Honey, I’m just popping out for some pollen. I may bee some time...
Insect forced to travel more than a mile to find food, study finds
Thursday 22 August 2013
Hungry bumblebees are being forced to travel more than a mile to find food, a study has found. Ecologists took samples from more than 3,000 bees from five different species and mapped how far they roamed from their nests.
The study, led by the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, found that while on average the insects would travel between 880ft to 1,800ft, bees nesting in areas where there were fewer flowers had to fly more than 1.2 miles. It is hoped the findings could help improve conditions for the vital pollinators.
Professor Andrew Bourke, a behavioural ecologist and evolutionary biologist at the university, said: “We hope that, by providing detailed insights into how bumblebees move around landscapes, our results will lead to improved interventions for bees so that wildflowers and crops can continue to benefit from their pollination services.”
Despite their size and conspicuous colouring, bumblebees have traditionally been difficult to study in the wild because their nests are almost impossible to find. But scientists from the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), the UEA, University of Bristol and Institute of Zoology managed to take DNA samples from 2,577 worker and 537 queen bees. This information was used to group them into 2,000 colonies which were then mapped against the landscape to estimate how far they ventured from home.
Dr Matt Heard, of the CEH, said the research allowed scientists to “ask whether conservation schemes to improve the countryside for bees, like planting more flowers on farmland, are having a positive effect”. The next stage of the research will use mathematical models to produce a “bees’ eye view” of the landscape.
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Brazilian wandering spider: Where are they from and how deadly are they?
Government ‘allowing coal industry to get green subsidies’
The 10 best folding bikes
Saharan sun could provide energy for UK homes in £8bn plan to build 100 sq km solar farm - and a very long power cable
The 'vampire squid': RSPB attacked by other conservationists for 'misusing funds'
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...