Son of Five Rivers Blog

For the advancement of Entrepreneurship, Sustainability & the Ecology of Everyday Life

Saving The Bee’s Project

Most of the world’s crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, “man would have only four years of life left”.

“This newly created hive of bees was overwhelmed by a wasp attack … every single bee was killed … all the eggs and larvae were eaten … all the honey was stolen by the wasps … I found a large pile of dead bees on the mesh floor … no living bees in the hive at all … hundreds of bee-wings scattered … I could see legs, heads, thoraxes by the hundreds … I didn’t realize that wasps physically dismember bees, biting off wings, legs and heads … possibly they do this to carry away the bees’ abdomens, which they may use to feed their own larvae … I made six new wasp traps today and placed them around the hives … there were dozens of wasps inside the traps within 15 minutes … so the local wasp population evidently is really high this year …”

The predatory nature of wasps actually helps balance things in certain ecological systems.  Their action against harmful caterpillars, for example, can be useful in the Sierra foothills in California.

But more than half of fruit and vegetable crops may be pollinated by honey bees. They are honored by many entomologists, in fact, as among the most beneficial of insect species – and that’s before they produce 200 million pounds of honey annually.

Wasps are not the only threat to bees. The so called Colony collapse disorder (CCD), is a relatively new phenomenon, which causes whole colonies of bees to disappear. CCD is believed to pose a serious threat to pollination in the future and stresses why we have to protect bees.

When wasps raid beehives, it never goes well for the bees. They’re no match for the larger, more powerful wasps. A single attack normally takes out an entire hive, as is described in the August 2008 account excerpted above, from California.

The significance of the design name “6.40mm,” then becomes quickly evident. The girth of the average bee is only 6.40 millimeters, a third of what a wasp’s may be. And by creating cell-shaped holes big enough for bees to enter a modern hive, but too small for wasps to follow them in, a group of designers from Seoul and Hong Kong believe they are able to make an effective intervention in this cycle of destruction.

“The new beehive we designed is totally similar to others at first glance,” the team writes in its documentation.” But in addition to the smaller hole, the new hive is made of six wooden boards. The top cover contains a steel piece to hold the body of the box together. The bottom has two legs for air flow. An instruction manual is engraved on the interior. And the “queen excluder” – which keeps the queen bee safely in the “brood chamber” – is positioned under the storage area for honey.

“Through a little change of thinking,” the team writes, “we can change big.”

no bee’s no pollen,
no pollen no plants,
no plants no animals,
no animals no food.

August 26, 2009 - Posted by | Creativity, Great Ideas, Life, Packaging, Products, Sustainability | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Didn’t they talk about this in The Happening with Marky Mark

    Comment by librarianchat | August 26, 2009 | Reply

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