All posts by Adrienne

Public Health Significance of Urban Pests

The World Health Orginazation has just released a comprehensive report, written by various pest athorities, about the status of urban pests. This report is meant to be a basis for public policy. The orgination asked leading experts on various pests to put together as much information about each pest as possible. The pests covered in the report include cockroaches, dust mites, bedbugs, fleas, pharaoh ants, fire ants, flies, body lice, ticks, and mosquitos. There’s also information about vertebrate pests, as well as a section on allergic asthmas.

The best part, though, is it is published on the web for free:

http://www.euro.who.int/document/e91435.pdf

Although if you’d rather have the bound, hard copy version, you can purchase it from WHO for $120 plus $12 shipping.

http://www.euro.who.int/InformationSources/Publications/Catalogue/20080617_9

Woo!

–Adie

Become a Beekeeper!

(Image courtesy of SolidPerfume.com)

Apartment Therapy (ever heard of them? A great read!) has an interesting article up today about becoming a backyard beekeeper. As food prices rise and people get more interested in sustainable food sources and living-off-the-land, beekeeping is going to become more and more popular in suburbs and cities.

Beekeeping is actually really fun–and you get to eat the local honey you produce. It does take some intense work, however, especially during peak seasons, but I personally think it is well worth the challenge. Warning: if you are allergic to bees, you should not attempt beekeeping under any circumstances! Seriously! You’d be surprised at how many people I know who have gotten into a bad situation doing just that.

For more information, visit the following sites:

The Beekeeper’s Homepage

Backyard Beekeeping

BeeSource

Beekeeping 101

American Association of Professional Apiculturists

Apiculture News

Iowa State University Beekeeping Links

Dadant Beekeeping Supplies

Once I get some land, my beekeeping will shoot up. I can’t wait!

–Adrienne

Cyborg Insect Spies

 cockroach camera

According to reports, scientists have created a network of insect spies–insects with cameras and computer chips embedded in their bodies that send information back to computers. Several articles have commented on the stupidity of these experiments (along with expounding on a variety of conspiracies associated with insect spies), but I think it’s neato. Besides, didn’t we already see this in a movie or two? Everyone knows that once it’s on the big screen it’s real.

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Crime Visits Beekeepers

3221_bee_keeper_520.jpg

Where there is a shortage, there is crime. Isn’t that always the way? In the wake of the latest colony collapse disorder that is haunting beekeepers and getting entomology departments grants left and right has a new effect–the rise in bee colony theft. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

“As the price of pollination soars, each hive becomes a sitting gold mine, sheriff’s deputies say. Skilled criminals simply dump the colony into a new container, and rent the bees to farmers as their own, pocketing the fee they’re paid for pollination.”

“Just from the buzz that’s out there, our detectives are thinking hive thefts are increasing,” said Bill Yoshimoto, project director for the Central Valley-based Agricultural Crime Technology Information and Operations Network. “If there’s even a further shortage because of bee thefts, that’s a problem for everyone.”

According to the article, rental fees for bee hives, which farmers use to polinate acres of stone fruit crops for maximal fruit set, have risen from $55 per have a few years ago to $200 per hive currently. Who knew people would pick up on the profit margin here? It takes a brave criminal to grab a fully buzzin’ beehive. I don’t know about you, but most of the people I know still panic when an innocent worker bee visits a picnic. These guys must have balls of steel.

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