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Jolie Bee UK
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A Small Natural Beekeeping Enterprise in Cambridge
A Small Natural Beekeeping Enterprise in Cambridge

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Honey bees love sunflowers #bees #flowers #sunflowers #nature #honey
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Laurence Packer is a Professor of Biology at York University in Ontario.  He's spent most of his career studying bees.  Today, thanks to a hint from my wife, Mary, I discovered a wonderfully informative and enjoyable interview on honey bees, wild bees, the plight of bees, and what we can do to help them. It's one of the most enjoyable 32 minutes of learning I have ever spent. He did on National Public Radio today as part of their program, "Fresh Air".   He answers many questions and tells a rather complete story of all the thousands of species and what they do and how they are doing.   Then he moves on to discuss how they make a it possible to have most of our very tasty fruits like Rasberries, Apples, and many more.   Then he discusses the danger to them and how serious it is.   He ends by talking about what we can do from our end in practical terms.  In the meantime he jokes that,  "He studies bees and his wife studies birds.  Between them, they have the birds and the bees covered."   Near the end of this wonderful interview he gets into his grab bag of humor again to say something like, "I get in trouble with all kinds of horticulturists because I tell them that they need to have ugly yards.   The most important thing you can do is to have an ugly unkempt yard, the type that will make your neighbors mad and garner lots of complaints."   His humor entices me and his knowledge is global and deep. 

He also gives us the truth as he sees it. It is not hyped and it is not exaggerated.   Even though he says this is not an emergency right now, it is very close to that point.  In some ways there is more hope than we realize. In other ways such as understanding bees and the types of habitats they need, we need to change things tremendously.   The problem is a complex web of intermixed issues.   Part of it is how we are using bees.  Part of it is not knowing that wild bees are even more important than domesticated honey bees.   The third piece is damaging pesticides that confuse the bees and make it hard for them to find their way back home.   The overarching and perhaps most devastating issue is that we as humans are encouraging and creating a big decrease in the diversity of types of bees.   That is leading to less genetic diversity.   Generally when an ecosystem is made simpler, it becomes less robust and less capable of withstanding outside pressures to its ecosystem and habitat.  It is less resilient.

Laurence has written a very important book.  It's based on his own vast experience and study plus a review of about 800 articles he has read over the years on the topic.  It is entitled: Keeping The Bees: Why All Bees Are At Risk And What We Can Do To Save Them.  It's available on Amazon for about $15.   A lot has been written about it and most of that is positive.   Here's a part of a quote from the very good write up that NPR includes with today's interview,  " [He] explores bee pollination and celebrates bee diversity — from stingless bees that feed on tears to others that survive by invading other bees' nests."  I want to give you some other links and say that David Suzuki also interviewed him in 2010 as part of his CBC Television Series:  The Nature of Things.  The interview is entitled:   To Bee Or Not To Be.   I am unable to watch it now until I dig up my post on removing regional coding.

Here are some other useful links:

Google Search on Laurence Packer that worked out very well for me.
“laurence packer” bees

Talk about bees by Laurence Packer at York University with many illustrations and charts from June 2014
“York Circle - The Importance of Bees: Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation”
http://youtu.be/955hAdopZ6M

Resonating Bodies Blog Article provides a very extensive list of videos, books, downloadable files and links on the biodiversity of pollinators indigenous to the natural and urban ecosystems of the Greater Toronto area.  I noticed that many of these are much more general and would be of interest to anybody interested in bees.  Each climate zone and diverse areas of the world will have their own native species of wild and domesticated bees.
http://resonatingbodies.wordpress.com/resources/recommended-books-downloadable-files-links/

Link for cbc television showing The Nature of Things Episode where David Suzuki interviews Laurence Packer about bees.    Before you watch this, you’ll need to remove regional coding for the episode unless you live in Canada.
http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/Shows/The+Nature+of+Things/2009-10/ID/1380312270/

Search on cbc that shows the link for the To Bee or Not To Bee episode on The Nature of Things
http://www.cbc.ca/gsa/?q=to+bee+or+not+to+bee

#honeybees #bees #pollinators #sustainability #ecologicallysustainable #geneticdiversity #entomology  
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This is what a pesticide kill looks like.  These are only a few of the dead bees, but you can see each bee's proboscis is sticking out.  So sad.  These bees are on an organically run farm, but the next farm over sprayed their soybeans yesterday and my farmer called to report a pile of dead bees in front of my hive. 
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Amazing how fast a field of dandelions appear but I'm glad they are here. Maybe we can help our little pollinators this way.

#flowers #pollinators #dandelions #bees  
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Bees filling up the combs with delicious honey
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A Bee on a Flower is one of natures most beautiful compliments #beauty http://ow.ly/i/5GvhB
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Bees do have a sense of humour! Hilarious Swarm of Honey Bees in Cambridge #beekeeping #cambridge http://ow.ly/xc5BZ
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Art is something that always seems to divide opinions and tastes. Natures beauty however unites all people in awe and appreciation. #nature
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