Category — Bees
Enhancing gardens as habitats for flower-visiting aerial insects (pollinators): should we plant native or exotic species?
This experiment has shown that flowering garden plant assemblages can provide a resource for pollinators regardless of the plants’ origin and that the greater the resource available the more pollinators will visit.
By Andrew Salisbury, James Armitage1, Helen Bostock1, Joe Perry, Mark Tatchell and Ken Thompson
Journal of Applied Ecology
Aug 11, 2015
1. Domestic gardens typically consist of a mixture of native and non-native plants which support biodiversity and provide valuable ecosystem services, particularly in urban environments. Many gardeners wish to encourage biodiversity by choosing appropriate plant taxa. The value of native and non-native plants in supporting animal biodiversity is, however, largely unknown.
2. The relative value of native and non-native garden plants to invertebrates was investigated in a replicated field experiment. Plots (deliberately akin to garden borders) were planted with one of three treatments, representing assemblages of plants based on origin (native, near-native and exotic). Invertebrates and resource measurements were recorded over four years. This paper reports the abundance of flower-visiting aerial insects (‘pollinators’) associated with the three plant assemblages.
August 18, 2015 No Comments
Entering the Secret Life of the Honey Bee
By Larraine Roulston
August 11, 2015
This summer I had a great opportunity to shadow my brother-in-law Bob while he tended his backyard bee hives. As a Examining a honeycomb mainseasoned beekeeper and member of the Capital Region Beekeepers’ Association in Victoria, BC, Bob has 11 hives, each containing rows of hanging combs, all buzzing with activity. Donning the bulky white suit, mask, hat, gloves and boots, I was then ready to view their amazing contribution to our ability to grow food.
August 12, 2015 Comments Off on Visit with a seasoned beekeeper in Victoria, BC
Minister of Tourism and Culture David Eggen was very pleased with the idea. “It’s reassuring to know that people are taking the time to use urban landscapes to grow food.”
By Kirby Bourne
July 12, 2015
When you think of Northlands you likely think of horse racing, Oilers games, maybe K-Days, but there is another word that should spring to mind, farm.
Last June vacant space on the campus was refurbished into a commercial urban farm. Since then Director of Agriculture Heather Shewchuck says they’ve been focusing on promoting local and sustainable food.
July 22, 2015 Comments Off on Government Ministers highlight agriculture at urban farm in Edmonton, Alberta
Norway’s capital is creating a route filled with flowers and ‘green roofs’ to protect endangered pollinators essential to food production
via The Guardian
25 June 2015
From flower-emblazoned cemeteries to rooftop gardens and balconies, Norway’s capital Oslo is creating a “bee highway” to protect endangered pollinators essential to food production.
“We are constantly reshaping our environment to meet our needs, forgetting that other species also live in it,” Agnes Lyche Melvaer, head of the Bybi, an environmental group supporting urban bees, which is leading the project.
“To correct that we need to return places to them to live and feed,” she explained, sitting on a bench in a lush city centre square bursting with early Nordic summer growth.
June 27, 2015 Comments Off on Oslo creates world’s first ‘highway’ to protect endangered bees
Researchers can also learn more about a city’s air quality by examining the number of bees in the city.
June 17, 2015
Seoul is housing more beehives as citizens are increasingly interested in the unique experience of bee farming.
A citizen school for bee farming has seen its second term students this year, and apiaries can now be found on the roofs of Seoul’s UNESCO building, a building around Yangjae Station, a Seoul University building and a building on Nodeul Island.
June 25, 2015 Comments Off on Urban Bee Farming Becoming Popular in Seoul
Right now, the honey bee adds more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy alone
By Amy Tennery
May 19, 2015
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?
May 29, 2015 Comments Off on That’s billion, with a bee: Measuring the massive cost of hive collapse
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
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.
May 23, 2015 Comments Off on Iowa urban beekeepers key to growing pollinators populations
‘Honeybees are interested in nectar, pollen and that’s about it’
Apr 28, 2015
“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.
May 8, 2015 Comments Off on Urban beekeeping gets nod from Edmonton council
Each box contains about 5,000 bees.
Apr 17, 2015
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.
April 17, 2015 Comments Off on Millions of honey bees in truck crash in Washington
“We have had calls about whether or not people can slaughter in their yards.”
By Megan Mitchell
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.
April 7, 2015 Comments Off on Brighton, Colorado sets rules for urban farming of bees, up to 6 chickens
A new home for honeybees, just off the tarmac
Producer Charles Bergquist
Writer Jared Goyette
March 08, 2015
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.
March 14, 2015 Comments Off on Urban beekeeping has found an unlikely new frontier: airports.
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
Feb 25, 2015
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.
March 5, 2015 Comments Off on Vancouver’s parks allow food production, including fruit and nut orchards and beekeeping
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.
February 25, 2015 Comments Off on Film: Portrait of an Urban Beekeeper
Other pollinators don’t like urban areas as much as rural, but bees live in similar numbers across different landscapes
By Marissa Fessenden
February 12, 2015
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.
February 24, 2015 Comments Off on City Bees Are Actually More Diverse Than Country Bees
Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden
By Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy
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.
February 18, 2015 Comments Off on The Living Landscape