Bee cleaning itself, video


This is a video about a honeybee cleaning itself.

The video is by T. Niesten from the Netherlands.

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New honey bee research


This video is called Honey bees – Natural History 1.

And this video is the sequel.

From Wildlife Extra:

A single gene splits the workers from the queens in honey bees

January 2013: Just a single gene separates the workers from the queens in honey bees scientists have identified.

A team of scientists from Michigan State University and Wayne State University discovered the gene, which is responsible for leg and wing development, plays a crucial role in the evolution of bees’ ability to carry pollen.

“This gene is critical in making the hind legs of workers distinct so they have the physical features necessary to carry pollen,” said Zachary Huang, MSU entomologist. “Other studies have shed some light on this gene’s role in this realm, but our team examined in great detail how the modifications take place.”

“The gene in question is Ultrabithorax, or Ubx. Specifically, the gene allows workers to develop a smooth spot on their hind legs that hosts their pollen baskets. On another part of their legs, the gene promotes the formation of 11 neatly spaced bristles, a section known as the “pollen comb.”

While workers have these distinct features, queens do not. The research team was able to confirm this by isolating and silencing Ubx, the target gene. This made the pollen baskets, specialized leg features used to collect and transport pollen, completely disappear.

The scientists published the results in the current issue of Biology Letters.

See also here. And here.

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Young great crested grebes and honeybee


This video is called Great Crested Grebes with babies – Wildlife (HD quality).

This morning, two adult great crested grebes swam under the bridge.

Their two chicks, about half their parents’ size, followed them.

The butterfly-bush flowers nearest to the road are almost finished; I did not see insects there.

On the other butterfly-bush flowers, a honeybee.

Silver Y moths and bees


This video from Britain is called Silver Y day flying moth.

This morning on butterfly-bush flowers just outside, various silver y moths and honeybees.

Britain: Tiger moths – Have you seen any near you? Here.

Botanical garden bee-keeping


This video is called Honey Bees – Life Cycle.

On 13 July 2013, to the botanical garden.

The botanical garden bee-keepers told about the honeybees there.

There are also insect hotels in the garden for solitary bees. A study will find out which solitary bee species use them. These hotels have also facilities for bumblebees to build nests. So far, they have not used this.

And there is space for butterflies to winter. However, so far 2013 is a bad year for butterflies; though a good year for bumblebees. A buff-tailed bumblebee sits on a flower.

Because of the cold spring, it is not a good year for honeybees. Eg, the chestnut tree flowers had much less nectar than usually. The keepers have to feed the bees sugar-water in order not to have them starving. So far, no honey harvest this year.

We do see bees drinking water at their favourite “pub”: a peat bog near the stream, where the water is pure. They have to be careful though, as sometimes carnivorous plants, both native and North American, eat them here.

Arab and Dutch beekeeping


This video from the USA is called EVERYTHING you have EVER WANTED to KNOW about HONEYBEES.

On 10 July 2013, there will be a lecture in the botanical garden in Leiden in the Netherlands about beekeeping.

Fred Weber, beekeeper of the botanical garden, will then compare the Arabic manuscript of historian Al-Maqrizi (1364-1442) from Egypt, with the book, published 200 years later, by Dutchman Dirck Cluyt (1546-1598) on beekeeping.

From the article Muslim Historians:

Another work of al-Maqrizi deals with bees. The date of composition and the purpose of the book are not known. The title is Kitab Nahl ‘Ibar an-Nahl (Book of the Present from the Examples of the Bee).

He first speaks of the nature and habits of bees and then, true to his prepossessions as a follower of Ibn Khaldun, goes on to speak of the important products, honey-“the noblest of foods” and wax, which is derived from them. At the close his overriding historical interest is shown in accounts of famous occasions, at the court of Mas’ud or Mahmud of Ghazna, at the marriage of a daughter of Khumarawayh of Egypt to the Caliph al-Mutadid, etc., when great numbers of wax-candles were used. This whole section raises the question of illumination in public and private in Islam.