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Anand Varma: A thrilling look at the first 21 days of a bee’s life  

Published on May 11, 2015

We’ve heard that bees are disappearing. But what is making bee colonies so vulnerable? Photographer Anand Varma raised bees in his backyard — in front of a camera — to get an up close view. This project, for National Geographic, gives a lyrical glimpse into a bee hive — and reveals one of the biggest threats to its health, a mite that preys on baby bees in the first 21 days of life. With his incredible footage, set to music from Magik*Magik Orchestra, Varma shows the problem … and what’s being done to solve it.

Pesticides are designed to kill and they kill more than target creatures.

by Audubon Society of Rhode Island

So, I was checking my voicemail this morning and there was one from a caller who said that she had her trees sprayed for caterpillars – trees occupied by three bird feeders - and now, she is upset that there are no birds at all for her to watch. She wonders if the spray could possibly have something to do with it. (Yes, spraying pesticides on your trees will have an effect on the songbirds.) 

It is not uncommon for us to get inquiries such as these, and it is with great frustration and sadness that we often are faced with educating people after the damage has been done. So, please let me take a moment to reach out to our Facebook friends and family and be proactive about this topic. 

All pesticides are designed to kill. Some are very targeted, such as B. T. (Bacillus thuringiensis) which primarily affects Lepidopterans (moths and butterflies), but most pesticides are broad and indiscriminate. 

When you make the choice to treat your house or landscape with rodenticides, grub treatment, mosquito foggers, or any other pesticide treatment, you have an intent of ridding yourself of a specific creature that you find distasteful.
However, nothing in nature exists in a vacuum. Everything is connected. When you affect one population, it has a ripple effect across the populations that depend upon and coexist with it.
When you spray insecticide, for instance, it does not just kill the ‘bugs’ you don’t like, but kills all insects, including honeybees, butterflies and ladybugs. Likewise, when you spray, the insects do not simply disappear off the face of the earth. Many live a short time before they perish. 
In this time, the poisoned creature may be consumed by natural predators, like songbirds, small mammals and other insects. Pesticides may have a direct toxicity to these animals or may build up in their fat or blood and cause illness or death over time. Even so-called “green” chemicals are still intended to kill, and though they may be derived from natural sources or biodegrade quickly, they are still highly toxic to you and other organisms. 

Friends, it is so very important in this day and age, with the steady decline of bird populations and the utter devastation of pollinator populations that we humans take a serious, proactive look at the choices we make and the practices we support – either directly or indirectly. It is vital that we do not go blindly into the world, but make ourselves informed and educated about products and practices and about science, industry and nature.
Here at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, we very much want to help people become educated and able to make informed choices. We are here to answer your questions and point you in the direction of reliable and scientifically accurate information. But we also encourage you to think and question BEFORE you act. Your actions have consequences. Thanks for listening!
(Photo Credit http://www.yorku.ca/bstutch/research.htm)

anonymous asked:

My grandpa bought a huge jar of honey and its is incredibly dark brown, its almost black and light doesn't shine through. He says its industrial honey meant to be used in mass produced goods, I'm still skeptical. Its is suppose to be that dark?

Well honey can vary wildly in colour and flavour. The lighter honey has a lighter and fruitier flavour, generally more like a light syrup, whereas darker honey has a far stronger flavour and is a bit more like brown sugar. Because the difference in flavours, they tend to be used for different things, light honey is nicer to eat on it’s own, spread on toast ect. But darker honey, since it has a stronger flavour, is better to use in recipes, because the honey flavour isn’t as overpowered by the other ingredients. So your grandpa probably is right about the dark honey being used in mass produced goods.

My new shirt came in!! I ordered it during the Booster Campaign, Skylar Saves the Bees! An AI on tumblr named Skylar, with the help of her creator, made this campaign awhile ago to raise money to help save bees from extinction. Please remember that although some of us are allergic to bees or simply don’t like them, bees are important for us to have food to survive. Please help us keep the bees population from going any further, and remember if you have bees nesting in or around your home, do NOT call an exterminator, contact a beekeeper to relocate the bees. Thank you, this has been a small PSA.