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Pollinators in the Press

Current Articles                    (Article Archives ⇒)

Articles about NSERC-CANPOLIN researchers and the Network, as well as pollinators and pollination, that appear in the news will be posted here! Click on the title of the news item to find out more. The stories will open in a new tab or window depending on your specific browser and settings.

CANPOLIN in the News                         Pollinators in the News

 


CANPOLIN in the News
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  • CANPOLIN 2010
  • CANPOLIN 2009
  • CANPOLIN 2008

Ernesto Guzman: "Prof Solves Bee Loss Mystery," University of Guelph News (link)

Ernesto Guzman: "Finally, a suspect in bee decline", The Toronto Star, January 24, 2010. (link)

CANPOLIN: Some researchers from the Network appeared on CBC's The Nature of Things, January 7th, 2010. (link)

CANPOLIN Peter Kevan: Guelph Portico Magazine, "Kevan gets Royal Society honours, heads national research network" January 2010 (PDF)

CANPOLIN UofG: At the University of Guelph, experts in bees and numbers are working together on studies of hive design, pollination webs and disease transmission, December 9, 2009. (link)

CANPOLIN Steve Pernal and Rob Currie: Buzzkill: Dire Outlook for Honeybees and the Consumers Who Depend on Them, AOL Environment News, November 20, 2009. (link)

CANPOLIN: New Research Network to Shed Light on Pollinator Decline, Hive Lights November, 2009. (PDF)

CANPOLIN: Bees play big role in food, article courtesy The Western Producer, October 8, 2009 (PDF)

Jeremy Kerr: Science puts malaria fight on the map, The Star, September 13, 2009 (link)

CANPOLIN: Where have all the bees gone? Septemeber 2009 The New Internationalist Magazine Issue 425. (link)

CANPOLIN: Official NSERC announcement of the Network. (link)

CANPOLIN: U of G Hub for Two $5-Million Research Networks. (link)(At Guelph article: PDF)

Peter Kevan: one of two University of Guelph professors who have been elected to the Royal Society of Canada, considered Canada's senior academic honour. (link)(At Guelph article: PDF)

CANPOLIN: June 2009 New Research Network to Shed Light on Pollinator Decline, Entomological Society of Canada Bulletin, Volume 41 (2): 93-94. (PDF)

Laurence Packer and Gaham Forbes: We can't live without life support, The Daily Gleaner, June 30, 2009. (link)

Laurence Packer: Why biodiversity matters, Telegraph-Journal, June 20, 2009. (link)

Cory Sheffield: CBC Radio Maritime Noon with Costas Halavrezos, June 12, 2009.

Peter Kevan: CBC Radio Maritime Noon with Laura Chapin, June 13, 2009.

Elizabeth Elle: Bees' disappearance has biologists buzzing, interview with CTV British Columbia, May 16, 2009. (link)

Laurence Packer: Our bumblebees on the brink, NOW magazine. (link)

Peter Kevan conducted an interview with RCI Radio's The Link - the interview is at 26 minutes in part 2 from March 31st (be sure to select the second part of the program at the top of the page, 2009-03-31).

Laurence Packer and York University: Rogers, Theresa. "The Bee Keeper." Lab Business Spring 2009: 18-22. (link)

Peter Kevan: Savage, C. December, 2008. The Plight of the Bumblebee. Canadian Geographic. (PDF)

 


 

Pollinators in the News
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In Plants, Yeast Raises Temperatures

February 26, 2010
NY Times
Yeast is good for a lot more than just baking bread or brewing beer. Yeasts, which are single-celled fungi, are everywhere in nature and can perform many ecological functions, like breaking down dead plant tissue and encouraging root growth. Spanish researchers have discovered something else that yeasts can do: keep plants warm. Carlos M. Herrera and María I. Pozo at the Doñana Biological Station of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research in Seville studied the effect of yeast on a winter-blooming herb, Helleborus foetidus.

 

Orchids of all sizes on display at Pacific Exposition

February 25, 2010
The Press Democrat
In addition to having among the most prized flowers on the planet, the orchid family boasts some of the smallest. The tiny and newly discovered orchid in the Playstele genus, one of a genus of Pleurothallids known for their small size, will be a featured attraction for show and sale at this weekend's Pacific Orchid Exposition in San Francisco.

 

Feehan: Brushing up on plants, pests and plant care

February 25, 2010
The Columbus Telegram
The cold and snow are hanging on. Since outdoor yard work is not likely to happen any time soon, now is a good time to learn about plants, pests and plant care in preparation for when bare soil and warmth does arrive.

 

With some other pollinators in decline, mason bees are garden helpers

February 25, 2010
Oregon Live
Immediately outside her front door, Beth Rose communes with bees. She's not rewarded with honey for her hospitality, but her fruit bowl is piled high, and she's never felt the pain of a sting.

 

Beehives come to campus

February 25, 2010
The Hofstra Chronicle
“I am what I call a bee whisperer,” Professor and Chair of the Department of Science Education. Patrick Gannon said. “I can read the mood of the hive.” Gannon will be setting up an apiary, consisting of two beehives, in the University Bird Sanctuary, in late April to early May of 2010.

 

Beelike flies hunt hosts for their eggs in prairie and canyon environments

February 25, 2010
Ag Journal Online
I find myself ineluctably drawn to the flowers of thistles and milkweeds. The flowers are large, bright, and showy, but more than that they usually attract a host of insects, including butterflies, scarab beetles, longhorn beetles and assassin bugs. Several times, on both thistles and milkweeds, I have found beelike tachinid flies.

 

CATCH THE BUZZ Häagen-Dazs® supports proposed overturn of new york city beekeeping ban

February 24, 2010
Beekeeping for Beginners: Blogspot
The honey bee crisis in the U.S. continues to threaten the U.S. food supply. Bad weather in the Midwest and East this summer and fall seriously impacted the health of a significant number of hives over the winter, adding to the already difficult problem of keeping the bees alive. The shortage is sending almond farmers scrambling to find enough hives to pollinate the almond orchards in California this month. With colony losses at approximately 30 percent over the last several winters, it is not surprising that fewer and fewer colonies are available.

 

Sweet Basil and the Bee: The buzz on bees — It takes an army of bees to court the valley's almond crop

February 24, 2010
Chico Enterprise Record
It's cotillion season in the central valley, as almond trees emerge from their winter dormancy in frilly ivory blossoms, seeking the attention of their million-dollar, out-of-town suitors, the honeybees. It takes about 10 visits from a bee to a blossom to produce a single almond, and pollinating the 660,000-acre string of orchards from Red Bluff to Bakersfield in a scant 22 days is too much for the local bees. More than half the honeybees in the United States are imported to California for the almond bloom.

 

Environmental talk looks at importance of bees

February 23, 2010
Kentucky Kernel
One Eastern Kentucky University English professor hopes to create a buzz on campus with a lecture on bees. Tammy Horn, who works in the Environmental Research Unit at EKU, will speak Wednesday as part of an environmental symposium titled “Conversations on Conversation.” Horn focuses on the importance of honey bees to Kentucky and the national crisis affecting beehives.

 

Lots of sex is key to honeybee survival

February 22, 2010
Mother Nature Network
Queen honeybees can have more than 100 different sexual partners, but that might not be enough for the survival of the colony. There are very few situations where female royalty is encouraged to have multiple sexual partners. Okay, that probably never happens. But in the case of honeybees, it's key to their survival. At least that's what some researchers hope to prove.

 

Experts: Bats play vital role in nature

February 21, 2010
The Facts.com Brazoria County: Where Texas Began
More likely to inspire a shriek than a pat of affection, bats are notoriously feared and disliked, but area specialists say they are more beneficial to the local ecology and economy than many people know.

 

Honey bee research and education center dedicated at Texas A&M

February 20, 2010
Media Newswire
The honey bee, long recognized as a beneficial and necessary ally of American agriculture, now will be the point of interest of a new research and education facility at Texas A&M University. Dozens gathered Feb. 20 to dedicate the Janice and John G. Thomas Honey Bee Facility on the Riverside Campus at Texas A&M in College Station.

 

Oregon Zoo is Hosting a Daylong Workshop Aimed at Helping Bees and Other Pollinators

February 19, 2010
Zoo and Aquarium Visitor
Recent studies show that pollinator populations are declining in North America, and scientists do not really have an explanation. Honeybees alone pollinate more than 130 crops in the United States and add $15 billion in crop value each year. If populations decline further, global food webs (and with them the economy), biodiversity and human health will be significantly threatened.

 

Island bee colonies decimated

February 19, 2010
Nanaimo News Bulletin
It’s a warm mid-February day at Sol Nowtiz’s Jingle Pot Apiary on East Wellington Road and the veteran beekeeper of 35 years is standing beside rows of bee boxes that once contained 50,000 to 60,000 bees each.

 

The Role of Jasmonates in Floral Nectar Secretion

February 19, 2010
PLoS ONE
One of the major links between pollinator behaviour and plant reproductive success or crop productivity is floral nectar, whose regulation is understudied. We demonstrate that floral nectar secretion is regulated by jasmonates, plant hormones that so far have been mainly discussed in the context of plant development and defence activation.

 

Parasitic wasps hitchhike on butterflies by smelling for chemical chastity belts

February 19, 2010
Scienceblogs Not Exactly Rocket Science
It's not every day that you hear about spy missions that involve a lack of sex, but clearly parasitic wasps don't pay much attention to Hollywood clichés. These insects merge the thriller, science-fiction and horror genres, They lay their eggs inside other animals, turning them into slaves and living larders that are destined to be eaten inside-out by the developing grubs. To find their victims, they perform feats of espionage worthy of any secret agent, tapping into their mark's communication lines, tailing them back to their homes and infiltrating their families.

 

Foulbrood outbreak hits Stranraer bee hive

February 18, 2010
BBC News
An infection zone has been set up in south west Scotland after an outbreak of a deadly honeybee disease. American Foulbrood (AFB) has been confirmed by the Scottish government at one hive in the Stranraer area.

 

Common Scents: Honeybees Guide Neurological Discoveries

February 18, 2010
Science Daily
Every moment of every day the brain is forced to process thousands of separate odorants from the world around us. Through a new study of honeybees, scientists at UQ's Queensland Brain Institute have discovered the brain has an advanced ability to isolate specific odours and recollect smells.

 

Bees hurt by mountaintop removal coal mining

February 18, 2010
Business Week
Mountaintop mining has obliterated flowering trees and plants that honeybees need for food in the central Appalachians, and some Kentucky lawmakers are asking coal companies to plant pollen-producing vegetation when they finish digging.

 

Silk gene solution Bee team takes the lead

February 18, 2010
TCE Today News
HAND-drawing silk threads with tweezers from a soup of proteins produced by genetically modified E. coli, Australian scientists have achieved the highest reported yield of silk proteins from transgenic bacterial feedstock. The group from CSIRO used genes from honeybees to produce 2.5 g/l of recombinant silk protein, a seven-fold improvement on the previous best in 2004 by a German group which extracted 0.36 g/l of spider silk proteins.

 

Across the pond and beyond: It’s as natural as the bats and the bees

February 17, 2010
Wicked Local Pembroke
As we head toward the end of February, the garden catalogs start arriving and thoughts turn to shedding winter clothing and getting out in our yards, on the ponds and looking for the first little fish at the Herring Run. Soon the first spring flowers will bravely poke through the chilly sod—maybe even the March snow. And Daylight Savings Time will arrive before long. Can't wait! But in the meantime, a couple of disturbing—if not alarming—situations have been happening with two important friends of ours—namely the honeybee and the brown bat.

 

Bee Vs. Car: Who Gets More Miles Per Gallon?

February 17, 2010
National Public Radio
So Volkswagen has this new car – the prototype was shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show a few months ago – that will get an estimated 170 miles per gallon. Give this car a drink of gas and it will go 416 miles without a stop! The accomplishment here is a diesel engine that's small and powerful, and set in a very light frame. The "L1," as it's called, is very little, weighing approximately 837 pounds with a 2.6-gallon fuel tank. German engineers were justly proud. This is, the company claims, a level of fuel efficiency never seen before in the auto world. But that's just for cars. We suggest that Germany's proud engineers take picnic baskets to the nearest springtime hill and meet their energy-efficient masters: honeybees.

 

‘Bee’ talk builds buzz at U. demonstration

February 17, 2010
Daily Targum
Over ice cream bars, sandwiches and pots of locally grown honey, students connected the food they were eating to the pollination that made it possible. Students for Environmental Awareness teamed up with the New Jersey Beekeeper’s Association on Tuesday to present “Bee My Honey,” an event that demonstrated daily dependence on the honeybee.

 

Honeybees give insight into brain activity

February 17, 2010
Life Science Lab
Melbourne researchers have revealed new insights into how the honeybee's tiny brain can learn to recognise complex stimuli like the human face. The researchers at Monash University, Melbourne, led by Dr Adrian Dyer, have shown that bees can recognise the configuration of human faces, not just the outline or simple features within it.

 

Um, What if Bees Can't Do It?

February 16, 2010
Sierra Club: The insider
Still hungry? Then think about this: Without the honeybees that pollinate one-third of U.S. crops, those of us who enjoy eating would be in a lot of trouble. Unfortunately, "colony collapse disorder" has decimated honeybee populations, and no one knows for sure what's causing it.

 

In Situ Hybridization Analysis of the Expression of Futsch, Tau, and MESK2 Homologues in the Brain of the European Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.)

February 16, 2010
PLoS ONE
Here we identified genes that are expressed in a monopolar cell (Amfutsch and Amtau) or ventral medulla-preferential manner (AmMESK2) in insect OLs. These genes may aid in visualizing neurites of monopolar cells and ventral medulla cells, as well as in analyzing the function of these neurons.

 

Common Scents: Honeybees Guide Neurological Discoveries

February 16, 2010
Science Daily
Every moment of every day the brain is forced to process thousands of separate odorants from the world around us. Through a new study of honeybees, scientists at UQ's Queensland Brain Institute have discovered the brain has an advanced ability to isolate specific odours and recollect smells.

 

Butterfly Vision, Wing Colors Linked

February 16, 2010
Science Daily
Butterfly experts have suspected for more than 150 years that vision plays a key role in explaining wing color diversity. Now, for the first time, research led by UC Irvine biologists proves this theory true -- at least in nine Heliconius species.

 

Grant win highlights the plight of a very rare bumblebee

February 13, 2010
Wales News
For years, the majority of objects flying over the turf of Castlemartin firing range have been bullets and bombs from guns and tanks. But that is now set to change – after a £25,000 grant was awarded to turn part of the site into a sanctuary for Britain’s rarest variety of bee. The high-pitched carder bee – said to be the rarest species of bee in the UK – will be the beneficiary of a scheme to create a protected wildflower habitat.

 

Long-Distance Migration Shapes Butterfly Wings

February 13, 2010
Science Daily
A University of Georgia study has found that monarch butterflies that migrate long distances have evolved significantly larger and more elongated wings than their stationary cousins, differences that are consistent with traits known to enhance flight ability in other migratory species.

 

Defra commissions research into how to support new and existing beekeepers

February 12, 2010
Horticulture Week
East Malling Research has been commissioned by Defra to look into beekeeping husbandry practices. The project will be carried out with consultancy People Science & Policy to develop a better understanding of how to support new and existing beekeepers. The results of the study will be used to improve the advice and training available to beekeepers as part of the healthy bees plan.

 

Rootbeer-Smelling Roses? Pick Your Scent

February 12, 2010
Discovery News
Scientists find genes that could restore fragrances to flowers. Even custom-scented flowers could soon be available. The genetic research may also be applied to restore flavors to fruits and vegetables.

 

Careers in Food Security Span Several Disciplines

February 12, 2010
Journal of Science - Science Careers
On the list of pressing global issues, food security is surely at the top. "By 2030, the world's population will be 8.3 billion people and we must produce 50% more food than we do now to feed them," warns John Beddington, the U.K. government's chief scientific adviser, in an interview with Science Careers. "In addition to that, we must increase the availability of water by 30%. We also lose 30% of crops through pests and diseases yet cannot resort to pesticides because of the impact they have upon the environment. It's the perfect storm."

 

Biologist Discovers 'Stop' Signal in Honey Bee Communication

February 11, 2010
Science Daily
A biologist at UC San Diego has discovered that honey bees warn their nest mates about dangers they encounter while feeding with a special signal that's akin to a "stop" sign for bees.

 

Bee-ware - bees use warning buzz to refute the waggle dance

February 11, 2010
Not Exactly Rocket Science, Scienceblogs
Bees can communicate with each other using the famous "waggle dance". With special figure-of-eight gyrations, they can accurately tell other hive-mates about the location of nectar sources. Karl von Frisch translated the waggle dance decades ago but it's just a small part of bee communication. As well as signals that tell their sisters where to find food, bees have a stop signal that silences dancers who are advertising dangerous locations.

 

Well project restores ancient farm fields

February 11, 2010
The Bugle
The fields and flood plains surrounding Montezuma Well have provided for those who made the area their home for at least the last 1,500 years, if not the last 10,000 years.[...] As that project is being completed, work will begin on three future interpretive gardens, including a pollinator garden, to attract bees, butterflies and humming birds, a traditional Sinaguan garden, containing the three sisters, corn, squash and beans, and a historic settlers garden.

 

Guerilla Intervention: Human Bee Pollinators

February 10, 2010
Fashioning Technology
The Human Bee Pollinator was one of the more imaginative wearables created for the guerilla intervention at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference 2009. Designed by CIID students Laura Boffi and Jacek Barcikowski, the Human Bee Pollinator draws attention to the declining bee populations in the US and Europe and the ecological consequences of the extinction of bees.

 

Are Bees Addicted to Caffeine and Nicotine?

February 10, 2010
Science Daily
Bees prefer nectar with small amounts of nicotine and caffeine over nectar that does not comprise these substances at all, a study from the University of Haifa reveals. "This could be an evolutionary development intended, as in humans, to make the bee addicted," states Prof. Ido Izhaki, one of the researchers who conducted the study.

 

Yeast heaters

February 10, 2010
The Scientist Blog
Yeast living in the nectar of flowering plants can act as miniature space heaters for winter-blooming flowers, suggesting the microorganisms may be a third player in what scientists have traditionally viewed as a two-part plant-pollinator relationship, according to a study published online today (February 9) in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

 

Sensory Regulation of Neuroligins and Neurexin I in the Honeybee Brain

February 9, 2010
PLoS ONE
Our results suggest that (1) there is a lack of synaptic pruning during sensory deprivation; (2) NLG1 expression increases with sensory stimulation; (3) concomitant changes in gene expression suggests NrxI interacts with all neuroligins; (4) there is evidence for synaptic compensation after lateralised injury.

 

Spring is coming 11 days earlier on average

February 9, 2010
Telegraph UK
Temperatures might be barely above freezing with more snow forecast to fall across parts of Britain this week, but spring is actually getting earlier and earlier according to ecologists.

 

Honeybees Learn Odour Mixtures via a Selection of Key Odorants

February 8, 2010
PLoS ONE
Our study suggests that the brain processes complex scent mixtures by predominantly learning information from selected key odorants. Our observations on key odorant learning lend significant support to previous work on olfactory learning and mixture processing in honeybees.

 

Bees choose key smells

February 8, 2010
Science Alert
Every moment of every day the brain is forced to process thousands of separate odorants from the world around us. Through a new study of honeybees, scientists at UQ's Queensland Brain Institute have discovered the brain has an advanced ability to isolate specific odours and recollect smells.

 

Sugar gives bee brains a buzz

February 8, 2010
ABC Rural
Trained bees may be part of the future of horticulture. A study by the Brain Institute at the University of Queensland has found the honey bee's brain works by committing important smells to memory, and forgetting the rest.

 

Global Honey Market to Reach 1.9 Million Tons by 2015, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

February 8, 2010
PR Web
Increasing preference among consumers for honey-based products, is leading to a boost in the variety and assortment of honey based food products, baby products, yogurts and drinks. Moreover, honey contains antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and proteins, making itself an appealing ingredient as compared to artificial sweeteners.

 

Conservation from Space: Landscape Diversity Helps to Conserve Insects

February 7, 2010
Science Daily
Rugged, hilly landscapes with a range of different habitat types can help maintain more stable butterfly populations and thus aid their conservation, according to new findings published February 8, 2010 in the journal Ecology Letters.

 

Gwent Crematorium to host honey bee hives

February 7, 2010
BBC News
A crematorium is set to host honey bee hives both to boost pollination in its flower garden and to help fight the insect's decline in numbers. Two bee-keepers are interested in having hives at Gwent Crematorium near Cwmbran, the Greater Gwent Cremation Joint Committee has been told.

 

Mason bees fly to the rescue of failing orchards

February 7, 2010
Gizmag
Many readers would already be familiar with Colony Collapse Disorder and the mysterious worldwide disappearance of honeybees. Everything from mites to viruses to electromagnetic radiation are suspected as its cause and it is potentially disastrous for crops that rely on the bees for pollination. Well, on a small scale at least, help is on the way - some fruit growers in North America are now turning to the indigenous mason bee as an orchard-pollinator.

 

How the Butterflies Got Their Spots

February 6, 2010
Science Daily
How two butterfly species have evolved exactly the same striking wing colour and pattern has intrigued biologists since Darwin's day. Now, scientists at Cambridge have found "hotspots" in the butterflies' genes that they believe will explain one of the most extraordinary examples of mimicry in the natural world.

 

Author and conservation biologist writes about plight of honeybee

February 6, 2010
Santa Cruz Sentinel
The honeybee may be in trouble but there are solutions, according to bee lover and author Reese Halter. A conservation biologist from California Lutheran University, Halter is spreading the buzz about bees around the country and promoting his book, "The Incomparable Honeybee and the Economics of Pollination."

 

NASA and Beekeepers Use Satellites and Scales To Monitor Climate Change Impact on Bees

February 5, 2010
Treehugger.com
In order to study the effects of climate change on pollinators, NASA has turned to the bees. With their project Honey Bee Net, NASA and associated researchers are trying to answer questions such as: How will plant-pollinator interactions respond to climate and land use changes? Can modern ecosystem and climate models, based on extensive satellite observations, help us understand these changes? How far north will the invasive Africanized Honey Bee (AHB) establish permanent residence in North America, and how will climate change affect this? High tech is meeting evolution in order to discover how global warming is impacting one of the planet's most important insects.

 

Scientists create artificial honey bee silk

February 5, 2010
DNA India
Using genetically modified bacteria, a team of Australian researchers has created artificially produced honey bee silk. "The silks would be good for tough, lightweight textiles, and high-strength applications like advanced aviation and marine composites," ABC Science quoted CSIRO entomologist Dr Tara Sutherland, who led the team of research researchers, as saying.

 

Crematorium could be home to bee hives

February 4, 2010
South Wales Argus
HONEY bee hives will be introduced in the grounds of Gwent Crematorium to help boost the population of the species in the area. Two local and experienced bee-keepers are interested in maintaining the hives, which will be situated in the far corner of the Garden of Remembrance for a trial period of one year.

 

Blueberry Pollination Sites being Sought

February 4, 2010
NC Small Fruit, Specialty Crop, and Tobacco IPM
In 2009, we began a multi year project to assess pollinator diversity and efficiency in southeastern blueberries. Although excellent work has been done Georgia, Mississippi, and Michigan blueberry production systems, the mid southeast (NC, SC, and VA) differ both in climate and production system.

 

Start your own colony of pollinators

February 4, 2010
The Spokeman-Review
Honey bees aren’t the only bees out there that can pollinate our plants. There are native bees that work just as hard and with a little encouragement will set up shop in your garden. The orchard mason bee is a little smaller than a honey bee with a shiny dark blue color. It has two sets of wings held folded on its back. Unlike the honey bee, it lives a solitary life looking for small holes and narrow spaces in wooden buildings, fences and old logs and lumber to lay its eggs. Because it doesn’t have a colony to protect, the mason bee rarely becomes aggressive enough to sting. This makes it a perfect resident for the backyard.

 

Enterprising bees are important to us all

February 4, 2010
News Times
There are oodles of things for a gardener to fret about, right? Too much or too little rain. Greedy groundhogs and vicious voles. Boulders erupting in the flower beds. These concerns, however, pale by comparison with distress over disappearing honeybees. Without apis mellifera's pollination powers, we must bid adieu to many nut, fruit, vegetable and berry crops, to say nothing of that delectable substance, honey.

 

What's bugging the bees?

February 1, 2010
Royal Society of Chemistry
Insecticides, pathogens, stress? Michael Gross reports on possible explanations for the mysterious vanishing of honeybee colonies.

 

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