Category Archives: Genetics

Better Bees

Hungary, where I am today, has a long beekeeping history. Honey bees have been part of the ecology for thousands of years. Here, they are indigenous species whereas in the Americas (and Australia, New Zealand, and much of Asia), the … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Climate, Culture, or lack thereof, Ecology, Genetics, Science | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

155th Anniversary of a Botany Professor

Just a short post today, and though it’s about genetics and botany, bees (my usual blog subject) are mentioned only indirectly.  It’s the 155th anniversary of the birth of Carrie Derick – one of the world’s first geneticists. Derick was … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, or lack thereof, Genetics, History, People | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Man Who Made Killer Bees

Today (September 9) is the 94th birthday of Warwick Estevam Kerr, the man who made the Killer Bees. Just like his bees, Kerr comes from hot, tropical Brazil. And just like his bees, Dr Kerr has been much maligned and … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Culture, or lack thereof, Genetics, People, Science | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Worker Who Would Be Queen

Bees have a complicated social structure which some political scientists have sought to embrace. In the old days, people assumed that the King Bee ruled with an iron fist that imposed order, harmony, sacrifice, and unflinching duty. Now that the … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Genetics, Queens, Science | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bird-brained Hunting Partner

Scientists may have proven that African Honeyguide birds “communicate” with their human partners. You have probably already heard about this, as it’s been reported this week in Zaire’s Times, the New York Times, The New Yorker, and fine papers everywhere. … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Genetics, Hives and Combs | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Almonds Doing Selfies

Almond pollination season is over. The billions of bees working in California have moved on. They are now mostly scattered across the American plains. It’s not easy to be a bee in the almond groves during February and March. Colony … Continue reading

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Big Brain, Small Brain, Bee Brain

A bee brain is bigger in the summer, when there are more things to learn, experience, and think about. It shrinks in the winter, which must be a blessing because bees spend weeks on end doing nothing – an active … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Genetics, Science | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Bees are Meaner if Childhood is Miserable

Some aggressive honey bees were raised to be mean. Some bees, it seems, grow up on the wrong side of the honeycomb. Or, as one experiment shows, in the wrong sort of hive. Illinois and Pennsylvania researchers conducted a brilliant … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Genetics, Science | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Putin Likes Organic Food

Russia’s Vladimir Putin has suggested that anyone who sells or grows genetically modified foods on his turf should face a few years farming in Siberia.  He has proclaimed Russia will be GMO-free and he’d like to see his farmers raise … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, or lack thereof, Ecology, Genetics, History, Pesticides, Save the Bees, Strange, Odd Stuff | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Does Royal Jelly Make Royal Queens?

The kids in the Grade 5 classroom knew all about royal jelly. “The bees feed it to their babies and they turn into queens.” And so it is. We think. Royal jelly – countless journal articles (and Wikipedia) tell us … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Genetics, Queens | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments