bees

Jennifer C. / flickr.com/photos/29638108@N06/7713775530

A Purdue University study has found a popular type of pesticide – found across nearly half the state -- can be lethal to honeybees. But a leading producer of the chemicals is striking back against those claims.

Neonicotinoid insecticides are used in planting corn crops, and the study says more than 94-percent of honey bees are at risk of exposure in the state.

Psycho Delia / https://www.flickr.com/photos/24557420@N05/

Indianapolis is enlisting its residents to help count bees, butterflies and other bugs as part of a crowdsourcing science initiative. The “City-Wide Pollinator Count” aims to tell scientists more about where the bees are…and aren’t.

Crowdsourcing data has proved a valuable tool for scientists. Initiatives such as the Great World Wide Star Count and Cornell Ornithology Lab’s Backyard Bird Count catalog information scientists would otherwise never be able to access.

Indiana Bee Deaths Down Since 2015

May 13, 2016
Psycho Delia / https://www.flickr.com/photos/24557420@N05/

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports Indiana lost fewer honey bee colonies in the first quarter of this year than the first quarter of 2015, when the state lost 22-percent of its 9,500 colonies.

The Honey Bee Colony Loss Survey reports this year’s first quarter loss is 12-percent.

Specially-Bred Purdue Bees Are Biting Back

Oct 28, 2015
Sarah Fentem / WBAA

  

For around a decade, beekeepers have seen around one-quarter to one-third of their colonies die every year. There are many potential causes for the die-off, but most scientists agree a parasitic mite is a major factor.

Purdue entomologist Greg Hunt says if a bee were human-sized, the mite would be about the size of a balled-up fist. Other scientists say the size is more comparable to a pancake.

But now, Purdue University scientists have bred special bees that are biting back.