Bee hive vandalism in Iowa kills tens of thousands of honeybees

October 15, 2018 by  
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Bee vandals have struck again, this time at the Grateful Acres Farm northeast of Des Moines, Iowa. Last week, farmer Jake Knutson discovered that someone had trashed three of his strongest hives with cinder blocks, logs and bricks, causing him to lose tens of thousands of bees and 150 pounds of honey. The vandalism allowed bees from nearby farms to steal the honey from the exposed containers, and it also left Knutson’s insects to die in the rain. During the past year, hive vandalism has made news all over the world and killed hundreds of thousands of bees, including massacres in California , Ontario and Manchester, England, according to USA Today . Last winter, vandals also hit another Iowa farm, killing 500,000 honeybees. The insects do not fly in cold temperatures, and they died on the ground in the snow. Related: Bees addicted to pesticides much like smokers to nicotine, scientists say In last year’s Iowa vandalism case that caused over $60,000 in damages, two boys — ages 12 and 13 — ended up with felony charges. Knutson believes that kids are to blame for the current damage on his farm. Even though he doesn’t want to see kids get into trouble, he did contact authorities, because the vandals showed up two different times, and he doesn’t believe they should get a pass. “That means whomever did this came back within the last day and a half with the intent to destroy them,” Knutson wrote on Facebook. “The first time I guessed it was curious kids, and I was just wanting to speak to their parents, but after the recent incident I filed a police report and will prosecute when they find them.” Knutson saved as many bees as he could, and he plans to rebuild the hives for next year. One of Knutson’s friends created a GoFundMe account to help the farm recoup its losses. Knutson says that they will be able to recover, but “it just sucks” that someone would destroy everything after the huge investment of time and labor into the hives. Knutson also wrote on social media that bee vandalism seems to be a growing trend among kids, and parents need to teach their children about the importance of bees and seek out a local beekeeper to support . According to estimates, 35 percent of all food production depends on bee pollination. Meanwhile, honeybees continue to die off at an alarming rate. Via USA Today and EcoWatch Photography by Marisa Lubeck via USGS

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Bee hive vandalism in Iowa kills tens of thousands of honeybees

Barn-inspired home offers back-to-nature living with a crisp, contemporary twist

October 15, 2018 by  
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Reconnecting with rural roots has never looked better than at Silvernails, a beautiful hillside home fashioned as a rural barn in Rhinebeck, New York. Set on a picturesque 120-acre property near the east side of the Hudson River, the gabled holiday retreat is the first “ground-up” residential work of Manhattan-based Amalgam Studio . In addition to its modern good looks and spectacular outdoor views, Silvernails also boasts an energy-efficient design optimized for cross-ventilation and daylighting. Spanning 5,000 square feet, the timber-clad home is organized as a long and linear rectangular mass clad in timber inside and out. “Much like the traditional communal barn-raising events of the region, the double-height Bent Frames were raised and bolted into place, with the entire timber structure completed in one day,” explained Amalgam Studio founder Ben Albury, who noted that although many people are drawn to the airy and warm character of barns , the rural buildings’ lack of insulation and comfort are turn-offs. To make the barn-inspired residence a comfortable and welcome place to call home, the architects used high-performance glazing and insulation to ensure stable indoor temperatures year-round. In-wall heat-recovery ventilation units and operable windows also promote continuous fresh air. “From the very beginning, the clients wanted a comfortable house. I believe it would have been irresponsible for me not to look at, and ultimately follow, Passive House Standards,” Albury said. “As far as I’m aware, the home features the longest triple-glazed Passive House Certified residential skylight in North America.” In addition to natural ventilation and lighting, Silvernails features LED lighting, an energy-efficient multi-split heat-pump air conditioning system and locally sourced materials. Related: A Michigan farmhouse is reborn as a beautiful modern vacation retreat The exterior is clad with unpainted “plantation pine” treated to withstand rot and pests and applied using a “unique, innovative clip system to the standing seams of roof sheeting.” The interiors include white oak flooring and lining, walnut cabinetry and hickory vanity units. The timber palette is complemented with domestically quarried stone, including granite and slate. + Amalgam Studio Via ArchDaily Images by Oliver Mint

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Barn-inspired home offers back-to-nature living with a crisp, contemporary twist

This tiny shipping container home adapts to your needs

October 15, 2018 by  
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The tiny-living movement is thriving for a variety of reasons. An emphasis on minimalism, financial benefits and location freedom top the list. Many people who consider investing in a tiny home worry about size constraints, but the Calico tiny home by Katz Box offers a solution to that concern by offering a shipping container structure that adapts to its residents’ needs. Sustainability drives the Ohio-based Katz Box company with the goal of lowering the environmental impact of housing through reclaimed and recycled shipping containers. On the manufacturing end, the team is also committed to focusing on processing that minimizes waste. Related: Old shipping container repurposed as a 40-foot-tall parking booth In addition to creating an eco-friendly option through upcycling , the Calico design highlights a modular blueprint, meaning that each section of the interior is customizable to suit a variety of functions. An option for commercial or individual needs, the Calico provides a universal model to suit an endless array of demands, yet is completely tailored for a personal touch. The adaptable components don’t stop with the interior modular variations. In fact, this home can grow or shrink with the needs of the family. When more space is required, an additional shipping container or two can be added, making for a thoughtful and completely scalable design. Similarly, when the kids move out and it’s time to minimize, the added shipping containers can be removed. Mobility is another feature of the Calico, which can be relocated with ease. Appealing for the individual who moves often, it’s also an option for retail locations or temporary housing and offices, such as those on construction sites. Katz Box, the passion project company born from the sustainable mindset of owner Tobias Katz, is a relatively new option in the tiny-living movement. Founded in 2017, the objectives of Katz Box are many, including the goals of universal design elements and an accessible price point. Katz Box also aims to employ ultra-efficient building practices such as renewable energy and water conservation. + Katz Box Images via Tobias Katz

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This tiny shipping container home adapts to your needs

Stressed-out young bees contribute to colony collapse disorder, research shows

February 11, 2015 by  
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Colony Collapse Disorder , a condition represented by the sudden disappearance of bee colonies, has long been a source of concern. The devastating epidemic is generally thought to be caused by pesticides and other environmental stressors, but new research shows there may be an additional cause: stressed-out young adult bees. Read the rest of Stressed-out young bees contribute to colony collapse disorder, research shows Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bees , colony collapse disorder , crops , Environment , farming , food sustainability , hives , honey bees , pollination , stress , stressors , young bees

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Stressed-out young bees contribute to colony collapse disorder, research shows

New Study Suggests Pesticide-Tainted Pollen is Killing Bees By The Millions

July 26, 2013 by  
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Although it’s obvious that something is killing bees in mass quantities, for years scientists have struggled to finger a culprit. A continued mass die-off of honey bees would be disastrous for our food system, so investigations into possible causes have become more urgent. A new study published just days ago claims that a toxic cocktail of pesticides and fungicides has contaminated the pollen that bees collect and bring back to the hive. Bees affected by chemical combination demonstrated a dramatically diminished ability to fight off parasitic invasion, which eventually proves fatal. Read the rest of New Study Suggests Pesticide-Tainted Pollen is Killing Bees By The Millions Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: agriculture , bee die-offs , beehives , bees , food system , fungicides , hives , pesticides , poison , pollen , pollination , pollinators        

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New Study Suggests Pesticide-Tainted Pollen is Killing Bees By The Millions

A Bad Winter and Pesticides Spell More Trouble for Honeybees

March 30, 2010 by  
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Photo: pdphoto.org TreeHugger has reported in the past about the mysterious honeybee decline due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Without any discernible explanation, entire hives of honeybees have been abandoning their hives and dying. There are likely many reasons for CCD, including: parasites, viruses, bacteria, poor nutrition, and pesticides

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A Bad Winter and Pesticides Spell More Trouble for Honeybees

Democrats Are Most Trusted on Energy Issues. So Why Can’t They Get Their Act Together?

March 30, 2010 by  
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Photo via Life A recent Washington Post/ABC poll reveals that the issue which Democrats are most trusted with is Energy Policy –by a long shot. The poll asked citizens this question: “Which political party, the (Democrats) or the (Republicans), do you trust to do a better job handling (Issue)?” And when “Energy Policy” was placed in the “Issue” box, 49% of respondents said that they trusted Democrat… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Democrats Are Most Trusted on Energy Issues. So Why Can’t They Get Their Act Together?

Acknowledging the Legacy of Cheap Agricultural Exports

March 30, 2010 by  
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Image credit: Grist Years of foreign aid and cheap food imports, a recent article in the Washington Post points out, stripped Haiti of its agricultural infrastructure. Grist adds that the subsidies that keep the United States’ agricultural exports cheap hurt lots of people, both at home and abroad…. Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Acknowledging the Legacy of Cheap Agricultural Exports

When Social Networks Start Doing Good

March 30, 2010 by  
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Image credit: Good Updating status, posting on a wall, buzzing, tweeting, checking in, connecting: Social networks have become a powerful and pervasive tool for communicating with our friends and colleagues. But what happens when these tools find a purpose beyond social networking and start helping social good?…

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Rare Bumblebee Species Rediscovered in Scotland after 50 Years

February 23, 2010 by  
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Bombus vestalis , better known as the Southern Cuckoo bumblebee. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons It’s been absent from the hives of Scotland for 50 years but, it seems, the Southern Cuckoo bumblebee has returned . Still common in England, the curi..

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Rare Bumblebee Species Rediscovered in Scotland after 50 Years

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