The key to a tiny bee’s health is having a good mom, study finds

There is a tiny species of carpenter bees known as the spurred ceratina (Ceratina calcarata) that behaves unlike any other known species of bee. With their elongated and shiny bluish-black bodies, the spurred ceratina is perhaps best known as a pollinator of delicious gourds like cucumbers and watermelons. At around 6.5 millimeters long, it’s about half the length of an aspirin....

Originally posted on salon.com

Hexagon heaven: Scientists reveal bees and wasps use the same math to build their nests

Hexagons are mutually associated with bees and wasps, as both insect species build their nests using this humble six-sided shape. Anyone who stumbles upon a bee or wasp nest in nature will be greeted by rows and rows of dozens of tiny symmetrical hexagons. But these bug aesthetics are completely functional and used by the insects to store their food and raise their young....

Originally posted on salon.com

We have no idea if pesticide protections for bees actually work — a serious issue for conservation

Pesticides are slowly wiping bees off the face of the Earth, yet scientists are still unable to come up with evidence-based ways to protect them. That isn’t for a lack of trying — many different tactics are being trialed, but widespread success remains elusive. And this problem is severe, given that many of our agricultural food products — from x to y to z — rely on pollinators like bees....

Originally posted on salon.com