Posts Tagged ‘Bees’

Millions of Bees move in to foreclosed homes

April 20, 2008

Photographs by Stephen Crowley/The New York Times  KEEPERS OF THE BEES B. Keith Councell removes bees from houses in Lee County, Fla., and keeps them at the St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Monastery with help from Mother Andrea Nicholas, top right. The monastery uses the honey and beeswax. Signs of bees abound, even on power line poles on Pine Island. From The New York Times By JOHN LELAND Published: April 20, 2008 click to read more and see video.
CAPE CORAL, Fla. — In a county with one of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates, empty houses have attracted a new type of nonpaying tenant: bees.     Residential foreclosure rates are high in Cape Coral, Fla.     Tens of thousands of honeybees, building nests in garages, rafters, even furniture left behind.    When a swarm came to the foreclosed ranch house at 3738 Santa Barbara Place in Cape Coral, town officials called B. Keith Councell, a fourth generation beekeeper and licensed bee remover.     On a recent evening, Mr. Councell stood at the light blue house’s open garage door as hundreds of honeybees buzzed over his head and past his ears, disappearing into a hole behind the water meter. The house has been without a human occupant since December.     Then he did what he does at most foreclosed homes: nothing.     “If it’s in the yard I just take care of it,” Mr. Councell said. “But if it’s in the structure, usually I can’t get permission to go in. And it’s a problem, because somebody’s going to get stung. It creates a risk for everybody around.”     Foreclosed houses around the country have been colonized by squatters, collegiate revelers, methamphetamine cooks, stray dogs, rats and other uninvited guests. Mr. Councell, 35, only has eyes for bees.    Last year, he said, he answered calls about bees in more than 100 vacant houses, and the volume was higher this year.

 

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Study: Flowers Losing Smell

April 19, 2008

From Live Science By LiveScience Staff posted: 11 April 2008 ET click to read more.
Spring’s bloom may not smell so sweet anymore, as pollutants from power plants and automobiles destroy flowers’ aromas, a new study suggests.     The finding could help explain why some pollinators, particularly bees, are declining in certain parts of the world.     Researchers at the University of Virginia created a mathematical model of how the scents of flowers travel with the wind. The scent molecules produced by the flowers readily bond with pollutants such as ozone, which destroys the aromas they produce.     So instead of wafting for long distances with the wind, the flowery scents are chemically altered. Essentially, the flowers no longer smell like flowers.     “The scent molecules produced by flowers in a less polluted environment, such as in the 1800s, could travel for roughly 1,000 to 1,200 meters [3,300 to 4,000 feet]; but in today’s polluted environment downwind of major cities, they may travel only 200 to 300 meters [650 to 980 feet],” said study team member Jose D. Fuentes.