didn’t allow you to bloom
to be delicate and blossom
to be delicate and wither
but who are
you don’t need their permission
to grow”


Artworks by:

Lakin Ogunbanwo
Velma Rossa
Lawrence Agyei
Nadine Ijewere
Nadine Bee
Amaal Said
Atang Tshikare
x Trevor Stuurman
Oroma Elewa
Love Fola x Loza Maléombho
Papaya & Co.

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Bees are awesome. They pollinate the crops we rely on and they make delicious honey. Father and son beekeepers Stuart and Cedar Anderson have designed a fantastic new beehive that enables their fellow apiarists to collect that delicious honey without disturbing their precious bees. Instead of the traditional and labor-intensive extraction process which involved removing the frames that hold the honeycomb, opening the honeycomb with hot knives and then loading those frames into honey spinner that uses centrifugal force to extract the honey, the Anderson’s Flow Hive is a specially designed hive featuring a spigot system:

"The Flow frame consists of already partly formed honeycomb cells. The bees complete the comb with their wax, fill the cells with honey and cap the cells as usual. When you turn the tool, a bit like a tap, the cells split vertically inside the comb forming channels allowing the honey to flow down to a sealed trough at the base of the frame and out of the hive while the bees are practically undisturbed on the comb surface.
When the honey has finished draining you turn the tap again in the upper slot resets the comb into the original position and allows the bees to chew the wax capping away, and fill it with honey again.”

Pure, fresh honey on tap, plus no angry bees. That sounds like a dream come true.

Click here to watch a video about the Flow Hive. To learn more visit the Flow Hive website or Facebook page.

[via Colossal]

Save the Honeybee, Sterilize the Earth            

By Josh Dzieza  

A decade ago, people started panicking about the collapse of the honeybee population and the crash of our food supply. But today there are more honeybees than there were then. We have engineered our way to a frenzied and precarious new normal.

For the past seven years, as has been widely reported, honeybees have been dying at an alarming rate. Yet today there are slightly more hives in the [USA] than before the die-offs began. That’s because beekeeping [operations] have moved beyond panic and begun quietly adjusting to a strenuous way of doing business, one that requires constant monitoring, treatment, supplemental feeding, rapid replacement of dead hives, and grudging participation in an agricultural system that grows increasingly inhospitable to the bees it needs to survive. […]

For the vast majority of their history, beekeepers moved their bees in order to make more honey, not to pollinate crops. In fact, pollination itself is a phenomenon few farmers understood until relatively recently. As late as the 1880s, some farmers banished beekeepers from the their farms, believing that bees robbed pollen and killed fruit. It’s a forgivable misunderstanding. The farmers didn’t realize that the bees had evolved to be messy eaters, carrying pollen grains on their fur. And with swarms of native bumblebees, orchard bees, and feral honeybees always around, fruit happened with beekeepers or without. In a natural ecosystem, or even a small multi-crop farm, there were always enough plants in bloom at any given time to sustain a resident population of pollinators.

But when farmers began planting larger plots with one crop, the natural balance of pollination was distorted. A monoculture, as it’s called, can’t sustain all the wild insects it needs to pollinate it, because there’s nothing for the insects to eat when the main crop isn’t in bloom. Monoculture farmers noticed that their trees would flower abundantly yet produce hardly any fruit, which led to the discovery that many fruit trees are self-sterile: To produce, they need to be planted in mixed varieties, and they need insects to ferry pollen from one variety to another.

Honeybees provided a convenient solution. Whereas many bees native to North America are solitary, fly only a few hundred feet to forage, and have evolved to pollinate a single plant species, honeybees are opportunistic eaters, fly more than two miles, and live in resilient, easily transported hives. By the early 20th century, farmers were signing occasional contracts with local beekeepers to pollinate orchards. In 1918, the naturalist John Harvey Lovell concluded that “the fruit-culture of the future must be largely dependent on the domestic bee, the only agency in crossing which can be controlled by man.”

The dramatic transformation of our relationship with the honeybee, however, began in the years following World War II, as the mechanization of agriculture drastically increased the size of the nation’s farms and the use of pesticides exploded. This marked the decline of many remaining wild pollinators, and the beginning of the honeybee’s shift from a semi-domesticated producer of honey to a living tool integral to industrial agriculture. In the past several decades migratory pollination has only become a bigger portion of the beekeeping industry, surpassing revenues from honey sales sometime around 2007. The economic shift from honey to pollination was a long time coming, but two things finally tipped the balance…

Read more

Article source: PSMag

Images: Illustration by Tom Cocotos; Photos by Max Whittaker/Prime

h/t to plantyhamchuk

#bees #pollinators #pollination #agriculture #orchard culture #economics

The ecologist Ruth DeFries calls the last half-century of agricultural industrialization “the Big Ratchet.” It is the latest and most extreme example of a cycle of technological innovation that has allowed humanity to thrive in the face of constant ecological crises. For thousands of years people have been coming up with new ways to wring more food from nature, then running up against some ecological barrier—often a side effect of the original innovation—and engineering a way around it.

Humans invented agriculture, which depleted the soil, which they replenished with animal and human manure, which allowed towns to grow, which caused septic disease, so sewers were invented, which diverted night soil from the fields, so fertilizer was invented, which made monocultures possible, which allowed pests to run rampant, so insecticides were invented; and so it went, accelerating exponentially as the population grew from a billion-and-a-half people to seven billion in the last century, more and more of them living in cities, where they’re fed by fewer people harnessing technology to manage ever larger crops.

DeFries calls each innovation a ratchet, and the inevitable obstacle a hatchet. Technology ratchets up the population. Then the hatchet falls, and a new ratchet must be invented.

Vampire Savior: The Lord of Vampire / Darkstalkers 3
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Platform: Arcade, Saturn, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Year: 1997 (Arcade), 1998 (Saturn, JP/NA PS1), 1999 (EU PS1), 2005 (PS2), 2013 (PS3, 360)

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