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Posts Tagged "bumblebee"

Extinction Countdown

Britain Tries (Again) to Re-Introduce Extinct Bees

short-haired bee

Long live the queens. A species of bumblebee that went extinct in its native Britain decades ago now has a second chance, as several short-haired bumblebees (Bombus subterraneus) were released June 3 in a restored habitat on the southeastern corner of England. This is the third phase in a multi-step effort to both bring back [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Extinct bees return to Britain — by way of New Zealand

As the world’s bee population continues to decline, a rare species of bumblebee that long-since went extinct in its native Britain may soon return to its native shores, thanks to the return of bees from New Zealand. Short-haired bumblebees (Bombus subterraneus) were introduced to New Zealand more than a century ago to pollinate crops of [...]

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Not bad science

Inside the Wonderful World of Bee Cognition – Where We’re at Now

A bumblebee drinks sugar water from an artificial flower and learns to return to yellow flowers in the future

As I wrote about in my last post, bees are capable of learning which flowers offer good nectar rewards based on floral features such as colour, smell, shape, texture, pattern, temperature and electric charge. They do this through associative learning: learning that a ‘conditioned stimulus’ (for example, the colour yellow) is associated with an ‘unconditioned [...]

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Not bad science

Inside the Wonderful World of Bee Cognition – How it All Began

Most research on bee cognition uses honeybees and bumblebees

One of the first things I get asked when I tell people that I work on bee cognition (apart from ‘do you get stung a lot?’) is ‘bees have cognition?’. I usually assume that this question shouldn’t be taken literally otherwise it would mean that whoever was asking me this thought that there was a [...]

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Not bad science

Bumblebees Are More Flexible Than We Knew

A bee drinking the sucrose reward on the yellow 'flower'

I recently wrote about how bumblebees were able to perform some seemingly impressive feats, although the underlying reason they could do so was relatively simple. However, recent work by Caroline Strang and David Sherry has demonstrated that bumblebees are capable of another behavioural feat, never before shown in this species. In this post, researcher Caroline [...]

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Not bad science

A Second Day with Social Insects, and Some News on the Bumble Bee Introduced to the UK

The short-haired bumble bee, Bombus subterraneus

After a brilliant first day at the social insect conference held at Royal Holloway, University of London, the second day was also filled with interesting and stimulating talks. Many topics were covered, from foraging strategies in ants, to learning in bees, to cleaner fish and the human sense of unfairness (this was the ‘now for [...]

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