Thursday, February 18, 2010

All abuzz

When did you last think about bees? Bees probably aren't top of mind with most people, but they should be. According to Dr Reese Halter, in the last three years more than 50 billion bees have died. This loss affects humanity in many profound ways, perhaps most importantly in that more than one-third of the food we eat depends directly or indirectly on the pollinating work of bees.

What can we do to make the world hospitable to bees once again? Dr Halter provides a list in his charming book, The Incomparable Honeybee and the Economics of Pollination:

• Buy organic foods
• Buy organic cotton
• Buy local, organic honey
• Do not use herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, or miticides in your home garden
• Grow a wide variety of native wildflowers
• Grow a pollinator garden
• Provide a living space for bees in your yard, such as a bee block
• Provide clean water for bees
• Get involved in nature watch and conservation programs.

The international loss of bees has been in and out of the news in the last five years. There is no cause identified at this time, but Dr Halter's book explains some of possible — and possibly intersecting — causes. We are all implicated in the loss of the bees, and therefore we are also all implicated in working for their survival and recovery — and with a few small changes, we can all make a positive difference.

This little gem of a book (you can get it here) is worth your time and attention. Bees — yes, bees — deserve your consideration: now.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Good news from the academic world

The paper I proposed for the Book Conference in Switzerland was accepted. Looks like I'm going to give my first international paper in November 2010. w00t!


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Reading Canadian Living (that'll teach me!)

Am I the only person in the world who finds the Charmin campaign "You can't pass mom's inspection with little white pieces left behind" (involving bears and toilet paper) more than a little sick-making?

Huh. Just me, then.

Strange days indeed.