Power lines may become honey bee homes

December 15, 2005

A scientist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City is proposing a novel solution to the dwindling number of U.S. honey bees.

Kimberly Russell, a researcher of invertebrate zoology, says honey bees take refuge under power lines when utility companies allow such land to grow shrubs and flowers, National Geographic News reported.

But utilities routinely keep the land mowed beneath their power lines to prevent vegetation from interfering with the delivery of electricity.

Meanwhile, U.S. farmers rely on European honeybees to pollinate their crops, but diseases, mites and pesticides have devastated those bee populations in recent decades.

Many scientists say wild, native bees can take up the slack, but Russell says such bees need a good habitat when they're not pollinating.

She says electric utility companies have a public relations problem with many people disliking power lines. She told National Geographic: "If they can put up a sign that says 'Wildlife Refuge,' maybe people will dislike the lines less. There's an opportunity there we should follow up on."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Simplified model predicts patterns that form from honey-like fluids

Related Stories

Animals enliven human language

April 13, 2015

When Debra Hawhee reads Mother Goose and Aesop's Fables to her 5-year-old daughter, she hears in them the usual social lessons—and an additional layer of meaning besides.

A new look at the sun's magnetic field

March 27, 2015

Sunspots, bursts of radiation and violent eruptions are signs that our sun is permanently active. Researchers have long known that this activity varies in a cycle of around eleven years' duration. Even if many questions are ...

The revolution will be printed in 3-D

May 16, 2014

Three-dimensional printing is an increasingly important tool for industry and research, and the terminology as well as the technology is creeping into the consumer market. But what is it? And how are UCLA faculty and students ...

Health of honey bees adversely impacted by selenium

October 3, 2013

Traditionally, honey bee research has focused on environmental stressors such as pesticides, pathogens and diseases. Now a research team led by entomologists at the University of California, Riverside has published a study ...

Recommended for you

Earliest evidence of reproduction in a complex organism

August 3, 2015

Researchers led by the University of Cambridge have found the earliest example of reproduction in a complex organism. Their new study has found that some organisms known as rangeomorphs, which lived 565 million years ago, ...

New lizard named after Sir David Attenborough

August 3, 2015

A research team led by Dr Martin Whiting from the Department of Biological Sciences recently discovered a beautifully coloured new species of flat lizard, which they have named Platysaurus attenboroughi, after Sir David Attenborough.

'Snowball earth' might be slushy

August 3, 2015

Imagine a world without liquid water—just solid ice in all directions. It would certainly not be a place that most life forms would like to live.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.