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The Bee Report Podcast

Author: Matt Kelly

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The Bee Report is a news source dedicated to helping bee experts, citizen scientists and the bee-curious stay connected to the wide world of bees. TBR covers bee-related science, conservation, politics, economics and technology with original reporting and a weekly news summary.
15 Episodes
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Our story this week on the podcast is very much a product of this current moment in American history, in which race and racism are at the front of all of our minds. It’s a story about acknowledging and addressing the disparities that exist for people of color in the field of entomology – and in science generally.In this episode we’re talking with Dr. Jessica Ware and Ph.D. candidate Stephanita Sallqa Tuwa BondocGawa MaflaMills. They are both members of Entomologists of Color, a group that’s seeking to improve the participation and experience of people of color in entomology through a very specific initiative: increasing their participation in scientific societies.We talk about this initiative, but we also talk about Jessica and Stephanie’s experiences as women of color in science, and some of the things that all of us can do to be part of the solution.Entomologists of Color• www.entopoc.org• entopoc@gmail.com• Twitter @EntoPOCWEEKLY UPDATE• About 94% of wild bee and native plant species networks lost (York University) https://bit.ly/3jeRPO7• Community scientists identify bumble bees correctly 50% of the time (York University) https://bit.ly/2ZG2YQu• EU has failed to halt decline of bees and butterflies, auditors say (Reuters) https://reut.rs/2WwpiKi• Are pollinators at risk from road pollution and being hit by vehicles? (Twitter, Ben Phillips @ben_phi11ips) https://bit.ly/32rL4m2• Group genomics drive aggression in honey bees (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) https://bit.ly/2ZF3eyQ• Mixing of European and African ancestry plays role in ‘killer’ honey bees’ aggressiveness (York University) https://bit.ly/399h67C• Who likes – and doesn't like – bees? (The Wildlife Society) https://bit.ly/398xdCMSTAY CONNECTEDSubscribe to the Bee Report Podcast. Leave a 5-star rating and review.Share the podcast with a friend!Visit TheBeeReport.com to sign up for the weekly newsletter.Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram @bymattkelly.Get in touch at tbr@bymattkelly.com.
This week on the podcast we're talking about mowing lawns - or rather not mowing lawns - and the impact it can have on urban bees.You may have heard about No Mow May, an initiative from Plantlife in the United Kingdom which encourages people to stop mowing for the entire month. One of the communities participating in the initiative was Appleton, Wisconsin.And Israel Del Toro, an assistant professor at Lawrence University, went out and surveyed the bees of Appleton at the end of No Mow May. So he and I chat about the fieldwork, the results and what it was like working with the city government to make this happen.Israel Del Toro• Twitter @IsraelDelToroWEEKLY UPDATE• Leafcutter bee video (Twitter, Hella Bee Nerd @sfbaybees) https://bit.ly/3g5h5UR• Is #PollinatorWeek just #beewashing? (Twitter, Charlotte de Keyzer @cwdekeyzer) https://bit.ly/2Yzw2Z7• EPA signs first ever Pollinator Week Proclamation (Environmental Protection Agency) https://bit.ly/3dBRFMN• ‘National nature service’ needed for green recovery in England (The Guardian) https://bit.ly/3i59Wpl• Entomological Society of America donates 100 two-year memberships to EntoPOC (Twitter, Entomologists of Color @EntoPOC) https://bit.ly/31ig1Zy• Database being assembled for early career pollination ecologists (Twitter, John Mola @_JohnMola) https://bit.ly/3eAWmb4- Enter info at https://bit.ly/2YwHzbN- Database at https://bit.ly/3i3h6ug• Scientists decode honey bee queen toots and quacks in hive (BBC) https://bbc.in/381nDkp• Soap bubbles could assist with pollination (CNN) https://cnn.it/3g23WLUSTAY CONNECTEDSubscribe to the Bee Report Podcast. Leave a 5-star rating and review.Visit TheBeeReport.com to sign up for the weekly newsletter.Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram @bymattkelly.Get in touch at tbr@bymattkelly.com.
Thank you very much for allowing me an additional week to work on the many projects I have going on right now, including today’s story for the podcast. Never a dull moment here.I promised you a story about flowers, pathogens and bees, and that’s exactly what I have to share with you today. I had the incredible good fortune of speaking with both Lynn Adler from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Laura Figueroa from Cornell University on the exact same day about the role flowers play in spreading disease among bees. It was like binge watching everything we currently know about this aspect of the bee-flower relationship. Lots of information. Very satisfying. And I will do my best to summarize it all in four key points.Lynn Adler• Disease where you dine: plant species and floral traits associated with pathogen transmission in bumble bees (2018) https://bit.ly/3h26nzt• Flowering plant composition shapes pathogen infection intensity and reproduction in bumble bee colonies (2020) https://bit.ly/2z7zUqq• Science Poetry @Science_PoetryLaura Figueroa• Landscape simplification shapes pathogen prevalence in plant-pollinator networks (2020) https://bit.ly/2XE3EVaWEEKLY UPDATE#BlackInNature  #BlackInSTEM  #DiversityInSTEM  #BlackEcologists  #BlackBirdersWeekBeing black while in nature: 'You’re an endangered species' (The Guardian) https://bit.ly/3gVd7iGBlack Ecologists statement (Twitter @BEcologists) https://bit.ly/2BE2PDvWhy black lives matter to entomology (Entomological Society of America) https://bit.ly/377GwByWe speak their names: statement of solidarity for racial justice (Xerces Society) https://bit.ly/2A6LyCuJudge rejects Trump administration attempt to toss endangered species lawsuit (The Hill)https://bit.ly/3eYQfx5Trump administration makes major changes to protections for endangered species (NPR) https://n.pr/2UgF3Uy17 states sue feds over Endangered Species Act rules (AP) https://bit.ly/3dyJUYKBees grooming each other can boost colony immunity (EurekAlert/University College of London) https://bit.ly/30cbLdlOnce is enough for long-term memory formation in bees (The Scientist) https://bit.ly/2UihjiVA call to refocus away from bowl traps and towards more effective methods of bee monitoring (Annals of the Entomological Society of America) https://bit.ly/2XE2V6oSTAY CONNECTEDSubscribe to the Bee Report Podcast. Leave a 5-star rating and review.Visit TheBeeReport.com to sign up for the weekly newsletter.Hit me up on Twitter and Instagram @bymattkelly.Get in touch at tbr@bymattkelly.com.
This week on the podcast we have a story about a last resort in bee conservation. It’s a story about the steps we might need to take to prevent a bee species from winking out of existence for ever. It’s a story about the captive breeding and intentional reintroduction of bees into the wild.This is an idea I first heard about in my conversation with Sheila Colla a few weeks ago (Episode 4, if you want to check it out). It’s an idea that I’d never heard anyone talk about for bees. But it’s an idea – and a probable future – that we need to be talking about. Because if we want it to be successful, we need to be preparing for it now.Elaine Evans from the University of Minnesota and Tam Smith from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service join me in this episode and graciously indulge my curiosity.WEEKLY UPDATE• Florida’s rare blue bee rediscovered at Lake Wales Ridge (Florida Museum of Natural History) https://bit.ly/3dLXHe9• Microalgae food for honey bees (USDA) https://bit.ly/2T4Q6zm• Researchers discover a gene in honey bees that causes virgin birth (University of Sydney) https://bit.ly/3cylRJ7• Does urbanization homogenize regional biodiversity in native bees? (University of California, Riverside) https://bit.ly/2T6FoslGET INVOLVED• Bumble Bee Watch https://www.bumblebeewatch.org/• Queen Quest https://www.queenquest.org/STAY CONNECTEDSubscribe to the Bee Report Podcast. Leave a 5-star rating and review.Visit TheBeeReport.com to sign up for the weekly newsletter.Hit me up on Twitter and Instagram @bymattkelly.Get in touch at tbr@bymattkelly.com.
This week on the show I have a story about an effort to rescue a community of native bees in Pennsylvania: Anthophora abrupta. And this story of protection and conservation might seem a little strange to you – because everything seems to go just right.It's good to be back after a couple weeks spent getting this story ready for you. I certainly had fun doing it. So I hope you enjoy it.WEEKLY UPDATE• Virus-infected honey bees more likely to gain entrance to healthy hives (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) https://bit.ly/2VQ0hK8• How ‘undertaker’ bees recognize dead comrades (Science) https://bit.ly/35mjjLp• Endangered Species Act protection sought for Suckley’s cuckoo bumble bee (Center for Biological Diversity) https://bit.ly/2WeVssL• Honey bees could help monitor fertility loss in insects due to climate change (ScienceDaily/University of British Columbia) https://bit.ly/2xoDM5v• Minnesota wraps up 30-year biological 'census' (Minnesota Public Radio) https://bit.ly/35le7qP• Minnesota Biological Survey https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mbs/index.htmlGOT A. ABRUPTA?Let Mike Slater know. paplantings@gmail.comJust a reminder that the Bee Report is now on a biweekly schedule. Next episode in two weeks.Hit me up on Twitter and Instagram @bymattkelly.Get in touch at tbr@bymattkelly.com.Please subscribe to the Bee Report Podcast. Leave a 5-star rating and review. And visit TheBeeReport.com to sign up for the newsletter to stay connected to the world of bees.
This week on the podcast I'm joined by Zach Portman, a bee taxonomist at the University of Minnesota in the Cariveau Native Bee Lab. For a while now I’ve been wanting to talk with a bee taxonomist about the impending taxonomic bottleneck we’re facing. So Zach and I chat about that. We chat about how taxonomy is a living science and why people in this profession deserve to make a living wage.Zach Portman:• Twitter @zachportmanWEEKLY UPDATE• Coronavirus may prove boost for UK's bees and rare wildflowers (The Guardian) https://bit.ly/2VBeCZt• Traffic and pollution plummet as U.S. cities shut down for coronavirus (New York Times) https://nyti.ms/34K4aTJ• 5 lessons from coronavirus that will help us tackle climate change (Time) https://bit.ly/3cnWWap• Some flowers have learned to bounce back after injury (EurekAlert/University of Portsmouth) https://bit.ly/3ewabaU• Bees in Fiji point to new evolutionary answers (EurekAlert/Flinders University) https://bit.ly/3bsr2tD• German museum looking for citizen scientists to help make bee collection accessible online (Museum für Naturkunde) https://bit.ly/3bca966BEES OF GSENM• The Bees of Grand Staircase-Escalante https://beesofgsenm.com/Hit me up on Twitter and Instagram @bymattkellyGet in touch at tbr@bymattkelly.comPlease subscribe to the Bee Report Podcast. Leave a 5-star rating and review. And visit TheBeeReport.com to sign up for the newsletter to stay connected to the world of bees.
This week on the podcast I'm joined by Kristen Brochu, a postdoctoral researcher at Penn State University. We discuss her recently published work about how harmful pumpkin and squash pollen is for bumble bees. But why is this? And what exactly can we learn from this? Kristen and I talk about what we currently know (and don't know) about bee nutrition, and how understanding species-specific nutritional needs could be another tool for assessing which bees are at the greatest risk in our climate-changing, urbanizing world.Kristen Brochu:• Pollen defenses negatively impact foraging and fitness in a generalist bee (Bombus impatiens: Apidae) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-58274-2• Twitter @bugAdvocate• Instagram @bugAdvocate• Website https://www.kristenbrochu.com/WEEKLY UPDATE• What is the Asian hornet invasion going to cost Europe? (EurekAlert/Pensoft Publishers) https://bit.ly/2UWUBxv• WSU scientists enlist citizens in hunt for giant, bee-killing hornet (Washington State University) https://bit.ly/3edk2Cn• Photographing insects in the field: basic tips for success (Entomology Today) https://bit.ly/39YhFQG• Small subject matter, big impact! (Australian Geographic) https://bit.ly/2JW3pgNSURVEY RESULTS• Has the novel coronavirus affected the research you had planned for this year? https://bit.ly/39XjwoLPlease subscribe to the Bee Report Podcast. Leave a 5-star rating and review. And visit TheBeeReport.com to sign up for the newsletter to stay connected to the world of bees.Thoughts, questions or comments? Get in touch at tbr@bymattkelly.com.
This week on the podcast I am joined by Scott McArt, assistant professor of pollinator health in the department of entomology at Cornell University. He and I discuss three recent news stories about pesticides and bee health. We break down the stories and get Scott's expert thoughts, opinions and insights on the issues.Scott also gives us his Top Three List of the most important things that the public and policy makers should keep in mind about bees and pesticides.Scott McArt:• Website http://blogs.cornell.edu/mcartlab/• Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DyceLab/• Twitter @McArtLabWEEKLY UPDATE• Invest in pollinator monitoring for long-term gain (The Niche) https://bit.ly/2x0fFdh• New Mexico unveils 'pollinator protection' license plate (Santa Fe New Mexican) https://bit.ly/3ayWA0e• How animals understand numbers influences their chance of survival (EurekAlert/Cell Press) https://bit.ly/3bOGVua• Rolled cardboard makes a handy insect-sampling tool (Entomology Today) https://bit.ly/3436epoDISCUSSION• Letter from the California Attorney General to the EPA regarding flonicamid https://bit.ly/2R6DWVQ• A new pesticide is all the buzz (Ars Technica) https://bit.ly/2UD9Z1J• The playbook for poisoning the Earth (The Intercept) https://bit.ly/2JC9SgwSURVEYHas the novel coronavirus or any of the societal responses to the virus affected the research you have planned for this year? https://thebeereport.com/bee-report-survey/Please subscribe to the Bee Report Podcast. Leave a 5-star rating and review. And visit TheBeeReport.com to sign up for the newsletter to stay connected to the world of bees.Thoughts, questions or comments? Get in touch at tbr@bymattkelly.com.
This week on the podcast I'm talking with Joe Wilson, associate professor of biology at Utah State University. The very same Joe Wilson who you likely know from The Bees in Your Backyard – the book, the website and the prolific social media presence.He and illustrator Jonny VanOrman have just published a brand new children's book called Bees are the Best. It's a whimsical little tale about discovering the diversity of bees in the world. And while Joe and I talk about creating the book itself, we also explore what goes into effective science communication.Joe Wilson:• Website: https://www.beesinyourbackyard.com/• Twitter: @BeesBackyard• YouTube: https://bit.ly/2WOe98uWEEKLY UPDATE:• AI analysis suggests we're getting better at wildlife conservation (EurekAlert/Cell Press) https://bit.ly/2y6BGXT• What motivates sales of pollinator-friendly plants? (EurekAlert/American Society for Horticultural Science) https://bit.ly/2Jf4Iac• How ‘undertaker’ bees recognize dead comrades (Science) https://bit.ly/2UiVqjL• Scientists transform ultra-tough pollen into flexible material (EurekAlert/Nanyang Technological University) https://bit.ly/3buQ6QcPlease subscribe to the Bee Report Podcast. Leave a 5-star rating and review. And visit TheBeeReport.com to sign up for the newsletter to stay connected to the world of bees.Thoughts, questions or comments? Get in touch at tbr@bymattkelly.com.
This week on the podcast I'm talking with Karin Gastreich, professor of biology at Avila University. Her recent work surveying the native bee communities in the remnant prairies around Kansas City was just published in the March issue of Ecological Restoration. She and I chat about the bees, the prairie ecosystems of yesterday and today, and the difference between restoration and reconstruction.If you haven't yet spent time in the gently-waving tall grass of a modern prairie, surrounded by the buzzing of life, with blue sky touching the horizon in every direction – put it on your list! It is truly magical.Karin Gastreich:• Twitter @EolynChronicles• Website krgastreich.comRemnant Prairies and Organic Gardens Provide Complementary Habitat for Native Bees Within a Midwestern Urban Matrix (Ecological Restoration) er.uwpress.org/content/38/1/3.refsWEEKLY UPDATE• California attorney general calls out insufficient regulation of insecticide (Santa Barbara Independent) https://bit.ly/2wbSPPz• The letter from the California attorney general https://bit.ly/3bcTcZ2• Monsanto’s secret funding for weedkiller studies (The Guardian) https://bit.ly/2WtdeKz• The pesticide industry’s playbook for poisoning the Earth (The Intercept) https://bit.ly/2U2fdUt• Pesticide seed coatings are widespread but underreported (Penn State) https://bit.ly/2xdcVc4• Bees are the Best: USU biologist publishes new children's book (Utah State University)https://bit.ly/2QxaM1LEXTRA• The free digital version of Eolyn:- Google Books https://bit.ly/2Qy6bfP- Barnes & Noble https://bit.ly/2WsQf2j- Smashwords https://bit.ly/390xcyN• Pollinator License Plate online auction starts March 21 https://www.32auctions.com/• There and Back Again (Radiolab) https://bit.ly/3bfXmivPlease subscribe to the Bee Report Podcast. Leave a 5-star rating and review. And visit TheBeeReport.com to sign up for the newsletter to stay connected to the world of bees.Thoughts, questions or comments? Get in touch at tbr@bymattkelly.com.
This week on the podcast, I talk with Sheila Colla, assistant professor in Environmental Studies at York University. At the end of February, Sheila and other bee experts came together at the Minnesota Zoo to plan for the recovery and future of the rusty patched bumble bee. And Sheila fills us in on what happened at the meeting.Sheila's graduate work first identified the drastic decline of this bumble bee and has been the foundation for protecting it as an endangered species in the United States. She has been an essential part of this ten-year journey towards recovery. And the recent conservation strategy meeting of bee experts is just the latest step in that journey. Sheila Colla:• Twitter @SaveWildBees• Website www.savethebumblebees.caWEEKLY UPDATE• Thousands of homeowners apply for Minnesota funding to turn lawns into bee-friendly habitats (Star Tribune) http://strib.mn/3cWmufW• Bumble bees hate pumpkin pollen, which may help pumpkins (Cornell University) https://bit.ly/3aPkpkc• Flower faithful native bee makes a reliable pollinator (University of California, Riverside) https://bit.ly/2TPmjvH• These tiny, plastic-munching caterpillars can clean up our world – but there's a catch (USA Today) https://bit.ly/2vTJrjvEXTRA• Pollinator License Plate online auction starts March 21 (Wild Friends NM) https://www.32auctions.com/WildFriendsPlease subscribe to the Bee Report Podcast. Leave a 5-star rating and review. And visit TheBeeReport.com to sign up for the newsletter to stay connected to the world of bees.Thoughts, questions or comments? Get in touch at tbr@bymattkelly.com.
This week on the podcast, I talk with Dr. Hollis Woodard, assistant professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of California, Riverside. In January, Hollis announced that she and eleven of her fellow bee experts are going to be creating a native bee monitoring network here in the U.S. So she and I converse about the current plans for getting that network up and running.We also talk about an issue that everyone who is involved with ecology and conservation should be thinking about: taxonomic bottleneck.Dr. Hollis Woodard:• Twitter @bee_witcher• Website www.woodardlab.comWEEKLY UPDATE• Coronavirus stings world's top honey makers with China beekeepers locked down (Reuters) https://reut.rs/2PPHWt0• Lawsuit attacks Trump administration failure to protect hundreds of species from extinction (Center for Biological Diversity) https://bit.ly/2TuhE21• A new method for surveying bumble bees alongside Minnesota roadways (Crossroads) https://bit.ly/2wAsI4l• Alfalfa leafcutting bees like nests that face north (Entomology Today) https://bit.ly/3av1rPz• Wheen Bee Foundation receives $15,000 grant to protect green carpenter bee (Wheen Bee Foundation) https://bit.ly/2VPQTqqEXTRA• Can the green carpenter bee of Australia be saved? (The Bee Report) https://bit.ly/2wvZVOEPlease subscribe to the Bee Report Podcast. Leave a 5-star rating and review. And visit TheBeeReport.com to sign up for the newsletter to stay connected to the world of bees.Thoughts, questions or comments? Please send them to tbr@bymattkelly.com.
This week on the podcast I have a conversation with Peter Soroye, a Ph.D. student at the University of Ottawa and the lead author of a recent paper in Science Magazine that provides evidence of rapid and widespread declines in bumble bee populations across North America and Europe. This work received plenty of news coverage, and you may have seen some of the headlines that painted a rather grim picture.However, the real purpose of this research by Peter, Tim Newbold and Jeremy Kerr, was to test a new method for assessing the risk of local extinction for a species – which, ideally, would lead to the creation of more effective conservation efforts through a better understanding of what animals are at the greatest risk in different locations.• Climate change contributes to widespread declines among bumble bees across continents (Science) https://bit.ly/3a8PCyqPeter Soroye:• Twitter @PeterSoroye• Instagram @puffypete• Website www.petersoroye.comWEEKLY UPDATE• Why the next threat to bees is organized crime (The Guardian) https://bit.ly/2wakZKo• Minnesota cities could get the power to ban pesticides (The Star Tribune) http://strib.mn/2Vv8P9s• Maine bill would limit use of neonicotinoids (Maine Public) https://bit.ly/2PyEVNU• Bumble bees can create mental imagery, a 'building block of consciousness' (ABC) https://ab.co/2T5SRkE• Honey bees forage less efficiently in high winds (The Guardian) https://bit.ly/2w8qR6OEXTRA• Bee Better Certified Production Standards https://bit.ly/397CkC6Please subscribe to the Bee Report Podcast. Leave a 5-star rating and review. And visit TheBeeReport.com to sign up for the newsletter to stay connected to the world of bees.Questions or comments about the show? You can get in touch with me at tbr at bymattkelly dot com.
THIS WEEK ON THE SHOWThis past June, the California Fish and Game Commission decided to list four bumble bees as candidates for endangered species protection in the state. However, in September a coalition of agricultural interests sued to prevent the listing from going forward, claiming that insects cannot be listed under California’s endangered species act. Now the Xerces Society, Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Food Safety are seeking to intervene in the lawsuit to ensure that the bumble bees receive protection.This is a really important court case to follow because it focuses on an essential conversation about insect conservation. So here is my conversation with Sarina Jepsen, the Endangered Species Program Director for the Xerces Society, to help us understand what the case is all about. Enjoy. • Pollinator petitioners ask court for permission to join lawsuit to defend fish and game commission decision to protect four native bee species under the California endangered species act: https://bit.ly/2UO2HZF• If bumble bees become endangered in California, farmers say it sets a ‘dangerous precedent’: https://bit.ly/2OT39BZWEEKLY UPDATE• California banned chlorpyrifos from your food. Now it won’t be manufactured (Los Angeles Times): https://lat.ms/2OTxOz7 • Häagen-Dazs ice cream now Bee Better Certified (Xerces Society): https://bit.ly/2HkLA9J• Bumble bee declines indicate mass extinction (The Guardian): https://bit.ly/3bzOFRl• Bumble bees fly in ‘economy mode’ when carrying heavy loads (University of California, Davis): https://bit.ly/2SoedZT• Alternative pollinators to help farmers as bee populations suffer in drought and bushfires  (ABC): https://ab.co/2OSHeuF• Oldest evidence of modern bees found in Argentina (National Geographic): https://on.natgeo.com/2UO1mlB• Fossilized insect from 100 million years ago is oldest record of primitive bee with pollen (Oregon State University): https://bit.ly/3bAaekK
Welcome to the Bee Report Podcast. I am your host, Matt Kelly. Just a short little introduction to get you excited for the show. If you're a regular reader of the newsletter and website, you know that the Bee Report is a well-curated collection of the latest bee-related news along with original reporting and interviews. TBR covers a whole range of topics: science, conservation, politics, economics, technology. All of the important stories to keep you connected to the world of bees.Make sure you catch every episode! Hit Subscribe. Go to TheBeeReport.com and sign up for newsletter.And I will be talking more with you very soon. Thanks!
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