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Bees and Honey
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sydneyst
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 Posted: Sun Feb 6th, 2011 11:07 am

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DisneyNature Plans Project and Film on Pollinators

 Announced projects

Among the other Disneynature projects currently in development or production are:
  • Chimpanzee – Fothergill and Mark Linfield co-direct this intimate look at the world of chimpanzees, with Christophe Boesch, head of the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, serving as principal consultant and Alix Tidmarsh as producer. To be shot over three years in the tropical jungles of the Ivory Coast and Uganda, Chimpanzee will help us better understand this exceptionally intelligent species. Worldwide release April 22, 2012.
  • Hidden Beauty: A Love Story that Feeds the Earth – In this film, nature is ready for its close-up, as exacting macro photography takes us to the realm of flowers and their pollinators. Acclaimed filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg introduces us to a bat, a hummingbird, a butterfly and a bumblebee, demonstrating their intricate interdependence and how life on earth depends on the success of these determined, diminutive creatures. Hidden Beauty is produced by Blacklight Films and Alix Tidmarsh. The worldwide release will be in 2013.

sydneyst
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 Posted: Sat Dec 11th, 2010 06:28 pm

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The Beekeeper Next Door

Thursday, December 09, 2010 By KRISTINA SHEVORY
The New York Times
 excerpts:
MIKE BARRETT does not have much of a yard at his two-story row house in Astoria, Queens. But that fact has not kept him from his new hobby of beekeeping -- he put the hive on his roof. When it was harvest time this fall, he just tied ropes around each of the two honey-filled boxes in the hive, and lowered them to the ground.

Eventually, Mr. Barrett loaded the boxes into his car, took off his white beekeeper suit and set off for a commercial kitchen in Brooklyn. There, along with other members of the New York City beekeeping club, he extracted his honey, eventually lugging home 40 pounds of the stuff.

He was happy with his successful harvest, but he also reaped something he did not expect. "I was surprised how much I really care about the bees," said Mr. Barrett, 49, a systems administrator for New York University, in reflecting on his inaugural season as a beekeeper. "You start to think about the ways to make their lives better."
Until last spring, Mr. Barrett would have been breaking the law and risking a $2,000 fine for engaging in his sticky new hobby. But in March, New York City made beekeeping legal, and in so doing it joined a long list of other municipalities, from Denver to Milwaukee to Minneapolis to Salt Lake City, that have also lifted beekeeping bans in the last two years. Many towns, like Hillsboro, Ore., have done the same, and still other places, like Oak Park, Ill., and Santa Monica, Calif., are reconsidering their prohibitions.

Nationwide, hives are being tucked into small backyards and set alongside driveways; even the White House has installed some. Beekeeping classes are filling up quickly, and new beekeeping clubs are forming at the same time that established ones are reporting large jumps in membership.

At Mr. Barrett's club, for instance, membership has more than doubled, to about 900, in the last year. In Los Angeles, the Backwards Beekeepers club has 400 members -- up from six members two years ago. And in Denver, a club that was formed last year already boasts a roster of 200.

"Everyone who teaches a beekeeping course is finding themselves popular all of a sudden," said James Fischer, 53, an instructor at New York City Beekeeping.
One force behind this rise of beekeeping is the growing desire for homegrown and organic food. Another, more complex one is the urge to stem the worrisome decline in the nation's bee population.

The number of bees has been falling since the end of World War II, when farmers stopped rotating crops with clover, a good pollen source for bees, and started using fertilizers. Pesticides and herbicides became common as well. In cities, native plants were ripped out in favor of exotic ones that were not good for bees.

Then, four years ago, honey bee colonies mysteriously started to die around the country. This drop-off, called colony collapse disorder, added to the mounting health problems, like mites and diseases, that bees are facing. About 30 percent of the country's managed colonies have died; around a third of the deaths are related to colony collapse disorder, according to the Agriculture Department.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10343/1109738-47.stm#ixzz17pSfGaD1

Last edited on Sat Dec 11th, 2010 06:29 pm by sydneyst

sydneyst
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 Posted: Sun Mar 28th, 2010 09:52 pm

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Colony Collapse Spreads: Bees Endangered
 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/opinion/25harder.html



By MARCELO AIZEN and LAWRENCE HARDER Published: March 24, 2010

IN the past five years, as the phenomenon known as colony-collapse disorder has spread across the United States and Europe, causing the disappearance of whole colonies of domesticated honeybees, many people have come to fear that our food supply is in peril. The news on Wednesday that a Department of Agriculture survey found that American honeybees had died in great numbers this winter can only add to such fears.

Room for Debate: What We Know Now About Saving Bees globally the number of domesticated honeybee colonies is increasing. The bad news is that this increase can’t keep up with our growing appetite for luxury foods that depend heavily on bee pollination. The domesticated honeybee isn’t the only pollinator that agriculture relies on — wild bees also play a significant role, and we seem intent on destroying their habitats.

To understand the problem, we need to understand the extent of the honeybee’s role in agriculture. Humans certainly benefit from the way bees — and to a lesser extent, other pollinators like flies, beetles and butterflies — help plants produce fruits and seeds. Agriculture, however, is not as dependent on pollinators as one might think. It’s true that some crops like raspberries, cashews, cranberries and mangoes cannot reproduce without pollinators. But crops like sugar cane and potatoes, grown for their stems or tubers, can be propagated without pollination. And the crops that provide our staple carbohydrates — wheat, rice and corn — are either wind-pollinated or self-pollinated. These don’t need bees at all.

Overall, about one-third of our worldwide agricultural production depends to some extent on bee pollination, but less than 10 percent of the 100 most productive crop species depend entirely on it. If pollinators were to vanish, it would reduce total food production by only about 6 percent.

This wouldn’t mean the end of human existence, but if we want to continue eating foods like apples and avocados, we need to understand that bees and other pollinators can’t keep up with the current growth in production of these foods.

Last edited on Sun Mar 28th, 2010 09:55 pm by sydneyst

sydneyst
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 Posted: Sat Mar 7th, 2009 10:00 pm

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Colony Collapse Disorder: Mystery Remains 

The BBC (as opposed to the bee-bee-c) has written a summary of current knowledge about Colony Collapse Disorder.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7925397.stm  

sydneyst
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 Posted: Tue Jan 27th, 2009 02:39 am

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"No one argues with a bear."--Truman Jefferson, High Plains Trapper



Nothing chaps my hide like someone tainting my honey or fish.  All during the Bush years, the Feds laid down on the job of regulating food and drug imports and protecting the food supply.  People need to wake up to the fact that voluntary quality control just doesn't work when it comes to food and drugs.  This means that more regulators are needed and they need to get to work testing and monitoring and enforcing compliance.

In the case of the bad honey, it appears that the guys mislableling and reselling the bad honey will be thrown in the can.  They should be forced to take care of bees without protective suits.  That would teach them. 

Fines should be dropped on all the offending parties; layoff notices to the lame government bureaucrats and the members of the Honey Commission.  

There are also WTO tariff issues in this case.  Importers need to be held to the same standards as honey producers in this country.  There are very few products as valuable to the food and supplement supply as honey and bee products.  They should always be pure and any party producing, certifying or distributing bad or mislabeled honey should be out of business.  Honey should never contain antibiotics or pesticides.

As every bear learns when he is a cub, there is nothing more important than taking care of your honey.

Last edited on Tue Jan 27th, 2009 02:42 am by sydneyst

sydneyst
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 Posted: Mon Jan 26th, 2009 09:47 pm

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Washington State Honey Producers Cry Foul on Tainted Honey

Monday Janurary 26,2009. 

In a front-page story, The Seattle PI reported today the "intentional mislabeling" of honey imported and distributed to the US.  Based upon a 5-month investigation, the paper found that tons of Chinese honey imported to the US was tainted with banned antibiotics.   The paper also substantiated the resale of contaminated honey by brokers and packagers once they were informed of tests indicating the presence of contaminants.

Washington state apiaries, the producers of honey, have long cried foul over the import of tainted honey, but the FDA and USDA have done little to police the industry and protect the public.  Officials interviewed by the investigative reporter variously pointed the finger at the FDA, The USDA,  Chinese producers and exporters, US packagers and distributors, and the National Honey Board, which is a watchdog agency established by the USDA.

The tainted honey includes quinalones, a class of "flox antibiotics", as well as ciproflaxin.  



 photo: Carl Haydn Bee Research Center

http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/secretingredients/

Last edited on Mon Jan 26th, 2009 09:56 pm by sydneyst


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