According to new research out of UNH, the same event that spelled the end of the dinosaurs nearly did in bees as well. An investigation into the genome of the small carpenter bee shows bee evolution ground to nearly a halt right around the time dinosaurs died out.
UNH professor Sandra Rehan was busy mapping out the ancestral trees of the four tribes of carpenter bees she studies when she noticed something funny: around 65 million years ago evolution paused.
Contractors renovating the old Hollis Town Hall met with a surprise recently—a huge beehive inside one of the walls. Board of Selectmen Vice Chair Mark Le Doux says the bees were long gone. But they got a pretty clear tip-off before they even saw the hive.
“We were told that there is honey that’s seeping out of the wall. And rather incredulously, we went up and took a look, and sure enough, there were pools of honey on the floor up against the wall,” Le Doux says.
By all accounts, New Hampshire is in the midst of a bee-boom: bee classes and clubs are overflowing with new members. And a conference center in Concord that has caught the bug, but had to overcome a unique challenge to keep bees.
Hundreds of first-time beekeepers across the state are anxiously awaiting their first shipment of honey bees this week. NHPR’s Ryan Lessard reports on the growing popularity of the hobby and what it could mean for the pollinating insects’ struggle for survival.
Attracting bees and butterflies to a garden is a noble pursuit, given that we all depend on these species and others to pollinate the plants that provide us with so much of our food, shelter and other necessities of life.