Archive for July, 2010

Researchers Ponder Crisis of Honey Bee Decline

Published on July 30, 2010

By Chris Torres, Lancaster Farming

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Bees are in trouble. Serious trouble. But solving their plight may be as complicated as figuring out why they are dying off.

Entomologist on mission to save Franklin’s Bumble Bee

Published on July 27, 2010

By Kathy Keatley Garvey, University of California Newsroom

Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp of the University of California, Davis, hopes that the critically imperiled Franklin’s bumble bee will soon be listed as an “endangered species” under the Endangered Species Act.

Beauty And The Bees

Published on July 21, 2010

By Sarah Schmidt, World Ark Contributor

On the Omeg family’s Oregon cherry orchard, a 10-foot perimeter of goldenrod, catmint and blanket flower surrounds the 350 acres of trees. The flowers run between the rows, too, and in one section of the orchard, four 30-foot diameter circular patches sport a host of native prairie grasses that produce flowers of their own. It’s a lovely display, but Mike Omeg, the fifth-generation family member who now runs the orchard, didn’t work untold hours over the past three years just to make his farm prettier. The flowers host several species of bumblebee, orchard mason bees, and sweat bees, as well as monarch and swallowtail butterflies, all of which are, well, busy as bees, as they fly from blossom to blossom doing what they’re uniquely qualified for—pollinating food crops.

Podcast: Sustainable Agriculture Spotlight

Published on July 20, 2010

With Jeff Birkby, VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network

“Our nation’s fruit, nut, and vegetable supply depends on insect pollinators. But our conventional agricultural systems aren’t friendly to pollinating insects. Conventional agriculture also relies heavily on only one insect, the European honeybee, to pollinate most of our crops. In this episode, host Jeff Birkby interviews Eric Mader, National Pollinator Outreach Coordinator for the nonprofit Xerces Society. Also joining the program will be Rex Dufour of the National Center for Appropriate Technology. Eric and Rex will discuss the importance of pollinators in sustainable agriculture, and ways farmers and gardeners can attract beneficial insects to pollinate crops.”

Alabama butterflies radiant, but ‘picture is not rosy,’ expert sayst says

Published on July 17, 2010

By Thomas Spencer, The Birmingham News

BRENT — Above the dirt road, under a canopy of green in the midst of Oakmulgee District of the Talladega National Forest, the sky is suddenly aflutter with dozens of wide-winged butterflies.

Eastern tiger swallowtails, flash their yellow and black. Spicebush swallowtails flap with big black wings, highlighted by blue, white and orange. Tiny blue summer azures bob frenetically among them.