the irresistible fleet of bicycles


2 Comments

monsanto’s plan to help the honeybee

In 2011 Monsanto, the maker of herbicides and genetically engineered seeds, bought an Israeli company called Beeologics, which had developed an RNA interference technology that can be fed to bees through sugar water. The idea is that when a nurse bee spits this sugar water into each cell of a honeycomb where a queen bee has laid an egg, the resulting larvae will consume the RNA interference treatment. With the right sequence in the interfering RNA, the treatment will be harmless to the larvae, but when a mite feeds on it, the pest will ingest its own self-destruct signal.

The specificity and precision of topical RNA interference could be used for other agricultural tricks, including perhaps making weeds once again sensitive to a Monsanto herbicide that they have developed resistance to.

To read one side of the Monsanto bee debate, click HERE. Just be wary.


Leave a comment

2016 apprenticeships in regenerative agriculture in the american west

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Starting a career in regenerative agriculture? Want to develop technical skills in grassfed beef production, dairy management and cheesemaking, or heirloom fruit tree cultivation and holistic orchard management?

The wonderful folks at the Quivira Coalition are seeking applicants for their New Agrarian Program‘s eight-month (March to Nov 2016) on-site apprenticeships at San Jaun Ranch in Alamosa, CO; James Ranch Artisan Cheese in Durango, CO; and Tooley’s Trees in Truchas, NM. All of these positions explore sustainable agriculture in the new American West and include a monthly stipend, housing, some food, and an education fund.
For more info contact: Sarah Wentzel-Fisher, Quivira Coalition New Agrarian Program Coordinator at sarah@quiviracoalition.org. Full position descriptions are available after the break.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

a photo essay: what’s killing all the bee’s?

Bee_Edit_23
Photo Credit Chris Jordan-Bloch, Earth Justice

The Perfect Crime: What’s Killing all the Bee’s?

Honey bee colonies have experienced widespread die-offs in a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Many beekeepers believe a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids are weakening their bees. Mega-corporations are making a killing off their pesticides—but are they also getting away with murder?

A beautiful 22 photo essay by Chris Jordan-Bloch explores explores this issue. See the full essay here.


Leave a comment

more bad news on bees

An older article (July 2013), but worth a read.

Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought
By Todd Woody,  July 24, 2013

As we’ve written before, the mysterious mass die-off of honey bees that pollinate $30 billion worth of crops in the US has so decimated America’s apis mellifera population that one bad winter could leave fields fallow. Now, a new study has pinpointed some of the probable causes of bee deaths and the rather scary results show that averting beemageddon will be much more difficult than previously thought.

Scientists had struggled to find the trigger for so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that has wiped out an estimated 10 million beehives, worth $2 billion, over the past six years. Suspects have included pesticides, disease-bearing parasites and poor nutrition. But in a first-of-its-kind study published today in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified a witch’s brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives. The findings break new ground on why large numbers of bees are dying though they do not identify the specific cause of CCD, where an entire beehive dies at once.

continue reading HERE


Leave a comment

save the honeybees

A note from the folks at Greenpeace:

Scientists have linked a powerful class of pesticides called “neonics” to increases in bee die-offs. Due in part to these deadly toxic chemicals, 31% of honeybees_copyhives in the United States collapsed this past winter alone.

Last month millions across Europe spoke up for the bees and pressured the European Union (EU) into imposing a two year ban on neonics, defeating the influential pesticide lobby. If we act together, we can convince the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to do the same.

Help us send 75K comments to the EPA by June 27th to save the bees that pollinate our crops and that visit your backyard.

Tell the EPA today to suspend the use of neonics on crops that bees pollinate.

Viruses, mites and malnutrition can all contribute to the collapse of a hive. But neonics pose a unique threat to bees. These poisons spread into the pollen and nectar of treated plants, slowly accumulating in the hive with each bee’s trip to a contaminated flower.

By allowing toxic chemicals like neonics to weaken and kill bees, we threaten our food and our environment. Continue reading


Leave a comment

more than honey

In MORE THAN HONEY, director Markus Imhoof tackles the vexing issue of why bees, worldwide, are facing extinction. With the tenacity of a man out to solve a world-class mystery, he investigates this global phenomenon, from California to Switzerland, China and Australia. Exquisite macro-photography of the bees in flight and in their hives reveals a fascinating, complex world in crisis.

MORE THAN HONEY is coming out June 12 at Film Forum.

To read more about the film and check out some stills, visit: morethanhoneyfilm.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 713 other followers