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Pollinators--insects, birds, bats, and other animals that carry pollen from the male to the female parts of flowers for plant reproduction--are an essential part of natural and agricultural ecosystems throughout North America. For example, most fruit, vegetable, and seed crops and some crops that provide fiber, drugs, and fuel depend on animals for pollination. This report provides evidence for the decline of some pollinator species in North America, including America's most important managed pollinator, the honey bee, as well as some butterflies, bats, and hummingbirds. For most managed and wild pollinator species, however, population trends have not been assessed because populations have not been monitored over time. In addition, for wild species with demonstrated declines, it is often difficult to determine the causes or consequences of their decline. This report outlines priorities for research and monitoring that are needed to improve information on the status of pollinators and establishes a framework for conservation and restoration of pollinator species and communities.
Honey bees get all the press, but the fascinating story of North America's native bees--endangered species essential to our ecosystems and food supplies--is just as crucial. Through interviews with farmers, gardeners, scientists, and bee experts, Our Native Bees explores the importance of native bees and focuses on why they play a key role in gardening and agriculture. The people and stories are compelling: Paige Embry goes on a bee hunt with the world expert on the likely extinct Franklin's bumble bee, raises blue orchard bees in her refrigerator, and learns about an organization that turns the out-of-play areas in golf courses into pollinator habitats. Our Native Bees is a fascinating, must-read for fans of natural history and science and anyone curious about bees.
Bees pollinate more than 130 fruit, vegetable, and seed crops that we rely on to survive. Bees are crucial to the reproduction and diversity of flowering plants, and the economic contributions of these irreplaceable insects measure in the tens of billions of dollars each year. Yet bees are dying at an alarming rate, threatening food supplies and ecosystems around the world. In this richly illustrated natural history of the bee, Noah Wilson-Rich and his team of bee experts provide a window into the vitally important role that bees play in the life of our planet. Earth is home to more than 20,000 bee species, from fluorescent-colored orchid bees and sweat bees to flower-nesting squash bees and leaf-cutter bees. This book takes an incomparable look at this astounding diversity, blending an engaging narrative with practical, hands-on discussions of such topics as beekeeping and bee health. It explores our relationship with the bee over evolutionary time, delving into how it came to be, where it stands today, and what the future holds for humanity and bees alike. Provides an accessible, illustrated look at the human-bee relationship over time Features a section on beekeeping and handy go-to guides to the identification, prevention, and treatment of honey bee diseases Covers bee evolution, ecology, genetics, and physiology Includes a directory of notable bee species Presents a holistic approach to bee health, including organic and integrated pest management techniques Shows what you can do to help bee populations
With the recent decline of the European honey bee, it is more important than ever to encourage the activity of other native pollinators to keep your flowers beautiful and your grains and produce plentiful. In Attracting Native Pollinators, you'll find ideas for building nesting structures and creating a welcoming habitat for an array of diverse pollinators that includes not only bees, but butterflies, moths, and more. Take action and protect North America's food supply for the future, while at the same time enjoying a happily bustling landscape.
Pollination and Floral Ecology is the most comprehensive single-volume reference to all aspects of pollination biology--and the first fully up-to-date resource of its kind to appear in decades. This beautifully illustrated book describes how flowers use colors, shapes, and scents to advertise themselves; how they offer pollen and nectar as rewards; and how they share complex interactions with beetles, birds, bats, bees, and other creatures. The ecology of these interactions is covered in depth, including the timing and patterning of flowering, competition among flowering plants to attract certain visitors and deter others, and the many ways plants and animals can cheat each other. Pollination and Floral Ecology pays special attention to the prevalence of specialization and generalization in animal-flower interactions, and examines how a lack of distinction between casual visitors and true pollinators can produce misleading conclusions about flower evolution and animal-flower mutualism. This one-of-a-kind reference also gives insights into the vital pollination services that animals provide to crops and native flora, and sets these issues in the context of today's global pollination crisis.
Flowers--and the fruits that follow--feed, clothe, sustain, and inspire all humanity. They have done so since before recorded history. Flowers are used to celebrate all-important occasions, to express love, and are also the basis of global industries. Americans buy ten million flowers a day, and perfumes are a worldwide industry worth 30 billion dollars annually. Yet, we know little about flowers, their origins, bizarre sex lives, or how humans relate and depend upon them. Stephen Buchmann takes us along on an exploratory journey of the roles flowers play in the production of our foods, spices, medicines, and perfumes, while simultaneously bringing joy and health. Flowering plants continue to serve as inspiration in our myths and legends, in the fine and decorative arts, and in literary works of prose and poetry. Flowers seduce us-and animals, too-through their myriad shapes, colors, textures, and scents. And because of our extraordinary appetite for more unusual and beautiful "super flowers," plant breeders have created such unnatural blooms as blue roses and black petunias to cater to the human world of haute couture fashion. In so doing, the nectar and pollen vital to the bees, butterflies, and bats of the world, are being reduced. Buchmann explains the unfortunate consequences, and explores how to counter them by growing the right flowers.
Hymenoptera, the bees, wasps and ant, are one of the largest insect orders, and have massive ecological importance as pollinators and as predators or parasitoids of other insects. These roles have brought them forcefully to human notice , as governors of some key ecological services that strongly influence human food supply. Recent declines of pollinators and introductions of alien pests or biological control agents are only part of the current concerns for conservation of Hymenoptera, and of the interactions in which they participate in almost all terrestrial ecosystems. Both pests and beneficial species abound within the order, sometimes closely related within the same families. Many taxa are both difficult to identify, and very poorly known. This global overview, the first such account for the whole of the Hymenoptera, discusses a broad range of themes to introduce the insects and their conservation roles and needs, and how their wellbeing may be approached. The book is intended as a source of information for research workers, students, conservation managers and naturalists as an introduction to the importance of this dominant insect order.
Wild and managed pollinators provide a wide range of benefits to society in terms of contributions to food security, farmer and beekeeper livelihoods, social and cultural values, as well as the maintenance of wider biodiversity and ecosystem stability. Pollinators face numerous threats, including changes in land-use and management intensity, climate change, pesticides and genetically modified crops, pollinator management and pathogens, and invasive alien species. There are well-documented declines in some wild and managed pollinators in several regions of the world. However, many effective policy and management responses can be implemented to safeguard pollinators and sustain pollination services.
Important breakthroughs have recently been made in our understanding of the cognitive and sensory abilities of pollinators: how pollinators perceive, memorise and react to floral signals and rewards; how they work flowers, move among inflorescences and transport pollen. These new findings have obvious implications for the evolution of floral display and diversity, but most existing publications are scattered across a wide range of journals in very different research traditions. This book brings together for the first time outstanding scholars from many different fields of pollination biology, integrating the work of neuroethologists and evolutionary ecologists to present a multi-disciplinary approach. Aimed at graduates and researchers of behavioural and pollination ecology, plant evolutionary biology and neuroethology, it will also be a useful source of information for anyone interested in a modern view of cognitive and sensory ecology, pollination and floral evolution.
The third in a trilogy of global overviews of conservation of diverse and ecologically important insect groups. The first two were Beetles in Conservation (2010) and Hymenoptera and Conservation (2012). Each has different priorities and emphases that collectively summarise much of the progress and purpose of invertebrate conservation. Much of the foundation of insect conservation has been built on concerns for Lepidoptera, particularly butterflies as the most popular and best studied of all insect groups. The long-accepted worth of butterflies for conservation has led to elucidation of much of the current rationale of insect species conservation, and to definition and management of their critical resources, with attention to the intensively documented British fauna 'leading the world' in this endeavor. In Lepidoptera and Conservation, various themes are treated through relevant examples and case histories, and sufficient background given to enable non-specialist access. Intended for not only entomologists but conservation managers and naturalists due to its readable approach to the subject.
Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon threatens the loss of much more than honey as we depend on honeybees to pollinate one third of the food on our tables. Vanishing of the bees chronicles the innermost thoughts and feelings of beekeepers and scientists as they fight to preserve the honeybee and make it through another day. Featuring experts like author Michael Pollan, the film also presents a platform of solutions, encouraging audiences to be the change they want to see in the world"
An unprecedented global examination of endangered honeybees spanning from California to Switzerland, China and Australia. With all the hallmarks of a great nature documentary, the film employs the latest in cinematic technology to observe phenomena undetectable by normal eyesight, beautifully portraying the dramatic story of the disappearance of millions of bees in the last decade.