Irwin Gratz / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - Protecting bees:  That's the thinking behind an ordinance South Portland is considering to ban pesticide use on lawns and gardens in the city.

Today, the group Environment Maine said it has gathered more than 900 signatures in South Portland on petitions urging the federal government to move in that direction.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine wildlife officials are enlisting members of the public to assist in a multi-year statewide survey looking into the diversity, distribution and abundance of the state's 17 known bumble bee species.

The large furry yellow and black insects are important pollinators.  But in the past 25 years, certain North American species have declined significantly.

State Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist Beth Swartz, who's coordinating the project, says volunteer citizen scientists will help researchers learn more about Maine's bumble bee population.

File photo / MPBN

Spring is finally here and so are our friendly pollinating friends, the bee. There are more than 20,000 different species of bees. Some are good for beekeeping, others are not. Learn which is which, plus the role of the bee in pollination and farming.

Bees and Honey

Jun 11, 2013

  The important role bees play in Maine and the increase in beekeeping in our state.

Host Jennifer Rooks was joined by 

Dr. Frank Drummond, Univ. of Maine professor of insect ecology 

 and  Peter Cowin, the bee whisperer