Bee-Saving In Costa Rica

Thanks to Rainforest Alliance, who sent its polite email asking whether we wanted to stay on their mailing list. Of course we do (but thanks for asking) because we believe in their work. And we have believed for a long time. Too long since our last post referencing them, but see this:

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Liz Paniagua, Co-founder Api-Agricultura

Introducing Costa Rican pro surfer Carlos Cortes and his partner Liz Paniagua. The husband-wife-apiarist-activist team is part of a growing movement working to save bees from the global crisis of colony collapse.

Their bee rescue organization, Api-Agricultura, works with a model Rainforest Alliance Certified banana farm in Costa Rica to save bee colonies from destruction and educate local communities about the importance of bees. By encouraging others to live in harmony with nature, Carlos and Liz exemplify the Costa Rican ethos of “pura vida.”  Continue reading

The Decision is To Bee

Researchers are using micro sensors to learn about the problems bees face. PHOTO: BBC

Researchers are using micro sensors to learn about the problems bees face. PHOTO: BBC

Around here, we understand the importance of bees. That explains the numerous posts on these winged creatures. If you must know right away, bees are guardians of the food chain and keepers of biodiversity, thanks to their super power of pollination. Precisely why it’s a cause for worry when we hear of their numbers dwindling. Now, an international group of scientists, beekeepers, farmers and technology companies is using cutting-edge technology to help find out why honey bee populations around the world are crashing.

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There, There, the Insects Feel You

Are insects conscious beings, asks a new study. PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons

Are insects conscious beings, asks a new study. PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons

A recent survey suggests that, for most of us who have ever had a pet companion, it’s a no-brainer that mammals and birds are emotional creatures, sharing emotions with multiple species and not just their own. Yet despite the thousands of YouTube videos and hundreds of recent scientific studies presenting easily accessible evidence and examples, not everyone thinks so. It was only in 2012 that scientists finally agreed that nonhuman animals are conscious beings. It has only just been discovered that dogs display immensely complex, human-like emotions like jealousy, and that cows express positive emotions through the whites of their eyes. But what about insects?

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It’s About Bee-ing Alive

Must-watch: A stunning time-lapse video of the first 21 days of a bee's life by photographer Anand Varma

Must-watch: A stunning time-lapse video of the first 21 days of a bee’s life by photographer Anand Varma

Your first instinct when around a honeybee is to keep distance. But not for Indian American photographer Anand Varma. When he was asked to photograph a story on honeybees for National Geographic magazine, he knew he was going to have to take a different approach to capture new views of one of the world’s most photographed insects. And he did, his photographs forming a brilliant timelapse video of the first 21 days in a bee’s life. Over the video and the stellar photographs, the exercise addresses a key issue: the disappearance of bees and colonies dying quickly. Now why is this a problem?

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