Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Unused Land at O'Hare Airport Goes To the Bees

Commercial beehive at O'Hare International Airport.

The "airport beekeeping movement" has been growing in Germany since 1999, when scientists realized honeybees could be helpful for monitoring air quality, but O'Hare is the first American airport to get an apiary. In a way, it's a return to the airport's agricultural roots: O'Hare was founded on a former apple orchard, which lives on in the three letter airport code "ORD."

In May, the Chicago Department of Aviation partnered with a community group to start a 2,400 square foot apiary on-site. The project offers a creative, sustainable, and productive way to use otherwise wasted open space at mega-airports like O'Hare. The bees' new home on the east side of the airport campus had long stood vacant, so it was a natural spot for the bee program to begin. And if that's not enough benefit, the beehives provide employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated adults (similar to other projects that teach prisoners beekeeping).

Read more at GOOD | Environment.

Friday, August 19, 2011

BeeAlive to Sponsor National Honey Bee Day [from Issue 2011-8]

Building a Sustainable Future, One Flower at a Time
Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Plans are now fully underway for the 2012 launch of the BeeAlive Trees For Bees
Project™, whose mission serves to help restore the honey bee population. An
important part of this ambitious and much-needed initiative is the support of
environmentally-concerned organizations, which are actively raising public awareness
of the importance of the honey bee to the future of mankind. In keeping with this
goal, we are proud to announce that BeeAlive is becoming a sponsor of the National
Honey Bee Day Program. National Honey Bee Day is Saturday, August 20th and this
year’s theme is “Building a Sustainable Future, One Flower at a Time.”

Although the first official National Honey Bee Day didn’t take place until 2009, some say it was high time for the buzzing little honey makers to gain some public recognition. Indeed, the work that honeybees have done since their arrival on planet
earth has long been taken for granted. The founders of the National Honey Bee Day program were determined to bring some positive press for the often misunderstood creatures. Now including over 49 programs across 22 states, NHBD states three
goals to form their mission statement: promotion and advancement of beekeeping, educating the public to honey bees and beekeeping, and making the public aware of environmental concerns affecting honey bees. All the programs participating in
NHBD must embody these ideals, selling locally grown honey and recruiting new individuals to become beekeepers.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Hidden Beauty of Pollination

With so much discussion about Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and the effects thereof on our food supply, environment and the planet we all share, we wanted to share Louie Schwartzberg's TED Talk about the motivation for his documentary, "Wings of Life". Enjoy! And let us know what you think by commenting below.

Pollination: it's vital to life on Earth, but largely unseen by the human eye. Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg shows us the intricate world of pollen and pollinators with gorgeous high-speed images from his film "Wings of Life", inspired by the vanishing of one of nature's primary pollinators, the honeybee.