Category Archives: Bees

Dr. Laurence Packer: On Keeping the Bees | Pierce Nahigyan.

Dr. Laurence Packer has been a lifelong entomologist. Bees are his specialty, but his interest in six-legged creatures began at a very early age.

“When I was too young to remember anything my parents – my dad in particular – tried to make sure I wasn’t scared of insects,” he told Planet Experts. “And I guess I overreacted.”

Jovial and forthcoming, Dr. Packer is all too eager to regale his listeners with tales of nature’s most popular pollinator. His research has taken him across the world and to almost every continent in search of new species of Apoidea (the superfamily that includes wasps and bees), and he has documented his travels in the book, Keeping the Bees, which was recently reprinted in a new paperback edition.

In the book, Packer talks relatively little about honeybees, whose preeminent place in the media has obscured the 20,000 or so other species of bee. While Colony Collapse Disorder has decimated populations of honeybees across the U.S. and remains a significant concern among beekeepers and agriculturists, it is a phenomenon that affects a small percentage of worldwide bee species. Packer’s book focuses on wild bees, less well known but in no lesser danger of disappearing.

A melittologist (one who studies wild bees), Dr. Laurence Packer obtained his B.A. in Zoology from the University of Oxford. He went on to earn his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and is currently a Professor of Biology at York University, where he has served since 1988. Last weekend, he took some time out of his busy schedule to discuss his work with Planet Experts.

Read the rest on Planet Experts.

via Dr. Laurence Packer: On Keeping the Bees | Pierce Nahigyan.

What’s the Buzz about the California Honeybees? | My Blog

Recently the whole “buzz about the bees” has been growing louder as more and more people are talking about the mysterious disappearance of the honeybees. Considering the fact that one-third of our agricultural food supply is dependent on the yellow-black winged arthropod, this fact alone might be reason enough to tune into the buzz.

The honeybee, better known as the Western honeybee, has gradually become not only a national and global concern, but also a state-wide concern for all Californians who have at one point or another enjoyed the fruits of honeybee labor. Although the vanishing honeybee population might appear “mysterious” to those with superficial knowledge of this issue, a closer look into the honeybee business would uncover the grave truth behind the growing disappearance. It just might be that our honeybee system is designed to eventually drive honeybee existence into oblivion; this very fear has become a driving force for innovative, environmentalist thinkers who are currently exploring ways to save our honeybees.

California is largely impacted by the loss of honeybees since the core of this issue resides in Central Valley, CA, where eighty percent of the world’s almonds are grown on acres and acres of land. Almonds are not only  a huge agricultural demand in California, but also in several other parts of the world that also rely on Central Valley, CA for their almond supply.

via What’s the Buzz about the California Honeybees? | My Blog.

My Bees are Freezing! | applewood farm

Last year, one of my hives didn’t survive the winter.

The long, cold days took their toll on the inhabitants of that hive so, over the summer, I made a split from the remaining hive.

Everything was going along fine, but now, we find ourselves enduring another brutally cold and exceptionally windy winter.

Windchill temperatures have plummeted well below zero for days at a time, week after week, with only brief breaks in between.

Oddly, these in-between breaks have been unusually warm.

During the cold spells, the sun would be more of an ineffectual bright light in the sky than anything else. During the warm-weather breaks, temperatures could skyrocket into the high 20s or even (gasp!) the low 30s.

I realize this doesn’t sound particularly toasty.

But, when you’re talking about an increase of 40-50 degrees, it feels like nothing short of a heat wave.

via My Bees are Freezing! | applewood farm.