The Humble Bee

The Humble Bee by the Hakai Institute

Well yesterday I looked at the Birds so it seems only fair today to cover some bees.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/may/13/wildlife.endangeredspecies

Top 10 ways to help bees.

1. Become a beekeeper

Beekeeping is a most enjoyable, fascinating and interesting hobby – and you get to eat your own honey too. Every year local beekeeping associations run courses to help new people to take up beekeeping and even help them find the equipment they need and a colony of bees. Training programmes continue to allow enthusiasts to become Master Beekeepers. For information on courses visit the British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) website

2. Help to protect swarms

Swarming is a natural process when colonies of honeybees can increase their numbers. If you see a swarm contact the local authority or the police who will contact a local beekeeper who will collect the swarm and take it away. Honeybees in a swarm are usually very gentle and present very little danger. They can be made aggressive if disturbed or sprayed with water. Just leave them alone and wait for a competent beekeeper to arrive.

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3. Plant your garden with bee friendly plants

In areas of the country where there are few agricultural crops, honeybees rely upon garden flowers to ensure they have a diverse diet and to provide nectar and pollen. Encourage honeybees to visit your garden by planting single flowering plants and vegetables. Go for all the allium family, all the mints, all beans except French beans and flowering herbs. Bees like daisy-shaped flowers – asters and sunflowers, also tall plants like hollyhocks, larkspur and foxgloves. Bees need a lot of pollen and trees are a good source of food. Willows and lime trees are exceptionally good. the BBKA has leaflets on bee friendly trees and shrubs.

4. Buy local honey

Local honey will be prepared by local beekeepers. This keeps food miles down and helps the beekeeper to cover the costs of beekeeping. Local honey complies with all food standards requirements but is not mistreated to give it a long shelf life. It tastes quite different to foreign supermarket honey and has a flavour that reflects local flora.

5. Ask your MP to improve research into honey bee health

Beekeepers are very worried that we do not have enough information to combat the diseases that affect honeybees. Pollination by honeybees contributes £165m annually to the agricultural economy. Yet the government only spends £200,000 annually on honeybee research. Beekeepers have costed a five-year, £8m programme to secure the information to save our bees during which time pollination will contribute more than £800m to the government coffers. Even the Defra minister, Lord Rooker, who holds the purse strings to finance this, has said that without this extra research we could lose our honeybees within ten years. Write to MPs in support of the bee health research funding campaign.

6. Find space for a beehive in your garden

Many would-be beekeepers, especially in urban areas, find it difficult to find a safe space for their colony of bees. If you have some space contact your local beekeeping association and they could find a beekeeper in need of a site. It is amazing what a difference a beehive will make to your garden. Crops of peas and beans will be better, fruit trees will crop well with fruit that is not deformed and your garden will be buzzing!

7. Remove jars of foreign honey from outside the back door

Believe it or not but honey brought in from overseas contains bacteria and spores that are very harmful to honeybees. If you leave a honey jar outside it encourages honeybees to feed on the remaining honey. There is a good possibility that this will infect the bee and in turn the bee will infect the rest of the colony resulting in death of the colony. Always wash out honey jars and dispose of them carefully.

8. Encourage local authorities to use bee friendly plants in public spaces

Some of the country’s best gardens and open spaces are managed by local authorities. Recently these authorities have recognised the value of planning gardens, roundabouts and other areas with flowers that attract bees. Encourage your authority to improve the area you live in by adventurous planting schemes. These can often be maintained by local residents if the authority feels they do not have sufficient resources.

9. Learn more about this fascinating insect

Beekeeping is fascinating. Honeybees have been on this earth for about 25 million years and are ideally adapted to their natural environment. Without honeybees the environment would be dramatically diminished. Invite a beekeeper to come and talk to any local group you support and give an illustrated talk about the honeybee and the products of the hive. They might bring a few jars of honey too Honeybees are a part of our folklore and are one of only two insect species that are managed to provide us with essential services.

10. Bee friendly

When kept properly, bees are good neighbours, and only sting when provoked. Beekeepers wear protective clothing when they are handling bees. If a bee hovers inquiringly in front of you when unprotected, do not flap your hands. Stay calm and move slowly away, best into the shade of shed or a tree. The bee will soon lose interest. It is worth remembering that bees do not like the smell of alcohol on people, the “animal” smell of leather clothing, even watchstraps. Bees regard dark clothing as a threat – it could be a bear! Bees are sometimes confused by scented soaps, shampoos and perfumes, best avoided near the hive.

Birds aren’t all singing the same song. They have dialects, too

15 birds and bird songs for beginners

World Teach Laura Molles is so attuned to birds that she can tell where birds of some species are from just by listening to their song. She’s not a real-world Dr Doolittle. She’s an ecologist in Christchurch, New Zealand, who specializes in a little-known area of science: bird dialects. While some birds are born knowing how to sing innately, many need to be taught how to sing by adults — just like humans.

Those birds can develop regional dialects, meaning their songs sound slightly different depending on where they live. Think Boston and Georgia accents, but for birds. Just as speaking the local language can make it easier for humans to fit in, speaking the local bird dialect can increase a bird’s chances of finding a mate. And, more ominously, just as human dialects can sometimes disappear as the world globalizes, bird dialects can be shaped or lost as cities grow. The similarities between human language and bird song aren’t lost on Molles — or on her fellow bird dialect experts. “There are wonderful parallels,” said American ornithologist Donald Kroodsma, the author of “Birdsong for the Curious Naturalist: Your Guide to Listening.” “Culture, oral traditions — it’s all the same.”

The first bird dialect experts For centuries, bird song has inspired poets and musicians, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that scientists really started paying attention to bird dialects. One of the pioneers of the field was a British-born behaviorist named Peter Marler, who became interested in the subject when he noticed that chaffinchesin the United Kingdom sounded different from valley to valley. At first, he transcribed bird songs by hand, according to a profile of him in a Rockefeller University publication. Later, he used a sonagram, which Kroodsma describes on his website as “a musical score for birdsong.” (“You really need to see these songs to believe them, our eyes are so much better than our ears,” Kroodsma said.)

In the 60s and 70s, scientists put baby birds into sound isolation chambers to see if they would be able to sing their songs, according to ornithologist David Luther. Scientists found that some birds — the ones that learn their songs — couldn’t sing at all. “They just continued like a baby babble for their entire life,” he said. Those birds are known as “true song birds.” In other birds, singing was innate. “When they came of age they could just sing a perfect song no problem.”

When birds are copying adults, scientists discovered, they sometimes make a mistake. That mistake in turn is copied by other birds, and a local dialect develops. That means that dialects can only exist in true song birds because they have a “learned oral tradition,” says Kroodsma. Dialects can also be created as birds adapt to the local environment, said American ornithologist Elizabeth Derryberry. Birds that can be heard better may find a mate better, meaning their song is more likely to be handed down from generation to generation.

It relates to an idea developed by Bernie Krause, the founder of soundscape ecology, that animals make sounds at different pitches so they can all be heard. Some dialects shift fast — even within a breeding season. Other birds hold on to their dialects for decades. When Luther researched San Francisco dialects of white-crowned sparrows — a common bird in North America — he found that some dialects hadn’t changed at all in 40 years. Dialects and dating (in birds)

For something that is often the result of a copying glitch, dialects can be very useful. According to Molles, birds communicate for two reasons: Either they are trying to tell off their neighbor, or they are trying to attract females. “Nothing very poetic, unfortunately,” she quips. When it comes to defending territory from other birds of the same species who aren’t local to the area, knowing the local dialect allows for more complex interaction. Mimicking a song note for note is seen as aggressive to birds, so having a wider repertoire means a bird can get its point across without escalating the interaction to a fight. Knowing the local dialect is also useful when it comes to finding a romantic partner. In many species, it’s the male who does the singing.

According to Molles, females tend to prefer a familiar dialect — it suggests the male birds know the local area, has territory, and isn’t just “someone who’s passing through.” Some birds are bilingual, or even trilingual — perhaps because they have grown up around different local dialects. When they are mating, they’ll opt to sing the local dialect of wherever they choose to settle, Luther said. But not having the right dialect isn’t an insurmountable barrier. Kroodsma gave the example of a prairie warbler in Massachusetts, where he is based, which has returned every year for the past few years. Although the bird has a very atypical song, it attracted females and raised babies every year.

Consumption Activism!

Bolsanaro presidency a threat to the Amazon?

The responsibility concerning the collapse of the world’s ecosystems, the destruction of its environment and an inaction on these destructive policies , falls at our doors today, into our bank accounts when we get paid and out of our wallets when we buy something.

Bolsonaro’s cultural genocide of native people and Ecocide of Amazon Rainforest is truly terrifying. If you buy products that are generated as a result of a chopped down and mining rainforest then potentially you are indirectly part of the problem and not part of the solution.

Consumption of mined goods, wood paper, oil, fish and meat is often what results in some of the most vulnerable habitat of our planet being desecrated.

Climate Crisis: Farming on the Frontline

The cold hard truth is as capitalist consumers and you can afford to buy fair-trade products, sustainably sourced and or locally sourced produce there is no reason not to. If we shift the emphasis as consumers to sustainable, organic, fair-trade, locally sourced produce we force Presidents such as Bolsonaro to look at their own means of making profit and getting votes.

This can start the very next time you go to the shop and buy a food item or product, if you are serious about doing something then start by doing what is in effect your contribution to saving the biodiversity of this world.

The view that it is somebody else’s responsibility is not really valid; we all have our part to play.

Song – Afro Celt Sound System – Dark Moon, High Tide

To be offended does not make you right

To me a ‘Good’ Joke will not only provide information and insight into the comedian but also why and when the audience member laughs provides insight into that member of the audience.

Comedy may be divided into multiple genres based on the source of humor, the method of delivery, and the context in which it is delivered.

These classifications overlap, and most comedians can fit into multiple genres. For example, deadpan comics often fall into observational comedy, or into black comedy or blue comedy to contrast the morbidity, or offensiveness of the joke with a lack of emotion.

Planes Trains & Automobiles – Going the Wrong Way

Ricky Gervais Talks Offensive Comedy

GenreDescriptionNotable examples
Alternative comedyDiffers from traditional punchline jokes which features many other forms of comedy such as observation, satire, surrealism, slapstick and improvisation. In its content, Alternative Comedy emerged as a counter to the establishment entertainment figures from the previous generation: It was often cited for its disregard to established comedic movements and ranged from the surreal to slapstick, usually with a combination of both.Tony Allen, Alexei Sayle, Mark Steel, Dan Harmon, Dave Gorman, Linda Smith, Jeremy Hardy, Ron Sparks, Alan Davies, Ben Elton, Jo Brand, Stewart Lee, Sean Hughes, Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmonson, Malcolm Hardee, Kristen Schaal, Kevin McAleer, Simon Munnery, Arthur Smith, Arnold Brown, Robert Newman, Kenny Sebastian
Black comedy or dark comedyDeals with disturbing subjects such as death, drugs, terrorism, rape, and war; can sometimes be related to the horror movie genreRichard Tyler Blevins (Ninja), Jim Norton, Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks, Dave Chappelle, Frankie Boyle, Jimmy Carr, Louis C.K., Denis Leary, Monty Python, Richard Pryor, Ricky Gervais, George Carlin, Chris Rush, Mike Ward, Penn & Teller, Joseph Dale, Seth MacFarlane, Christopher Titus, Sacha Baron Cohen, Trey Parker/Matt Stone, Quentin Tarantino, David Cross, Peter Kay, Anthony Jeselnik, Daniel Tosh, Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg, Bobcat Goldthwait, Brendon Burns, Mark Normand
Surreal comedyA form of humor based on bizarre juxtapositions, absurd situations, and nonsense logicSpike Milligan, Jay Kogen, Eddie Izzard, J. Stewart Burns, Ross Noble, Bill Bailey, Brent Butt, The Mighty Boosh, Steven Wright, Eric Andre, Trey Parker, Monty Python, Seth MacFarlane, David X. Cohen, Vic and Bob, The Goodies, Jack Handey, Derek Drymon, Wallace Wolodarsky, Harry Hill, The Kids in the Hall, Conan O’Brien, Tim and Eric, Paul Merton, Million Dollar Extreme, Mitch Hedberg, Firesign Theatre, Shaun Micallef, Emo Philips, Hans Teeuwen, Tony Law, Chic Murray

Oh what a Hunt!

Donald Trump Jr’s rare sheep hunt ‘cost US taxpayers $75,000’

Extinction for fun

President Donald Trump’s eldest son and grandson took a hunting trip to Mongolia last year that reportedly cost US taxpayers over $75,000 (£59,000).

Donald Trump Jr shot a rare mountain sheep and met the country’s president, according to the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew).

Most of the money went to their Secret Service protection, the group said.

Researchers say the Trump family take 12 times as many trips as the Obamas.

The Crew report accuses the Trump family of draining the Secret Services’ finances with their average of 1,000 more trips per year, many for leisure, than the previous first family.

Trophy hunting is cruel, sick, & is bringing wildlife to the brink of extinction. Click the link TODAY if you support a BAN! www.bantrophyhunting.org

A time of rebirth

I have become obsessed and passionate about ecocide and rewilding since lockdown in my bubble. Globally there are many areas of wildlife that can be rewilded and enable the eco-defence shield and buffering of Mother Nature or earth, but the re-establishment of wildlife areas and prevention of the dismantlement of what is still left is in no way a certainty. It must be advocated for, worked for and potentially managed. The costs of not doing this are far greater than any cost spent to achieve it.

I strongly believe that by protecting the future of the land and seas we protect the future of man and without the land and seas there is no future.

There is a strong rebirth at the moment into looking to re-evaluate the recent and long-term history of humanity and more specifically an acknowledgment of the slave trade and injustice to ethnic minorities. People are now seekers of truth and justice and wish for a new vision of history and the right to a new and fairer future and society.

Though this change of perspective, thought shift or acknowledgment of pain and a need for healing has come about due to great personal hurt, anger and tragedy. I hope that there is potential for a greater positivity and good to be achieved from this moment in time.

I also feel that as well as looking to the scars and bloodied past of human history we should also look to the scars and bloodied past of the land and sea hence my focus on ecocide and rewilding.

We must though endeavour not to be haunted by our pasts but enlightened by it.

Song – Times Like these

Creatures of a rewilded earth – Buffalo

American bison

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to navigationJump to search

The American bison or simply bison (Bison bison), also commonly known as the American buffalo or simply buffalo, is an American species of bison that once roamed North America in vast herds. Its historical range, by 9000 BCE, is described as the great bison belt, a tract of rich grassland that ran from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico, east to the Atlantic Seaboard (nearly to the Atlantic tidewater in some areas) as far north as New York and south to Georgia and, according to some sources, down to Florida, with sightings in North Carolina near Buffalo Ford on the Catawba River as late as 1750.[2][3][4] It nearly became extinct by a combination of commercial hunting and slaughter in the 19th century and introduction of bovine diseases from domestic cattle. With a population in excess of 60 million in the late 18th century, the species was down to 541 animals by 1889. Recovery efforts expanded in the mid-20th century, with a resurgence to roughly 31,000[5] animals today, largely restricted to a few national parks and reserves. Through multiple reintroductions, the species is now also freely roaming wild in some regions in Yakutia as well as Mexico.

Song – Buffalo by The Phoenix Foundation

What it takes to save a planet’s people?

It’s very simple, but very difficult to see that any political, legal or economic structure are comprehending it and if they do not comprehend it in our lifetime they and us we risk planetary suicide, murder and death.

We need to stop Ecocide.

ecocide/ˈiːkə(ʊ)sʌɪd/ Learn to pronounce nounnoun: ecocide

  1. destruction of the natural environment, especially when deliberate.”their crime is nothing less than attempted ecocide”

Why should this be the number one problem in a world full of problems.

Well I belive that with out an organic living breathing earth we will no longer have the bedrock to solve any and all other problems.

You can’t decide who lives and dies on a planet where everyone is dead and right now like no time ever, ecodide threatens to consume this planet.

Mass damage and destruction of nature is taking place globally.
And right now, it’s legally permitted.
We call it ECOCIDE and we’re working to make it an INTERNATIONAL CRIME.

Join the growing movement of Earth Protectors to help make this happen.

JOIN now!

Masked identity

Covid-19 is still out there, people will still die from it and Covid-Zombies still walk the earth thinking they will not get it or that it does not matter to them even if they do.

At first it took one of our basic human needs/natural instincts – that to socialise and be close to one another without fear or risk of spreading death.

Some people were able to obey these rules for a short while but the reasons to not obeying seem to have become even greater to many than the need to obey them now. It’s like a Covid-19 Passover and if you obey the newly developed rules you have an increased chance of living thought this (may the odds forever be in your favour).

Many people choosing to disobey the rules in my city have been getting drunk, peeing and littering areas of nature and/or hanging out together to hug, kiss and probably be extremely intimate together too. I kind of consider these people now to be Covid-19 Zombies.

They are most likely to result in a longer lingering of the virus, an increase in deaths from the virus and an increase in contamination from the virus.

So my government has now in its wisdom announced that in order to travel on public transport from a week on Monday people now need to wear a mask or scarf while travelling.

So I have promptly whizzed onto the internet to order some masks and hand gel for me and my Dad.

It seems our defence against the virus has been raised to yet another level where we were first not meant to have contact with one another; we are now no longer aloud to easily speak or see the lips move on one another when out and about publically transporting one another.

Covin-19 3 wise monkies Hear nothing about the virus, Speak nothing about the virus & See no virus.

This virus feels like it is trying to rob us of our humanity and see what we will do with that and quite simply we are having to adapt to survive or have for thought and vision in order to see our way through this.

May the odds for ever be in your favour? Good luck and God speed

In God We Trust

James Mattis latest speech in full

I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand-one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values-our values as people and our values as a nation.

When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens-much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.

 We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.” At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict-a false conflict between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.

James Madison wrote in Federalist 14 that “America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.” We do not need to militarize our response to protests. We need to unite around a common purpose. And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before the law.

Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was `Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is `In Union there is Strength.” We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis-confident that we are better than our politics.

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people- does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.

We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite.

Only by adopting a new path-which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals-will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad.

James Mattis