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Tag Archives | urbanbeekeeping

Rarest of Bumblebees Rediscovered: “Cockerell’s Bumblebee”

“The most rare U.S. species of bumblebee, last seen in 1956, has turned up once again in the White Mountains of south-central New Mexico. Called “Cockerell’s Bumblebee,” this prized pollinator is known from an area of less than 300 square miles, giving it the most limited range of any bumblebee species in the world…

Any story about bees surviving in the wild is uplifting news in light of the well-documented decline of bees worldwide. Recently the U.N. reported bee losses of up 85 percent in some areas of the industrialized northern hemisphere, where pesticides, pollution, and parasites may all be to blame.

Cockerell’s Bumblebee, among nearly 50 species of bumblebees native to the U.S., has avoided many of these threats, living on protected national forest and tribal lands. For that reason, it is not especially surprising for an insect species to be rediscovered after decades, when people might otherwise imagine that it may have gone extinct…”

[click here to read the full article on news.discovery.com]

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forever beyond reach
oil on panel
12” x 18”
2010

by Angie Renfro

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Photo: A swarm of bees, partly loaded with pollen, returns to its hive in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
(Frank Rumpenhorst/AFP/Getty Images)

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“School Girls (Ann Hollier, Janet Locke and Lynda Fewtrell), studying a frame of bees at Sutton East County Secondary School. The pupils in special clothing are ardent bee keepers and they study their swarm in the hives in the school grounds.” (1962)

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Bee Behavior Mimics Brain Neuron Function -

“A new study of bees has come to the conclusion that bee swarm communication works similarly to that of neurons in the human brain.

The study, published in the December 9 issue of Science, found that bees use inhibitory “stop” signals to prohibit the scout bees from completing a waggle dance that helps bees learn the directions of competing sites for new hives. This behavior helps to ensure that the best homesite is found for the hive.

Thomas Seeley, a biologist from Cornell University, said this behavior is “analogous to how the nervous system works in complex brains. The brain has similar cross inhibitory signaling between neurons in decision-making circuits.”

To study this behavior the researchers set up swarms, one at a time, on an island off the coast of Maine that was devoid of natural nesting cavities. After setting out two identical nesting boxes, they labeled scout bees with two different paint colors. They then videotaped the scout bees doing the waggle dance. The dances were tracked by watching the scout bees with the marks by using microphones and videotape to tell when they received the stop signals and from which bees.

The team observed that the stop signals came from scouts that were marked at the other site.

Visscher said, “The message the sender scout is conveying to the dancer appears to be that the dancer should curb her enthusiasm, because there is another nest site worthy of consideration Such an inhibitory signal is not hostile. It’s simply saying, ‘Wait a minute, here’s something else to consider, so let’s not be hasty in recruiting every bee to a site that may not be the best one for the swarm. All the bees have a common interest in choosing the best available site.”

According to the press release once the bees decide to swarm and move to a new nesting site the message of the stop signal changes. Visscher says, “Apparently at this point, the message of the stop signal changes, and can be thought of as, ‘Stop dancing, it is time to get ready for the swarm to fly. It is important for the scouts to be with the swarm when it takes off, because they are responsible for guiding the flight to the nest site.”

[click here to view the full article on redorbit.com]

[click here to view similar articles on psypost.org and arstechnica.com]

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LEGALIZATION UPDATE: 
DEL REY = ANOTHER VICTORY FOR THE BEES!!

Del Rey: Approved motion to support pilot program (December 2011)

Mar Vista: Approved motion to support pilot program (November 2011)

Santa Monica: LEGALIZED!!! (December 2010)

UP NEXT:
South Robertson Neighborhoods Council
Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council
(Venice & Culver City coming soon…)

MOTION:
“The board therefore recommends the implementation of a Beekeeping Pilot Program in to test safety and develop best practices for future expansion. We urge the City of LA to adopt a policy that includes conditions relating to maintenance, location, registration and notification to assure for the safety of all residents which may result in the continued preservation of quality of life and preservation of single-family residential districts.”

Click here to view resources to help legalize urban beekeeping in YOUR community!

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No Zoning Laws, No Problem? Think Again. Faced with no legal right to keep their bees, beekeepers in Cumming, Ga. are working to get a new law on the books.

“Nicholas Weaver, a resident of Cumming, Ga., did everything right before becoming a backyard beekeeper. The then-13-year-old spoke with his neighbors to make sure they wouldn’t mind some new, buzzing tenants on his family’s property. He went to town meetings and asked if the city had rules about beekeeping. Finally, he checked the local zoning laws himself, just to be sure he was in the clear — and when he discovered that his town and its county, Forsyth, had no zoning regulations for non-commercial beekeepers, he figured his bees wouldn’t be a problem.

For 11 years, Weaver was right… But one evening last August, he came home to find a note tacked to his door with a request to call the county government. That’s when he discovered that even if his community had no official city or county guidelines about backyard beekeeping, he could still be forced to give up his hives. Citing an anonymous complaint, the county gave him five days to relocate his bees…”

SIGN THEIR PETITION!!

[click here to read the full article on urbanfarmonline.com]

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“Art is the stored honey of the human soul” -Theodore Dreiser

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Gilligan’s Island, The Honey Bees: You Need Us

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Beeswax Bottles Candle Set
Recycled Wood Beehouse
Cast Stone Bee Skep

Bee Tumbler

The Beekeeper’s Bible

Honeycomb Stick

Chalkboard Honey Pot

Worker B Treatment Stick

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