Category Archives: Research

Another unintended pesticide impact

The Guardian newspaper has recently reported that a common neonicotinoid has a dramatic effect on songbirds at very low doses. This emphasises how our use of agricultural chemicals can have unintended consequences, and the importance of the Precautionary Principle. Birds … Continue reading

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More bad news for insects

New German research has found that insect numbers have plunged by 75% over 25 years, in nature reserves. It’s assumed the decline outside the reserves is greater. The Guardian reports on the issue here. Germany is generally considered significantly better … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Pesticides | Tagged | 6 Comments

Bees and beekeeping in Borneo

Recently I met with Made Setiawan, a medical anthropologist and ethnographer who lives in Oxford. He works for the Indonesian Katingan Project on a reforestation operation in Borneo, working in an area where the native forest has been largely razed … Continue reading

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Neonicotinoids implicated again

A major new study of the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides has been published in Science. The Guardian has a good summary of the results here. Because this is the largest field trial so far, it is difficult for the pesticide … Continue reading

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The ‘other’ bees: Steven Falk workshop

A few months ago, the news was filled with stories about intelligent bumblebees. New research showed that they could learn to pull strings and play football. As a ‘bee’ person I was interested, but I had a strange feeling that … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Ecology, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Angry bees

This article dispels the myth that our native black bees are inherently ‘bad’, i.e. overly-defensive, and instead sets out the real genetic basis of why crossing bee races, black or otherwise, can lead to hybrids which are predisposed to be … Continue reading

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Open mating and genetics – Drones

Conventional beekeepers aiming to maximise honey production suppress swarms, replace queens with ones from breeders, and cull drones as a “waste of resources”. This post covers some of the less discussed, subtle implications of drone genetics; and advantages of queens … Continue reading

Posted in Honey bee research, Research, Swarms | Tagged , , | 2 Comments