Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
The rise in urban beekeeping could end up resulting in too many bees with too few flowers to feed on, two U.K. scientists warn. That’s already the case in London, where the number of urban hives has doubled over the past five years, they say.
The number of honeybees has now dwindled to the point where there may not be enough to pollinate some major U.S. crops, including almonds, blueberries and apples. And this year brought farmers closer than ever to a true pollination crisis.
Neonicotinoids are pesticides widely used to coat the seeds of agricultural plants, especially corn. But some evidence suggests these chemicals may also be poisoning bees. A tell-tale clue: reports of massive bee die-offs that all took place during corn-planting season.
When it comes to pollinating our favorite crops — from coffee to watermelon — honeybees can’t do it alone. Wild bees in the field play a critical role in creating bumper crops, a massive new study reports. But these bees are disappearing, and scientists say the rise of crop monocultures is partly to blame.
“We’re trying to turn this into something positive,” says Karen Peteros, the founder of SF Bee-Cause, whose hives at the Hayes Valley Farm were recently sprayed with pesticide, killing all bees inside. Her hope? Creating a network of “bee ambassadors” who can do education and outreach all around the city, showing that there’s a place for bees in the city, and that supporting pollinators is a good thing.
With spring just a few weeks away, it’s a busy day at the Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies. In between ringing up jars of local honey, three generations of the Stewart family answer a stream of questions with both patience and passion. If you’re curious about how bees make honey, which size wick to use in your candle-making, the science of animal communications or the health benefits of bee pollen, there’s no better place to spend an afternoon. If you’re already a dedicated beekeeper, well, then, you’ve probably already met Nancy and Fred, the proprietor and the talker, respectively, who run this gem of a shop.
I’m not sure my neural pathways for good ice cream and the future of agriculture have ever sparked simultaneously before, but a recent posting sure caught my attention. If you happen to know someone who recently received their Ph.D. in entomology, you can point them, too, toward Haagen-Dazs’ recently established fellowship in honey bee biology […]