a mysterious disorder that has afflicted 30% or so of commercial bee hives in the U.S. since 2006.  Something about the problem has touched a nerve with many Americans who fear that… Read More →

National Pollinator Week coming soon

National Pollinator Week this year is June 16-22.  Here’s to hoping 2014 will be looking up for honey bees and other native pollinators.  Last year during National Pollinator Week a pesticide misapplication led to a highly publicized bee kill in Wilsonville, OR.  But this year we’ll start with some good news.  Honey bee colony winter survival was up slightly this year, though still below expected survival levels prior to the advent of colony collapse disorder (CCD). In celebration of the week, I thought I would share with you some… Read More →

Beekeeping Clinic

If you’re a beekeeper, you won’t want to miss out on the upcoming Summer Clinic in Bryan, TX on June 7.  Hosted by Texas A&M University Assistant Professor of Apiculture, Dr. Juliana Rangel, the clinic will discuss recent research projects, and subjects of interest to all beekeepers.  There will even be a hands-on session with Bill Baxter (bring bee suit and veil for this one), and a session on dos and don’t about teaching the public about bees.  Best of all it will be an opportunity to tour… Read More →

Bee protests are cute, but…

A recent protest by organic activists outside a Chicago Home Depot highlighted the current debate over pesticides and bees.  It also reminded me that no one wants to go on record as being “against the bees”.  Check out the video above. Let’s face it.  Despite their sometimes dangerous side, bees rank relatively high on most people’s list of favorite insects. After all, bees are a sure sign of spring (much needed this year).  And they make honey for goodness sake. And, as the beekeeping industry keeps reminding us,… Read More →

Texas A&M’s Inspiring Latina

Juliana Rangel Posada is a relatively new Assistant Professor at Texas A&M specializing in honey bees.  Last week she was named “Inspiring Latina of the Week” by Latina Magazine.  The magazine printed an interview with her that might be of interest, especially to aspiring Latina entomologists. Congratulations to Julia for this honor.  Her arrival at Texas A&M was highly anticipated, as our department had been missing a honey bee biologist for an extended period of time. And bees are an important part of our agricultural economy in Texas…. Read More →

A new threat to honey bees?

The domesticated honey bee’s life is anything but easy. Enslaved by humans to produce honey (for which their hives are regularly raided), uprooted to lead a nomadic life traveling on flatbed trucks from field to orchard, worked year-round, attacked by various mites, fungi and now exotic viruses, is it any wonder that some bees are collapsing from the sheer weight of it all? This accumulation of multiple stresses is, in fact, the current best guess by bee researchers on what is causing the much dreaded “colony collapse disorder”,… Read More →