In late June, the results of the largest ever field study into the effects of neonics on bees were published in the premier peer-reviewed journal Science. Framed as a watershed moment by many, the paper is likely to pressure the European Commission towards a total ban on the widely used insecticides, with a partial moratorium already in place.
Royal jelly. A majestic, sumptuous name for what is very much akin to worker bee snot.
Secreted from glands in the heads of nurse bee proles, this milky-colored, protein-rich substance is created for the sup of the newly-hatched Apis mellifera. While it is just a limited-time garnish for the ‘beebread’ (fermented pollen) and honey diet of young worker bees, the queen feeds exclusively on this luxury foodstuff.
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.