Pollinators in the Press

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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

Erika Nardone, Peter Kevan: U of G studying space bees: Could pollinators do their job away from earth? Say you had a greenhouse on Mars. Would you also have bumblebees there as well? Writen by our writer in residence Stephen Humphrey

James Thomson, a University of Toronto researcher who is also a member of NSERC-CANPOLIN (Working Group 2), has published the results of a 17 year research study exploring pollination and fruiting success of the glacier lily, Erythronium grandiflorum, in Colorado. The novel study is the first of its kind to show a deterioration in pollinators over a longer time frame. The original journal article can be found here at the Philosophical Transactions B website (link to article abstract).

English Media Coverage:
- The Ecologist = Bees stung by 'climate change-linked' early pollination. Climate change may be causing flowers to open before bees emerge from hibernation leading to declines in pollination, new research suggests. (link)
- Wired Science = Dropping bee pollination levels linked to climate change. (link)
- CBC Canada = Climate change tied to bee pollination decline. (link)
- Ottawa Citizen = Plants missing bees' buzz, Lack of insects or bad timing hurting crops, flowers: study. (link)
- Winnipeg Free Press = Decline in bee pollination linked to climate change in new Canadian study. (link)
- Telegraph UK = Bee decline already having dramatic effect on pollination of plants. A decline in bees and global warming are having a damaging effect on the pollination of plants, new research claims. (link)
- The Mirror UK = Bee loss caused by climate change may hit plants. (link)
- The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia = Climate Change affecting Bees. (link)
- About.com = Scientists Abuzz Over Link Between Climate Change and Declining Bee Pollination (link)
- The Hindu = Climate change may lead to decline in bee pollination. (link)
- Softpedia = Climate Change Affects Bee Pollination in Canada. (link)

Other Language Media Articles:
- Europa Press = [Spanish] Confirman la reducción en la polinización de las abejas. (link)
- Presstext Austria = [German] Pflanzenbestäubung leidet am Klimawandel, Kurzer Frühling bringt Blüte und Insekten aus dem Gleichgewicht. (link)
- Scinexx = [German] Erste Defizite in der Pflanzenbestäubung durch Bienenschwund, Klimawandel desynchronisiert zeitliche Rhythmen von Blüte und Insektenaktivität. (link)

Almuhanad Melhim, Paul Kelly & Laurence Packer: September 13, 2010. Buzz Kill. Canadian Business Magazine (PDF)

Les Shipp, Peter Kevan and NSERC-CANPOLIN: Predators and pollinators - Among Harrow projects is global warming’s potential impact on biocontrols, and the latest buzz (link)

NSERC-CANPOLIN: Pollinators and Plants - Theirs is a partnership that humans must protect, Portico Magazine, Summer 2010 (link)

Stephen Humphrey: Toronto Writer Suits Up as Apiarist U of G’s pollination research group invites a poet into their hive, At Guelph, May 2010 issue

Laurence Packer: The unbearable plight of beeness When a bug we rely on for so much is in trouble, so are we, Montreal Gazette, May 15, 2010 - a review of his new book "Keeping the Bees: Why all Bees are at Risk and What we can do to Save Them"

Ernesto Guzman: News @ Noon, discussing the issue of honeybee colony collapse disorder (link)

Ernesto Guzman: Discovery Channel's Daily Planet (video link)

Peter Kevan: "Using Pollination Research", The Grower, April 2010 (PDF)

Ernesto Guzman: "Prof Solves Bee Loss Mystery," University of Guelph News, March 3, 2010 (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): To Bee or Not to Bee

CBC to bee or not to bee

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. (Link - C. Sheffield interview) (8.78MB)

Peter Kevan: CBC Radio Maritime Noon with Laura Chapin, June 13, 2009. (link - P. Kevan interview) (6.39MB)

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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The bee's role in the pollination process

October 31, 2010
Of all the insects that pollinate flowers, the hardest worker is the bee. Whether it is a honey bee or a solitary white bottomed bumble bee, all bees play a vital role in the pollination process.


Bees May Be Bellwether of Food Supply Challenges

October 30, 2010
Food Safety News
Empty honey bee hives that set the media abuzz in 2006 were attributed to everything from cell phones to pesticides, but researchers now say many things interacting with each other are contributing to the decline.


Honey boom thanks to middle class beekeepers

October 28, 2010
The Telegraph UK
The British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) said 3.5 million jars of honey were produced by their members this summer. The decline in honeybees has hit the headlines in recent years as hive numbers have been falling due to diseases, loss of habitat and a mysterious condition known as colony collapse disorder (CCD). Chemical pesticides and climate change has also been blamed.


Save Europe's bees

October 27, 2010
European Parliament
Bee mortality is rising while the number of beekeepers in Europe is declining, all of which could have a serious impact on food production since most plants and crops are pollinated by bees. The EP Agriculture Committee therefore wants the EU to step up support to the beekeeping industry when the common agricultural policy is next revamped.


Back to the biodiversity drawing board

October 27, 2010
CBC News
Environment ministers from around the world are heading back to the drawing board at a conference this week to improve protection of endangered and threatened species — after admitting failure on a previous biodiversity target.


Tiny Brained Bees Solve a Complex Mathematical Problem

October 27, 2010
Science Daily
Bumblebees can find the solution to a complex mathematical problem which keeps computers busy for days. Scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London and Queen Mary, University of London have discovered that bees learn to fly the shortest possible route between flowers even if they discover the flowers in a different order. Bees are effectively solving the 'Travelling Salesman Problem', and these are the first animals found to do this.


Bee mystery not over yet

October 26, 2010
Science News
Ambushed on his way to the cafeteria one recent Wednesday after giving a talk, bee biologist Jeff Pettis proved remarkably gracious to this entomology paparazzo with a burning question.


Cornish bees killed in suspected tractor attack

October 23, 2010
BBC News
A Cornish beekeeper has lost about 200,000 bees after his hives were flattened by a stolen tractor. David Barriball, from Liskeard, said nine hives, worth an estimated £3,500, had been lost and it would take 18 months to build the colony up again.


From Bees to Coral Reefs: Mutualisms Might Be More Important to Global Ecosystem Than Previously Thought

October 22, 2010
Science Daily
Mutually beneficial partnerships among species may play highly important but vastly underrecognized roles in keeping the Earth's ecosystems running, a group of evolutionary biologists suggests in a study.


Botany: Uneasy Evolutionary Balance Between Using and Avoiding Self-Fertilization

October 21, 2010
Science Daily
Most flowering plants, equipped with both male and female sex organs, can fertilize themselves and procreate without the aid of a mate. But this may only present a short-term adaptive benefit, according to a team of researchers led by two University of Illinois at Chicago biologists, who report that long-term evolutionary survival of a species favors flowers that welcome pollen from another plant.


Climate Change Tipping Points for Populations, Not Just Species: Survival, Reproduction of Thousands of Arctic and Alpine Plants Measured

October 21, 2010
Science Daily
As Earth's climate warms, species are expected to shift their geographical ranges away from the equator or to higher elevations. While scientists have documented such shifts for many plants and animals, the ranges of others seem stable.


Mutation Over 100 Million Years Ago Led Flowers to Make Male and Female Parts Differently

October 19, 2010
Science Daily
Research by University of Leeds plant scientists has uncovered a snapshot of evolution in progress, by tracing how a gene mutation over 100 million years ago led flowers to make male and female parts in different ways.


Old Bees' Memory Fades; Mirrors Recall of Humans and Other Mammals

October 19, 2010
Science Daily
New research shows that not just human memories fade. Scientists from Arizona State University and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences examined how aging impacts the ability of honey bees to find their way home.


Urban biodiversity beyond the grave

October 18, 2010
BBC News
"It was such a beautiful place, it was easy to capture on film," said film-maker Emma Cepek, explaining the lure of Manchester's Southern Cemetery as a location for a wildlife documentary. Her film, Beyond the Grave, sets out to highlight the importance of cemeteries as vital habitats in urban areas.


Unlike Us, Honeybees Naturally Make 'Quick Switch' in Their Biological Clocks, Researcher Finds

October 18, 2010
Science Daily
Unlike humans, honeybees, when thrown into highly time-altered new societal roles, are able to alter their biological rhythms with alacrity, enabling them to make a successful "quick switch" in their daily routines, according to research carried out at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Letter: Let pollinator corridors grow

October 18, 2010
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Your front-page story "To save a buck, state lets grass grow along I-40 in West Tennessee" (Sept. 30) described the overgrown roadsides resulting from reduced mowing. While that is quite understandable in tough budget times, perhaps it is time to explore an alternative highway right-of-way management strategy.


Evolutionary arms race turns ants into babysitters for Alcon blue butterflies

October 16, 2010
Discover Magazine - Ed Young of Not Exactly Rocket Science
In the meadows of Europe, colonies of industrious team-workers are being manipulated by a master slacker. The layabout in question is the Alcon blue butterfly (Maculinea alcon) a large and beautiful summer visitor. Its victims are two species of red ants, Myrmica rubra and Myrmica ruginodis.


Butterflies Choose Plants for Medicinal Qualities

October 15, 2010
Scientific American
Infected monarch butterflies will lay their eggs on plants that contain a chemical that can protect the butterflies' offspring.


Should we learn to love weeds?

October 15, 2010
BBC News
They are the scourge of farmers and allotment holders the world over. But, as one naturalist pens a book in defence of weeds, should we see them in a new light?


Bee aware, deadline approaches to get bee calendars

October 14, 2010
Cenral Valley Business Times
Friday, Oct. 15 is the first of two deadlines to order the North American Bee Calendar, a project benefiting the pollinator habitat work of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and the Great Sunflower Project. University of California, Davis, scientists contributed to it.


$1.4 million grant to fund research on alternative pollinators

October 13, 2010
Penn State News
Fruits and nuts are high-value crops in the Mid-Atlantic states and are being heavily impacted by honeybee shortages for pollination. A new $1.4 million grant from the USDA NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative (SCRI) program to Penn State will look into future impacts on fruit pollination and the development of alternative pollinators to supplement honeybees.


Harsh conditions create sterile workers

October 13, 2010
ABC Science
Research into a group of Australian native bees may answer the question why some species create sterile worker castes and others don't. Associate Professor Michael Schwarz of Flinders University in Adelaide and colleagues argue the group may be the result of genetic changes in response to harsh environmental conditions.


Honeybee Colony Collapse Mystery Solved, Saving Bees To Follow?

October 12, 2010
Concept News
Honeybees, nature’s great pollinator, have been dying off mysteriously for the past half-decade due to a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Until now, the cause of CCD has been an unknown mystery that has prompted action from scientist and entomologists worldwide. Suspected culprits have run the gamut, from pesticides, to chemical exposure, to viruses.


Maintain bumblebee population by growing flowers with 'landing lights', gardeners told

October 12, 2010
Daily Mail UK
Gardeners can help maintain bumblebee populations by growing flowers equipped with 'landing lights', according to new research. A study found that the insects favour snapdragons with striped petals. Scientists believe the patterns perform a similar function to runway landing lights used by aircraft.


'Unnecessary' weedkillers could undermine efforts to protect bee population

October 12, 2010
The Ecologist
New research encouraging gardeners to increase bumblebee populations by planting flowers could be undermined by the use of weedkillers and pesticides, Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) warns. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) has cautioned that harsh chemicals could further harm bee populations and said that weedkillers are not ‘necessary’ in garden settings.


Monarch Butterflies Use Medicinal Plants to Treat Offspring for Disease

October 12, 2010
Science Daily
Monarch butterflies appear to use medicinal plants to treat their offspring for disease, research by biologists at Emory University shows. Their findings were published online Oct. 6 in the journal Ecology Letters.


Project to impact native pollinators

October 12, 2010
Farm and Dairy
Fruits and nuts are high value crops in the Mid-Atlantic states worth over $300 million and are being heavily impacted by honey bee shortages for pollination.


Nature's sting: The real cost of damaging Planet Earth

October 11, 2010
BBC News
You don't have to be an environmentalist to care about protecting the Earth's wildlife. Just ask a Chinese fruit farmer who now has to pay people to pollinate apple trees because there are no longer enough bees to do the job for free.


Bumblebees prefer stripes and red flowers, research suggests

October 11, 2010
BBC News
Gardeners are being encouraged to grow striped flowers to encourage bumblebee populations, after research suggested the insects are most attracted to them. Stripes on petal veins direct bumblebees to the flower's "central landing platform" and entrance to gather nectar and pollen.


Bee Colony Collapse Associated With Viral, Fungal Infection, Biologist Says

October 10, 2010
Science Daily
The sudden death of bee colonies since late 2006 across North America has stumped scientists. But today, researchers may have a greater understanding of the mysterious colony collapse disorder, said a Texas Tech University biologist.


Insect mimics carry double identities

October 10, 2010
The Cordova Times
Fall in Alaska can be beautiful as the seasonal changes bring out the many different warm colors we associate with the coming of fall and winter. This time of year can also bring large numbers of bees and their kin to your outdoor activities.


Microscopic Combo Suspected in Killing Bees

October 8, 2010
CBS News
CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports in each of the past four years about one-third of America's 2.5 million honeybee colonies have been wiped out. University of Montana researcher Jerry Bromenshenk has been searching for the killer. After screening bees for 30,000 disease markers a group of scientists led by Bromenshenk say they have found a probable cause. "Out of the data, suddenly emerged a parasite and a virus," Bromenshenk said. "A very unique virus indeed."


Viral Mysteries: Colony Collapse Disorder

October 7, 2010
Science Blogs - ERV
Im sure this isnt news to any of you-- Honey Bees are dying. We dont know why. I thought we had an answer to this problem, and the answer was a virus-- Israeli acute paralysis virus. But although IAPV definitely has an effect on honey bee immunity, apparently it fell through as The Cause of CCD.


Bee-Killing Disease May Be Combination Attack, Researchers Say

October 7, 2010
Bloomsburg Business Week
The mysterious deaths of billions of honeybees since 2006 that have harmed the U.S. agricultural industry may be caused by a common fungus and a previously unknown virus, University of Montana researchers say.


Inbred bumblebees 'face extinction threat'

September 6, 2010
BBC News
Some of the UK's rarest bumblebees are at risk of becoming extinct as a result of inbreeding, research suggests. The lack of genetic diversity is making the bees more vulnerable to a number of threats, including parasitic infection, say scientists in Scotland.


Healthy hive training offered to novice beekeepers

October 6, 2010
BBC News
Hundreds of volunteers in England and Wales are to be trained to teach amateur beekeepers how to keep their hives healthy over winter. The decline in honeybees is prompting more people to take up beekeeping, but there are concerns that novices are not skilled at keeping their hives healthy.


Rare bumblebees make comeback in Kent and Sussex

October 4, 2010
BBC News
England's five rarest bumblebees have made a comeback in parts of Kent and Sussex, conservationists have said. The five threatened species have spread their geographic range as a result of environmental schemes in Dungeness and Romney Marsh.


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