Are lime trees killing our bees?

Is the nectar of lime-tree flowers toxic for bees? Plenty of people seem to think so. In his super book, A Sting in the Tale, Dave Goulson says: “Buff-tailed and white tailed bumblebees love the flowers of lime trees, although there is something in the nectar which seems to make them dopey and even sometimes…

EU court hands bees a boost by backing insecticide ban 

An EU court upheld on Thursday a partial ban on three insecticides known as neonicotinoids, saying that the European Commission had been right in 2013 to restrict their use to protect bees. The ruling covers three active substances — imidacloprid developed by Bayer CropScience, clothianidin developed by Takeda Chemical Industries and Bayer CropScience as well as…

‘Road network’ for insects could be created across Britain to protect bees, butterflies and moths

A ‘road network’ for insects could be created throughout Britain to protect bees, butterflies and moths from decline, under a new bill presented to the House of Commons this week. Under the ‘Protection of Pollinators Bill’ councils, landowners and the public, will be encouraged to cultivate wildflower corridors so that insects can spread freely throughout the…

Ken Thompson: yes it has stripes, but it’s not a wasp

When gardeners think about pollinators, we usually think first about bees. Nothing surprising about that; bees are extremely abundant in gardens, and normally the most important pollinators. After bees, we tend to move on to butterflies – not the most significant pollinators, by a long way, but both conspicuous and attractive. Which all rather leaves…

European countries ban ‘bee-harming’ pesticides

Campaigners have hailed a decision by European countries to bring in a near-total ban on pesticides linked to declines in bees as a «major victory». European Union member states have decided on a ban on the outdoor use of «neonicotinoid» pesticides after an assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) confirmed in February the dangers they…

Police plan to team up with beekeepers in order to tackle swarms

Police have teamed up with beekeepers to catch  swarms which terrorise the public. As temperatures rise colonies of the flying insects break up into smaller swarms and create larger numbers of new nests. Police will be working with beekeepers to cordon off affected areas and clear the swarms safely. East Hertfordshire Chief Inspector, Gerry McDonald, said: «As…

Woman dies from bee sting therapy promoted by Gwyneth Paltrow

A woman died in Spain after suffering an allergic reaction while undergoing live bee acupuncture — an alternative therapy promoted by Gwyneth Paltrow in which the patient is stung by the angered insects. The 55-year-old woman had been undergoing the controversial treatment once a month for two years when she suddenly developed a severe reaction,…

How to get a buzz out of backyard beekeeping

Dale Gibson is seriously into his bees. The former stockbroker finds great joy in tending to his hives atop his four-storey townhouse in Bermondsey, south London. “I love the seasonality of keeping bees, it’s so different from the long, routine days I used to do in the City. I love the gentle, industrious nature of…

Urban beekeeping is harming wild bees, says Cambridge University 

The rise in amateur beekeepers keeping hives on roofs and gardens is contributing to the decline of wild bees, Cambridge University has claimed. Experts at the Department of Zoology said the growth in urban keeping was leaving wild bees struggling to gather enough pollen and nectar. Urban beekeeping has flourished in recent years, with many…

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