Since I've started to stay home, I find myself craving brain stimulation. Super Why and Bubble Guppies just aren't doing it for me. I don't have adult conversations most of the day and on busy evenings, I don't have them really at all. I have found myself becoming obsessed with podcasts and TED Talks to fill the gap and give myself some "adult time." I even bought a arm strap for my iPhone so that I can listen to my podcasts while L is watching cartoons or doing something else. (Yes, I do make sure the volume is low enough that I can still hear the kids.) I watched these TED talks while feeding J in an attempt to learn more about our honey bees. If you are at all interested in bees (which you should be) then you have to find time to watch these!
Why Bees Are Disappearing
Did you know that in parts of the world, where there are no bees, that people are paid to pollinate flowers by hand with a paint brush? Or did you know that there is such a thing as a tomato vibrator called the Tomato Tickler? Kinky, huh? Bees are the number one pollinators of our food, so it should worry you that they are disappearing at an alarming rate. Marla Spivak delves into colony collapse disorder in this intriguing TED Talk. She also has amazing photography illustrations to support her talk.
A Plea for Bees
Beekeepers lose approximately thirty percent of their bees each winter. That's a lot of bees! If a cattle farmer lost 30% of their herd in a given winter then we'd call in the National Guard! The reason that bee loss seems to be given less attention is the beekeeper's ability to replace these bees the following summer. In this talk, Dennis vanEngelsdorp (also interviewed in the Vanishing of the Bees documentary which I reviewed here) discusses colony collapse disorder as it was just coming to light. This is the oldest of the TED Talks, but I find that you can feel the frustration and angst in his voice at how big of a problem CCD is for all of us.
Every City Needs Healthy Honey Bees
As the French listen to the opera at the Paris Opera House, the honey bees that reside on the roof are collecting pollen from nearby chestnut trees. Honey bees do not have to live in the country to survive and thrive. In fact, surburban honey bees actually seem to do better as is discussed in this TED Talk by Noah Wilson-Rich.
Learn more about the bees at the Paris Opera House here.
Bonus Video: The First 21 Days of a Bee's Life
While I don't necessarily feel comfortable with the genetic manipulation discussed in this video, it is something that it being researched and we need to be aware. Anand Varma was asked by National Geographic to photograph a story of the first days of a bees life. The only way he knew to do this was to start raising a hive himself. Anand is able to capture the first 21 days of a bees life in pictures and shows them in a time-lapsed 60 second video. During the video, you also get a glimpse of one of the causes of bee population decline, the varroa mite.