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Parasites fail to halt European bumblebee invasion of the UK

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June 3, 2014 University of Royal Holloway London Summary: A species of bee from Europe that has stronger resistance to parasite infections than native bumblebees has spread across the UK, according to new research. The study shows that tree bumblebees have rapidly spread despite them carrying high levels of an …

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Selfish bumblebees are not prepared to share expertise

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March 16, 2016 Queen Mary University of London Summary: Well qualified bumblebees are not prepared to share their pollinating knowledge with less experienced bees, according to new research. Full Story Well qualified bumblebees are not prepared to share their pollinating knowledge with less experienced bees, according to new research carried out …

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Bees stick to known safety zones, learn to avoid danger

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April 29, 2014 Queen Mary, University of London Summary: Bumblebees can distinguish between safe and dangerous environments, and are attracted to land on flowers popular with other bees when exposed to perilous situations, according to new research. “It’s similar to walking through a bad neighbourhood — you’re more likely to …

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Floral signs go electric: Bumblebees find and distinguish electric signals from flowers

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February 21, 2013 University of Bristol Summary: Flowers’ methods of communicating are at least as sophisticated as any devised by an advertising agency, according to a new study. The research shows for the first time that pollinators such as bumblebees are able to find and distinguish electric signals given out by …

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Male bees have more than a one-track mind

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November 13, 2015 Queen Mary, University of London Summary: Male bumblebees are believed to have few aptitudes beyond mating and thought to be not just lazy but simple. In comparison, for example, worker bees are well known to learn the location of their hive, the colors and scents of rewarding flowers. …

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Making a beeline for the nectar: How patterns on flowers help bees spot their first nectar-rich flower

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June 20, 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Summary: Bumblebees searching for nectar go for signposts on flowers rather than the bull’s eye. A new study shows that the markings at the center of a flower are not as important as the markings that will direct the bees to the center. Credit: © …

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Bees are born with the ability to collect pollen by buzzing, but practice makes perfect

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April 18, 2016 University of Stirling Summary: Wild bumblebees are born with the ability to remove pollen from nectarless flowers using high-frequency vibrations, researchers have found. This study is the first to show that the ability to vibrate flowers to extract pollen is an innate behavior in bumblebees and one that …

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Bee flower choices altered by exposure to pesticides

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March 14, 2016 University of Guelph Summary: Low levels of pesticides can impact the foraging behaviour of bumblebees on wildflowers, changing their floral preferences and hindering their ability to learn the skills needed to extract nectar and pollen. Credit: University of Guelph Low levels of pesticides can impact the foraging behaviour …

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Bumblebees differentiate flower types when arranged horizontally but not vertically

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April 7, 2015 University of Queen Mary London Summary: It is well known that bumblebees and other pollinators can tell the difference between plants that will provide them with nectar and pollen and those that won’t. However, until now little has been known about how the arrangement of flowers affects their …

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Beyond royal jelly: Study identifies plant chemical that determines a honey bee’s caste

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August 28, 2015 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Summary: A closer look at how honey bee colonies determine which larvae will serve as workers and which will become queens reveals that a plant chemical, p-coumaric acid, plays a key role in the bees’ developmental fate.   Credit: Terry Harrison, U. of …

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