Currently Browsing: Bees

In search of the self-pollinating almond

Giving bees the brush-off:  California almonds, a multi-billion dollar crop, are almost completely dependent on honey bees for pollination. During the short pollination season, a significant fraction of the U.S. honeybee colonies are in the almond orchards — in 2004, for example, sixty percent of the 2.5...

An interview with entomologist May Berenbaum about bees and more

Some buzz about bugs: In a recent "Science Talk" podcast, May Berenbaum, an entomologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (and one of the 'go to' experts on bees for the mass media), discusses bees, insects and films about Earth-invading insects. One of her research team's interesting...

Scientists buzzing about pesticides’ and pathogens’ role in bee deaths

Busy bees: Washington State University researchers think they might have found a cause of colony collapse disorder, the mysterious malady that has been wiping out bee colonies around the world. They propose that the combination of pesticides absorbed into the honeycomb and a microsporidian pathogen known as...

Some native plants are dangerous to honey bees

No good deed goes unpunished: Planting a California buckeye (Aesculus californica; Wikipedia image at right) in your yard will benefit the native bees, insects, and birds that co-evolved with the tree, but could be trouble for more recent arrivals, like the European honey bee (Apis mellifera). The pollen...

New York beekeeping a growing but illicit hobby

Busy bees in the Big Apple: Beekeeping is on the rise in New York, although it means breaking the law. City Councilman David Yassky of Brooklyn, backed by Just Food, is seeking to legalize it as a legitimate form of agriculture. The New York City Beekeepers Association offers classes, matches people who...

A paean to the honeybee

Bee-yootiful: Guest-blogging chronobiologist Leon Kreitzman has a mesmerizing essay about why "honeybees really are nature’s little treasures." The have a built-in clock that allows them to know when flowers are producing nectar each day, they can work out the location of a food source from its position in...

Buzzkill: Can native bees do the job?

With the health of honey bee colonies in dramatic decline, can farmers rely on native bees to pollinate their crops? On the right kind of farm — one with nearby natural habitat and organic management — the answer is yes, according to UC Berkeley professor Clare Kremen, an expert on native bees. Kremen...

Digest: Funny honey, the pork disease, and White House eats

Angry Buzz: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a series of articles on the sticky state of the honey industry. Start with the two-part report on honey, which introduces readers to honey laundering and continues to meaningless label claims. Think domestic honey means produced in the U.S.? That organic means...

Digest – News: The Vilsack reaction, ammonia-rama, and hungry holidays

Eaters unite: A fairly universal 'harumph' erupted from the sustainable-food community after the announcement of Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa, as Obama's USDA pick. As usual, Michael Pollan articulates why the community is pretty cynical but still holding out just a little bit of hope. (NPR) Food...

Everything looks better when your head’s in the sand: The USDA stops tracking pesticide use

When I was four, I ate my mother's houseplant. (I claimed to have thought it was salad.) As any responsible mother would, she freaked out and called poison control. The friendly folks at the 800 number — who must get these kinds of calls all the time, poor guys — immediately asked her the two most important...

Digest – Features: The coming food storm, activists with cameras, bee breeders

Global famine = buy ag stocks: A fascinating, if unappetizing, economics-based look at how "biofuel production, poor harvests and emerging nations' growing appetites are emptying the world's pantry, sending prices soaring." We'll pass on the rec to invest in Monsanto stock, however. (MSN Money)...

Saturday silliness

Our friend Derrick sends us this "unicorn chaser" for a very disappointing week: a Tourettes-ing Rowan Atkinson and a baby-faced John Cleese in a silly skit. Why is it Ethicurean-worthy? Well, it's nominally (ssst!) about beekeeping … and life (waack!). Via the Cynical-C...

« Older Entries