Bees play a critical role in our lives. They help spread pollen and are essential for producing more than one-third of the United States food supply--worth nearly $20 billion each year. On top of that, they are necessary for diverse ecosystems and support more than 85 percent of the world's flowering plants. These insects are extremely important to our lives, making continuous research centered around their health extremely important. Find out the latest on pollinator research below.
Buzzing with Opportunity: Veterinarians are trained to handle patients with four legs, two legs, and sometimes no legs, but a new federal regulation requires vets to examine and treat honeybee colonies. Cornell University has created a class to address the issue of veterinarians without bee experience.
Pesticide Addiction: Researchers say that bumblebees have acquired a taste for pesticide-laced food as they become more exposed to it--possibly leading to symptoms of addiction and impacting reproductive success.
Sleeping Bees: If you watch an exhausted baby, carefully you may be able to see gravity tugging heavily on its eyelids. Likewise, a sleeping honeybee's usually perky antennae droop. This adorable sign of insect response may seem remarkable, but researchers say studying insect slumber may ultimately help solve some of sleep's greatest mysteries.
Honey Bee Health: This CAST paper provides a summary of the scientific issues, current research, and recommendations related to bee health. Click here to access the full publication.
The Latest Buzz on Pollinators: Check out this past CAST blog for highlights of other pollinator research--covering birds, bees, and butterflies.
By: Kylie Peterson (pic from sciencedaily.com)