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Category — Bees

That’s billion, with a bee: Measuring the massive cost of hive collapse

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Click on image for larger file.

Right now, the honey bee adds more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy alone

By Amy Tennery
Reuters
May 19, 2015

Excerpt:

The makers of insecticides containing neonics, Bayer and Syngenta chief among them, have a lot to lose if regulatory bodies end up siding with the environmentalists. More than 90 percent of the corn in the U.S. is treated with neonics, according to this release from Bayer. To put this in perspective, last year the USDA estimated that around 91.6 million acres of corn were planted in the United States. That’s a lot of neonic’d corn.

So what happens if — or when — we run out of honey bees?

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May 29, 2015   No Comments

Iowa urban beekeepers key to growing pollinators populations

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Honey bees bumble around their nest after Des Moines beekeeper Julia McGuire pulls it out of one of the many urban bee hives which she manages on Thursday, May 14, 2015. (Photo: Bryon Houlgrave/The Register)

Iowa beekeepers lost 61 percent of their colonies in 2014-15, among hardest hit in USA

By Donnelle Eller
The Des Moines Register
May 16, 2015

Excerpt:

It’s backyard beekeepers such as Lens and Julia McGuire, with two, three or four hives, who are boosting the state’s overall pollinator population, and helping to offset devastating annual losses.

A national report last week showed Iowa bee colonies were among the hardest hit in the nation. Iowa beekeepers lost 61 percent of their colonies in 2014-15.

It was the fourth-highest loss in the nation — behind Oklahoma, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Maine, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported.

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May 23, 2015   No Comments

Urban beekeeping gets nod from Edmonton council

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‘Honeybees are interested in nectar, pollen and that’s about it’

CBC News
Apr 28, 2015

Excerpt:

“The city, in the end, was very receptive to it,” Hamilton said. “They were ready for that conversation. Urban agriculture is a hot topic right now.”

The city, in fact, was running a project test piloting urban beekeeping and Hamilton and Crocker signed on.

Today the gave the go ahead to prospective beekeepers around the city.

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May 8, 2015   Comments Off on Urban beekeeping gets nod from Edmonton council

Millions of honey bees in truck crash in Washington

Each box contains about 5,000 bees.

Kiro TV
Apr 17, 2015

Excerpt:

KIRO 7 News video showed dozens of boxes of live bees scattered across the road. Beekeepers from the company who owns the bees, Belleville Honey in Burlingon, are at the scene, using smoke to calm the bees and get them back into boxes and loaded onto trucks.

Numerous boxes of bees were crushed in the crash. Each box contains about 5,000 bees.

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April 17, 2015   Comments Off on Millions of honey bees in truck crash in Washington

Brighton, Colorado sets rules for urban farming of bees, up to 6 chickens

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Jan Coffelt has bees in the backyard of her Lakewood home Photo by Seth A. McConnell.

“We have had calls about whether or not people can slaughter in their yards.”

By Megan Mitchell
Denver Post
03/26/2015

Excerpt:

Residents interested in keeping backyard hens and honeybees can get their coops and hives set up before summer now that City Council has approved new regulations for urban farmers.

Up to six hens (and ducks) and are now allowed outside single-family homes, and anywhere from one to eight hives can be placed on private property (depending on the homeowner’s land size).

Both bees and chickens are also allowed in some parks and open space properties.

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April 7, 2015   Comments Off on Brighton, Colorado sets rules for urban farming of bees, up to 6 chickens

Urban beekeeping has found an unlikely new frontier: airports.

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Beekeepers Bob Redmond, John Woodworth and David Feinberg examine a hive at the Sea-Tac Airport in Washington. Credit: Courtesy of Rod Hatfield.

A new home for honeybees, just off the tarmac

Producer Charles Bergquist
Writer Jared Goyette
Science Friday
March 08, 2015

Excerpt:

The practice of maintaining beehives on airport property began in Germany a decade and a half ago and has spread, reaching Chicago, St. Louis and Seattle in the United States.

The hives are typically kept in the buffer zone on the outskirts of the airport. The bees give airports a PR friendly way to show off their green bona fides and find a use for land that legally can’t be developed. It’s also good for honeybees, whose population has been put under stress by “Colony Collapse Disorder.” While the number of bee colonies that died last winter was lower than in previous years, the rate — 23.2 percent — was still higher than what beekeepers believe to be sustainable, according to a report from the US Department of Agriculture.

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March 14, 2015   Comments Off on Urban beekeeping has found an unlikely new frontier: airports.

Vancouver’s parks allow food production, including fruit and nut orchards and beekeeping

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The Oak Meadows Park pollinator garden at West 37th and Oak is home to a pollinator hotel (pictured), made from a retired phone booth. The centrepiece of this pollinator’s paradise, the hotel is filled with tubes, nooks and crannies attractive to insects. The 1,500-square-foot pollinator garden is part of a network of bee-friendly biodiversity that extends into VanDusen Gardens. Photograph by: Jason Payne, VANCOUVER SUN

At the Beaconsfield Community Garden there are plans to build an outdoor bread oven.

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
Feb 25, 2015

Excerpt:

Vancouver’s oldest park-based community garden is also one of its biggest, at 3.3 acres. Strathcona Community Garden was created in 1985, divided into one-third allotment gardens, one-third natural plant and animal habitat and the balance is a unique espalier fruit orchard. The site features the Eco-Pavilion meeting space, greenhouse and beehives.

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March 5, 2015   Comments Off on Vancouver’s parks allow food production, including fruit and nut orchards and beekeeping

Film: Portrait of an Urban Beekeeper

Portrait of an Urban Beekeeper from Steve Ellington on Vimeo.

A short documentary that follows the life of an urban beekeeper in Pittsburgh, PA.

Directed by Steve Ellington
Featuring Steve Repasky
(Must see. Mike.)

Excerpt from Meadow Sweet Apiaries:

Stephen Repasky – EAS Master Beekeeper, Author and Consultant

Stephen Repasky is a second generation beekeeper living in Pittsburgh, Pa. He is a Certified Master Beekeeper through the Eastern Apicultural Society and also the current President for Burgh Bees, Pittsburgh’s Urban Beekeeping Organization as well as the 2nd Vice-President for the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association and sits on the Board of Directors for the American Beekeeping Federation. As Stephen began getting more involved with honey bees in the Pittsburgh area and beyond, the number of colonies also grew and the need for a formal name arose. Meadow Sweet Apiaries, was then established as the popularity of his honey, removal services and educational presentations grew.

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February 25, 2015   Comments Off on Film: Portrait of an Urban Beekeeper

City Bees Are Actually More Diverse Than Country Bees

beeredA honeybee visits a flower in Bath, England (Nick Upton).

Other pollinators don’t like urban areas as much as rural, but bees live in similar numbers across different landscapes

By Marissa Fessenden
Smithsonian.com
February 12, 2015

Excerpt:

Katherine Baldock, of the University of Bristol, surveyed pollinator abundance across 36 different sites that spanned farmland, nature reserves and urban areas. Her team counted honey bees, bumble bees and other flying pollinators. The group found that each area had about the same amount of total pollinators. Even though urban areas might not seem like the ideal place for flower-loving bees, those landscapes held more diverse bee species, though the other pollinators were less diverse and numerous. Baldock and her colleagues published their findings in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

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February 24, 2015   Comments Off on City Bees Are Actually More Diverse Than Country Bees

The Living Landscape

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Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden

By Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy
Timber Press
2014

A home garden is often seen as separate from the natural world surrounding it. In truth, it is actually just one part of a larger landscape made up of many living layers. And the replacement of the rich layers of native flora with turf grass greatly diminishes a garden’s biological diversity and ecological function.

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February 18, 2015   Comments Off on The Living Landscape

Honey on Tap Directly From Your Beehive!

It’s the beekeepers dream…

From their website:

Turn a tap and watch as pure fresh clean honey flows right out of the hive and into your jar. No mess, no fuss, no expensive processing equipment and the bees are hardly even disturbed.

“This really is a revolution, you can see into the hive, see when the honey is ready and take it away in such a gentle way.”

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February 17, 2015   Comments Off on Honey on Tap Directly From Your Beehive!

Complaints prompt Cambridge to evict synagogue’s bees

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Rabbi Liza Stern checked on her bees, mostly dormant now with the cold, which she keeps on the roof next to her synagogue in Cambridge. Photo by Joanne Rathe.

“We have children and pets, and it can be fatal. And her answer is, ‘Well, we have an EpiPen.’?”

By Billy Baker
Boston Globe
Nov 20, 2014

Excerpt:

She said they provide an educational component for children at the school, and offer a palpable connection to honey, which has an ancient symbolism in Judaism. For the Jewish new year, Stern presented homemade honey to the congregation, a tradition to symbolize a sweet new year.

The neighbors who oppose the hives say they respect all of this. But they say that the hives, how they were installed, and the impact they have had on the neighborhood are far from harmonious.

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November 28, 2014   Comments Off on Complaints prompt Cambridge to evict synagogue’s bees

Honeybees bring the sweetness of urban agriculture to Cleveland’s convention center

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Matt Del Regno, executive chef at the Cleveland Convention Center and resident beekeeper, shows off a frame containing a honey-laden honeycomb. Photo Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer.

St. Clair estimated that Cuyahoga County now has about 200 hobbyist beekeepers. Statewide, he said, there are about 5,500 – a number that grows every year.

By Steven Litt,
The Plain Dealer
November 13, 2014

Excerpt:

Matt Del Regno, executive chef for Levy Restaurants, the food service provider at the convention center, started keeping bees at the facility in mid-April.

Since then, he’s begun replacing commercially produced honey with his own extremely local product.

“You can taste the difference,” he said. “It’s a discernible difference.”

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November 20, 2014   Comments Off on Honeybees bring the sweetness of urban agriculture to Cleveland’s convention center

10-year National Pollinator Strategy in England: New measures to protect pollinators

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The government has made an agreement with landowners including Network Rail and the Highways Agency to restore bee-friendly habitat throughout England.

By Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC News
Nov 3, 2014

Excerpt:

To make space across an increasingly urban landscape for insects, the government has secured commitments from landowners including Network Rail and the Highways Agency, which has agreed to undertake work to “enhance the grassland” on its verges.

Mr Shardlow pointed out that these pollinator-friendly urban spaces were vital and he encouraged the public to help.

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November 4, 2014   Comments Off on 10-year National Pollinator Strategy in England: New measures to protect pollinators

Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive

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“Bee populations are diminishing due to human impact”

By Mark L. Winston
Harvard University Press
August 2014

Being among bees is a full-body experience, Mark Winston writes—from the low hum of tens of thousands of insects and the pungent smell of honey and beeswax, to the sight of workers flying back and forth between flowers and the hive. The experience of an apiary slows our sense of time, heightens our awareness, and inspires awe. Bee Time presents Winston’s reflections on three decades spent studying these creatures, and on the lessons they can teach about how humans might better interact with one another and the natural world.

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September 15, 2014   Comments Off on Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive