National Geographic has just published a fantastic read on a very recent study around how discarded detritus found in bee hives can be examined to learn many things about the environment surrounding the hive.
Cities involved included Tokyo, Venice, Sydney, Melbourne and New York.
Researchers were able to discover information about the local microbiome including the presence of types of fungi and bacteria as well as DNA from the pathogen which causes cat scratch fever in humans!
Described as "flying Swiffer sheets", bees may become even more useful to humans if researchers are able to take advantage of their unique abilities which are especially well suited for collecting materials from the environment.
Following our analysis from last month of the Canadian Government's report on food fraud, the European Commission has found 46% of overall sampled products to be fraudulent, with 100% of the UK honey sampled to have failed testing.
Counterfeit foods have become a major problem as they undercut high quality products from legitimate businesses and suppliers, while at the same time deceiving consumers with food containing materials that aren't on the label.
A master beekeeper, Lynne Ingram, is quoted as saying that shoppers should make sure to choose products that state the country of origin on the label, as well as source from traditional local beekeepers when possible.
Honeybees are unique among bees in their mating strategies and anatomy in a very large way
For most bees, a queen will mate with a single male bee or a only a few, whereas a honeybee queen will mate with several partners (described as extremely polyandrous)
This research analyzes genetic samples from various species' of bee to learn more about how highly social bees may compare to other types, a great read for anyone curious about bee behaviour (written well!)
Did You Know?
April comes from Latin Aprilis, a word with uncertain origins 🤔 (Wikipedia page)
Stingless honey bees exist! There are hundreds of species' of these, and humans have been working with them since ancient times. More at Wikipedia
Among honeybees, males are called drones and do not have stingers or the ability to feed themselves. His primary function in the hive is to prepare to mate with a maiden queen and distribute the hive's genetic information to other hives. After mating, the drone's mission is complete and he soon passes away.
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