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Open Source Beehives: sensor-enhanced hive design

Tristan from OpenPixel sez, "You might have heard that bees are dropping like flies. When we realised the implications of this (which everyone should look into, because it's serious) we borrowed some ideas from the WikiHouse project and applied them to bees - ie. low cost, distributed, open source manufacturing."

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Fantastic photos of bees' heads

The Flickr account for the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab has tons of gorgeous CC-licensed photos of bees, snakes, bugs, and plants. What a bonanza!

Harvesting my backyard honey (and your chance to get a jar)

Earlier this summer, I harvested honey from my backyard beehive. I follow the Backwards Beekeepers’ no-treatment school of bee husbandry -- I don’t do anything other than set up a box and fill it with bees. No mite treatment, no queen excluder, no frequent checking on the bees. I open the lid once a year, pull out a few honey-loaded frames, replace them with empty frames, and close up the lid for next year.

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3-Bee printing: tricking bees into making wax sculptures


The 3-Bee printing project was a collaboration between a bee-keeper and an artist who created sculptural hives designed to encourage bees to deposit their wax in a specific way, producing a gorgeous "print." It was sponsored by a booze company, and the video makes you wait until the very end to see the cool thing, but that's what the little timeline slider on the bottom is for. Skip to 2:55 for the awesome.

Film: A 3D sculpture built by 80,000 bees? Bee-have yourself! (via Make)

The case for flowers on the farm

South African mango farms that added patches of native, flowering plants not only attracted more pollinators than traditional, monoculture mango farms — they also produced more mangoes.

Image: Flowers Under Attack, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from suckamc's photostream

Bee deaths and historical context

We've talked before here at BoingBoing about how "Colony Collapse Disorder" is probably more than one thing, with more than one cause. Another important detail to keep in mind as you read media reports on bee deaths — the collection of symptoms that we call Colony Collapse Disorder is also probably a lot older than you think. In a guest post at Bug Girl's blog, bee expert Doug Yanega explains that CCD didn't start in 2006. In fact, periods of mass bee die-offs with the same collection of symptoms have been recorded at least 18 times, dating back to 1869. Maggie

Sun Hives: pollination and health before honey

NewImage

Old-school bOING bOING pal Jim Leftwich says:

The Sun Hive is a hanging honeybee hive designed by Günther Mancke and which is growing in popularity in the UK and elsewhere. It was designed around the needs of pollinating bees and colony health and preferences, and not around prioritizing honey production. As such, it's thought to be much better for sustaining bee populations. It's also quite beautiful.

There's also a Sun Hive book, that you can read or download (4.5Mb), and which gives the background on natural beekeeping and instructions on how to construct one.

Bees sense electric charge from flowers

Scientists are studying another element that attracts bees to flowers, in addition to color and scent: the distinct electric field a flower emits. Xeni

Amy cooks at an actual restaurant

I'm going to be cooking a dinner featuring locally-produced honey at canelé restaurant in LA next Tuesday, February 19.  The restaurant has a program called "Friends Cook", where they invite neighborhood pals to cook a special menu at the restaurant. Here's how they describe it:

Every so often on a Tuesday night we share our kitchen with some special folks for our popular "friends cook at canelé." These pals, ranging from experienced chefs to absolute newbies, conceive, prep, and cook to order a 3 course prix-fixe menu with the advice and assistance of our chef, cooks, and servers.

Here's the menu:

SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD
with dates, toasted walnuts & Stilton, and a honey vinaigrette

SMOKY HONEY-CURED SALMON*
slow roasted and served with white beans & cavolo nero

SPICY GINGER/HONEY CAKE WITH HONEY GELATO
Feral Honey gelato from Pazzo Gelato in Silver Lake

* Vegetarian option: pasta with white beans & cavolo nero

I'll be curing the salmon next Sunday morning, then cold-smoking it with alder wood that night. We'll slow roast it to order at Canelé on Tuesday. It's a long process, but with a super-delicious result.

It'll be really fun and a great opportunity to watch me burn myself. I'd love to see you there if you happen to be in LA!

Bees ground Delta flight

Honeybees clustered under the wing of a Delta Airlines flight at Pittsburgh International Airport last week; the plane could not depart until a beekeeper was summoned to take possession of the swarm. CBS reporter Mary Robb Jackson adds that swarms of bees are not uncommon at the airport, where 25,000 to 30,000 occupied Taxiway-C last May. [KDKA] Rob

When urban beekeeping gets too dense

Bees need a certain amount of nearby green space in order to find enough pollen to survive. Without that, bees can starve. They can also end up subsisting on a diet of syrup that's about as healthy for them as a diet of burgers and fries would be for you and I. London has had die-offs of bees in the past, when beekeeping got more popular than the city's limited green space could support. Some people are now worried that New York City could be headed toward that problem. (Via Hannah Nordhaus) Maggie

The honeybees are still dying

The eerie mystery of the vanishing honeybees has not been put to rest.

In the last few weeks, three separate studies explored the effect of insecticides on honeybee and pollinator health.

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New world record for letting bees crawl all over you


Last wednesday, beekeeper She Ping covered himself with 331,000 bees to claim the world record from Ruan Luangming. As 33.1kg of insects crowded around his body and face, She Ping's eyes and mouth were kept clear by an incense-waving apprentice. Photo: REUTERS/China Daily

30 hornets vs. 30,000 bees = "300" with flying insects (video)

[Video Link]

Spoiler: the hornets win. Above, snip of BBC documentary with narrator commentary. Below, the EPIC MUSIC REMIX VIDEO.

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