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Bees to scientists: ‘We’re more complicated than you think’

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October 21, 2015 Penn State Summary: Chemical signaling among social insects, such as bees, ants and wasps, is more complex than previously thought, according to researchers, whose results refute the idea that a single group of chemicals controls reproduction across numerous species. Full Story Chemical signaling among social insects, such as …

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Single class of queen pheromones stops worker reproduction in ants, bees, wasps

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January 16, 2014 KU Leuven Summary: A new study has found that the chemical structure of queen pheromones in wasps, ants and some bees is strikingly similar, even though these insects are separated by millions of years of evolution and each evolved eusociality independently of the other. The results suggest that …

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How queen bees control the princesses

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January 28, 2016 Australian National University Queen bees and ants emit a chemical that alters the DNA of their daughters and keeps them as sterile and industrious workers, scientists have found. The team found evidence that workers exposed to pheromones tag their DNA with methylation differently, which might suppress queenly …

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Single gene separates queen from workers

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January 29, 2014 Michigan State University Summary: Scientists have identified how a single gene in honey bees separates the queens from the workers. A team of scientists unraveled the gene’s inner workings. The gene, which is responsible for leg and wing development, plays a crucial role in the evolution of bees’ …

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Pesticides found in most pollen collected from foraging bees in Massachusetts

July 23, 2015 Harvard School of Public Health More than 70 percent of pollen and honey samples collected from foraging bees in Massachusetts contain at least one neonicotinoid, a class of pesticide that has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder, in which adult bees abandon their hives during winter More …

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Bees aren’t the be all and end all for crop pollination, study suggests

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November 30, 2015 University of Queensland Farmers who used pesticides that spared bees but sacrificed killed other insects might be ignoring important sources of crop pollination, according to an Australian-led international scientific study. A plant ecologist said many crops — including mangoes, custard apples, kiwi fruit, coffee and canola — …

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Ground-nesting bees on farms lack food, grow smaller

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March 24, 2016 Cornell University The size of a common ground-nesting bee — an important crop pollinator — has grown smaller in heavily farmed landscapes, a new study has found. The study points out yet another potential threat to pollinators, along with mites, pesticides and loss of habitat. Comparison of …

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Bees able to spot which flowers offer best rewards before landing

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July 30, 2014 University of Exeter Bumblebees are able to connect differences in pollen quality with floral features, like petal color, and so land only on the flowers that offer the best rewards, according to a new study. Bumblebees are able to connect differences in pollen quality with floral features, …

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Bee flower choices altered by exposure to pesticides

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March 14, 2016 University of Guelph 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 …

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