parasitic bees Animals 

Parasitic Bees: Natural-Born Robbers

By Steven Spence Photography by John Kimbler When we think of bees, most of us picture honeybees or possibly bumblebees. In fact, there are over 20,000 species of bees. Some are social, such as honeybees and bumblebees, while others are solitary. Bees typically build nests, collect pollen and nectar, and care for their offspring. Some bees, though, do not busy themselves with these things; instead, they move in as parasites, taking over other bees’ nests. Estimates based on surveys of North American bees indicate that as many as 15 percent…

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Declining bee populations: A honeybee drinking nectar, its reward for pollinating the flower Animals Environment Science & Art 

Declining Bee Populations Revisited

By Steven Spence Given mounting evidence of rapidly declining bee populations, what would be the impact if there were no more bees? As we have seen, there are many other pollinators, including bats and birds. Would these other pollinators be able to take over the job that bees do so well? Imagine A World Without Bees To a limited extent wind pollination (inefficient in most flowers) and other pollinators can compensate for a lack of bees. In other cases, bees are essential. For example, the commercial growth of almonds is almost…

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Pollinators: Honeybee visiting wildflowers Animals Environment Science & Art 

Pollination: Meet the Pollinators

By Steven Spence Spring is well underway in the northern hemisphere and EH Science is delighted to feature these seasonal photos by contributor, Steven Spence. We’re sure you’ll enjoy them as much as we do! Pollination Currently there is significant concern about the decline in honeybee populations. There are various factors behind the decimation of the hives, but first some fundamental questions: Why do plants require pollination? How important are bees in pollination? Are there alternative pollinators to bees? Pollinators Smell Sex and Candy in the Air Spring is a…

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