Skip to content


  • A Guide to Pollinator-friendly Plants
    August 14, 2017 Scott Derrick

    A Guide to Pollinator-friendly Plants

    Once upon a time, not so very long ago, native plants and grasses bedecked the American landscape in huge, rolling swathes. Pollinators of many a feather, stripe and fur would spend their days visiting each flower as it bloomed, partners in a whirling dance of ongoing life.

    Humans however – especially colonial humans – have a way of interrupting that dance. The woodlands and fields don’t blush with color as they once did, and pollinator species are having a harder time than ever finding enough food to support them through the seasons.

    Read now
  • Hard Working Bee Essential for Hive Success
    August 14, 2017 Scott Derrick

    Hard Working Bee - Essential for Hive Success


    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are incredibly industrious creatures. Although also going under the name European honey bee, these highly distinctive striped insects have over millennia swarmed (if not quite literally) every continent with the exception of Antarctica. While their spread is in part due to natural factors – carried across water bodies by wind and water currents – humans played a large part, both unintentionally through exploration, or deliberately, through species introduction for industrial hives.

    Yet that honey bee populations not only survived but thrived across such diverse world regions is remarkable in itself. What makes them so adaptable, and with such success? The reasons vary, but a lot of it comes down to how the honey bee goes about finding sources of food. In other words, how the species sources, collects, and stores nectar (the sucrose-rich fluid secreted by flowers) and pollen (the fine powdery substance from the anthers of male flowers) – both of which the honey bee transforms into honey.

    Read now
    August 14, 2017 Scott Derrick


    “Flowers are hotspots for parasite spread between and within pollinator populations,” said Peter Graystock, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Entomology at the University of California, Riverside and a member of the research team. “Both the flower and bee species play a role in how likely parasite dispersal will occur.”Photo shows a honey bee (Apis mellifera) and a bumblebee (Bombus spp.) foraging on a purple coneflower.

    Read now