beeing on Indiegogo brings B-box to urban beekeeping

July 3, 2019 by  
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Beekeeping practices have gone urban, with a family-friendly option in the newly-developed B-box. Available via the current Indiegogo campaign, B-box might be the answer to the question of how to fix the dramatic decline in bee populations over recent years. Now everyone can be part of the solution with a hive that works for any beekeeper , even those living in an urban apartment. Beekeeping practices have been around for generations. The age-old art of smoking out bees while wearing protective clothing is a more bee-friendly option than the original hive-killing practice of knocking the hive out of a tree to retrieve the honey. Although the backyard bee boxes are great if you have plenty of open space, the number of people who have the ideal property has been limited, until now.  Related: MaliArts designs city-chic beehives to save solitary bees The B-box, by Italian company beeing, offers several benefits over traditional boxes. The structure is made of wood , with a removable panel that allows you to view the bees at work any time you want. This method is easier and safer than lifting the lid on a regular hive. Plus, it is not disruptive to the colony. The bee chimney where the bees come can go sits over seven feet off the ground, allowing the bees access without putting handlers at risk.  Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the design is the honeycomb collection compartment. The system encourages the bees to leave the area with the pull of a lever and doesn’t let them back in. The honey is then harvested by removing honeycomb frames without the use of smoke or specialized gear. The frames are much smaller than traditional versions so you can remove one at a time and collect the honey without impacting the bees. The hive is also customizable with a variety of options regarding how to set it up. It is suitable for any space, even a balcony, with base dimensions measuring 67×47 cm or 27×19 inches. The B-box is production ready and beeing is currently accepting pre-orders via the Indiegogo campaign, which closes in a few weeks, and the first shipments are expected in November. + B-box Images via B-box

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beeing on Indiegogo brings B-box to urban beekeeping

Antarctica loses record amount of ice

July 3, 2019 by  
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A new study using satellite images of Antarctica reveals a remarkable spike in ice melt over the last five years. Although the extent of the ice was expanding since 1974, after 2014, Antarctica lost nearly 810,815 square miles of ice. Scientists aren’t ready to point their fingers at climate change as the culprit, but regardless of what is to blame, the loss in ice has an enormous impact on the South Pole’s ecosystem. “It went from its 40-year high in 2014, all the way down in 2017 to its 40-year low,” said the author of the study , climatologist Claire Parkinson. There was a similar massive retreat of ice in the 1970s, which is why researchers aren’t sure if this is due to global warming — and if it is permanent. Despite the overall loss in ice over the past five years, there was some growth in 2017; scientists are hopeful that this could be part of the relatively normal cycling of ice. Related: NASA finds cavity the size of Manhattan underneath Antarctic glacier Regardless of what caused it and whether or not it is gone forever, the loss in ice is bad news for local species and for global warming in the rest of the world. “Sea ice also affects the polar ecosystem, including penguins and whales and seals, petrels and albatrosses, krill, and a whole range of additional animals and marine plant life,” Parkinson said. In addition, ice reflects about 50 to 70 percent of the sun’s rays back out into space, which helps keep the Earth’s surface cool. By comparison, EcoWatch reported that the dark blue ocean absorbs 90 percent of light. “The plunge in the average annual extent means Antarctica lost as much sea ice in four years as the Arctic lost in 34 years,” tweeted a concerned Greta Thunberg. Via EcoWatch Image via John B. Weller / The Pew Charitable Trusts / U.S. Department of State

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This rustic tiny home on wheels spans just 90 square feet

July 3, 2019 by  
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When it comes to tiny home design, sometimes it’s the itsy-bitsy spaces that show us how to live big. The Vancouver-based designers at Backcountry Tiny Homes have proved just that with a gorgeous tiny home on wheels that measures merely 16 feet long. Although incredibly compact, savvy design strategies, including oversized windows and a charming front porch, give The Acorn a certain character that overcomes its small stature. The Acorn tiny house, part of the company’s Mountain Series, is designed for the adventurer in us all. Perfect for either a weekend cabin in the mountains or an off-grid home near the beach, this tiny home is a great fit for just about any lifestyle. Related: Basecamp tiny home boasts a large rooftop deck for mountain-climbing couple and 3 dogs The tiny home ‘s exterior is clad in a honey-toned knotty cedar with a bit of black metal siding. A charming front porch gives the residence a welcoming vibe. The cabin’s interior is just 90 square feet but manages to pack a lot of punch into the space. A major factor in its sophisticated design is the multiple oversized windows that let in ample natural light and connect the living space with the outdoors. Adding to the rustic charm is the wooden interior with Alpine Backwoods flooring and tongue and groove spruce paneling on the walls. The home boasts a small living room with a comfy sofa that folds out into a queen-sized mattress. On the opposite wall, a small table that can be used for dining or working folds up when it is not in use. High up on the walls, just under the ceiling, is a wrap-around shelf for storage . Additional storage is found in the nooks and crannies throughout the home. The bathroom is more than big enough for such a small space and comes with a full-sized shower, toilet and a vanity cabinet. The kitchen is a tight squeeze but offers all of the basic amenities as well as one major surprise. Hooked up to the kitchen is a built-in Sweepovac vacuum system that is the perfect amenity for keeping the tiny space tidy. According to the designers, the Acorn comes with tight insulation that makes it feasible for almost any climate. Additionally, the tiny home can be custom-designed with additional features such as off-grid capabilities . + Backcountry Tiny Homes Via Tiny House Talk Images via Backcountry Tiny Homes

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This rustic tiny home on wheels spans just 90 square feet

Heatwave roasts mussels alive in California

July 3, 2019 by  
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An unusual heatwave sent droves of Californians to the beach, where they were met with hundreds of unfamiliar beach-goers – cooked mussels. Consecutive days of high temperatures caused a widespread die-off of mussels along Northern California’s Bodega Bay, a marine reserve and fishing community. Ecologists reported similar die-of scenarios throughout a 140 mile stretch of coastline. Although there was a similar die-off of mussels in 2004, this appears to be the largest in 15 years. With low-tide temperatures reaching up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the mussels were roasted right in their shells and washed up on the beaches fully cooked. Related: Trash collecting device returned to Pacific garbage patch Scientists worry that although they can see the damage to the mussel population by walking along the shore, there could be other widespread damage to other species and ecosystems below the water and out of eyesight, as mussels are a critical species within their ecosystem. “Mussels are known as a foundation species . The equivalent are the trees in a forest– they provide shelter and habitat for a lot of animals, so when you impact that core habitat it ripples throughout the rest of the system,” said marine research coordinator, Jackie Sones. “These events are definitely becoming more frequent, and more severe. Mussels are one of the canaries in the coal mine for climate change, only this canary provides food and habitat for hundreds of other species,” said Christopher Harley, a biologist at the University of British Columbia. Much research about rising sea levels and temperatures focuses on nearshore tropical ecosystems, where coral reefs are sensitive to even the slightest shifts in temperature or acidity. Less research exists for cooler coastlines and open waters such as Northern California, but the mussel die-off is evidence that the negative impacts of climate change have already reached these waters. Via The Guardian Image via joycemay

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These resorts are working diligently at sea turtle conservation

July 3, 2019 by  
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According to WWF, six out of seven of the world’s sea turtle species are threatened with extinction due largely in part to plastic pollution, climate change and poaching. Only one in every 1,000 marine turtle eggs will survive to adulthood, and one in two turtles have ingested plastic at some point. Female sea turtles are able to navigate through the ocean to return to the same beach they hatched on to nest, and many of those beaches are located within the property of popular resorts. Thankfully, a number of these resorts remain dedicated to ecotourism and the protection of the majestic creatures that frequent these beaches. Check out these resorts from around the world with conservation programs aimed (and succeeding) at sea turtle conservation. Related: Kin Travel is offering unique vacations that benefit destinations through conservation Panama Jack Resort, Cancun, Mexico All-inclusive and green-certified Panama Jack Resort in Cancun, Mexico celebrated World Sea Turtle Day in 2019 by implementing a new “Sea Turtle Package” available from August to November. The package includes a donation to the Sea Turtle Conservancy , a hands-on session with the resort’s conservation team and themed amenities such as a turtle bracelet and T-shirt. Each season, Panama Jack Cancun helps to create an environment that yields more than 10,000 hatched sea turtle eggs, thanks to its conservation efforts and the resort’s “Turtle Protection Committee.” The committee is responsible for beach cleanups and nest building at the on-site turtle farm, and the resort offers ecology courses for employees to learn about the proper handling of eggs. Guests are invited to participate in beach cleanups and watch the sunset turtle hatch and release. Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa, Costa Rica Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa in Costa Rica teamed up with local organization Osa Conservation to create a wellness-focused “Save the Sea Turtles” retreat program for yogis who want to do their part for the environment. The Osa Peninsula is visited each year by olive ridley and black or Pacific green turtles, who come to nest on the southern beaches. The specialized retreat is usually offered from April to November, but during other times of the year, guests can contact the retreat for turtle activity. Guests will participate in morning and evening patrols, sea turtle egg recovery and an early morning sea turtle release. Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa, Florida In collaboration with local ocean conservation organization Loggerhead Marinelife Center , the Jupiter Beach Resort in Florida offers a special “Stay and Save the Turtles” package. For guests staying three nights or more, the resort will adopt a native sea turtle in your name, and you’ll receive a resort credit and turtle-themed toy. The adoption directly contributes to the continued care and treatment of sick and injured sea turtles at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center as well as further study of the green, leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles that nest at Juno Beach, Jupiter and Tequesta. Turtle Beach Resort, Barbados Green Globe-certified Turtle Beach Resort sits on a stretch of coastline where leatherbacks and hawksbill turtles love to visit during nesting months. The Caribbean resort has teamed up with The Barbados Sea Turtle Project to create a hotel team of “turtle pioneers” responsible for teaching guests about ocean conservation and leading hatching sea turtles from their nests into the ocean. The conservation team organizes beach cleanup days, in which guests are also invited to participate. Surfing Turtle Lodge & Leon, Nicaragua The Surfing Turtle Lodge in Los Brasiles, Nicaragua created its own turtle hatchery in order to protect the nesting areas on the property frequented by olive ridleys, leatherbacks and green turtles. Unaffiliated with any other organization or charity, the Surfing Turtle hatchery is completely operated by the hotel employees and guests. While the hatchings occur year-round, the peak season runs from September through February in the area, and guests are able to experience baby turtles being released into the sea. Four Seasons Resort Nevis, West Indies Located in St. Kitts & Nevis, The Four Seasons has worked with the Sea Turtle Conservancy and the Nevis Turtle Group since 2006, helping both visitors and residents protect native sea turtles . Sea turtle migration patterns within the open ocean are still somewhat of a mystery to scientists, and the satellite tracking devices can be costly. Every year, the resort sponsors two GPS satellite transmitters to assist the Sea Turtle Conservancy in tracking the migration patterns of sea turtles who return to Nevis annually to nest. Guests staying at the hotel can participate in identifying and marking sea turtle nests and obtaining data to track and study turtle migration paths. Guests can also help team members locate the actual turtles to be fitted with the GPS (after they have finished nesting, of course). This valuable information will give conservationists the tools and information they need to better protect the endangered sea turtles. Images via Jakob Owens , Isabella Jusková and Randall Ruiz

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These resorts are working diligently at sea turtle conservation

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