Bees die needlessly as Zika prompts US state to spray pesticide – New Scientist

Micha Pawlitzki/Getty

It was an avoidable massacre. Beekeepers in Dorchester County, South Carolina, saw 48 of their hives killed off on 28 August. The culprit was a pesticide, sprayed from a plane with the aim of killing mosquitoes that can carry the Zika virus. But South Carolina’s mosquito population isn’t yet known to carry Zika – and even if the virus is present, there are ways to kill the mosquitoes without killing bees.

Bumblebees adapt to climate change by evolving shorter tongues

Photo by Christine Carson

Two alpine bumblebee species, formerly picky eaters, are expanding their palates – by shortening their tongues.

As the climate warms, their homes near the peaks of the Rocky Mountains have fewer flowers than before. At Pennsylvania Mountain in Colorado, for example, the number of flowers the bees feed on has dropped by 60 per cent since the 1970s.

Read the full article in New Scientist.