Hobby Farms online
Beekeeping Basics: How to Establish a New Apiary
The New York Times
The Real Life of Bees
“The walking, talking, sneaker-wearing honeybees in Jerry Seinfeld’s animated film certainly are cute. But if a beekeeper like me had been in the director’s chair, ‘Bee Movie’ would have looked quite a bit different.”
Boys’ Life Magazine
A Honey of a Mystery
“Beekeepers around the United States are puzzling over big mystery: Beehives buzzing with activity one day are nearly completely empty when next inspected.”Normally when something goes wrong, beekeepers find piles of dead bees and other clues, but with what scientists have named Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), beekeepers find no dead bees—just honey, eggs, larvae and pupae left behind.”
Adventures in Beekeeping: It’s Not Just the Honey That Makes Tending a Hive So Rewarding
“The truth is, I wouldn’t be a beekeeper if it weren’t for a strange man I’d never met falling in love with a lady who was allergic to bees. The pair got married, and, not long after, the fellow sold his hives, honey extractor, smoker, veils, gloves, and back issues of Bee Culture magazine—all easily worth thousands of dollars—to a dear friend of mine for just 250 bucks. I thought it was all rather touching—not to mention quite the haul, as my friend turned right around and gifted the equipment to me.”
Under the Weather: How Climate Change Is Messing with Monroe County
You don’t have to buy into the notion of climate change to recognize that Indiana’s seasons aren’t quite what they used to be. But, if you hope to understand why we’re already seeing wetter springs, hotter summers, less snow in the winter, and more numerous and extreme weather events, maintaining even a grudging open- ness to the reality of climate change—and our contribution to it—certainly helps.
In late 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a special report stating that human activity has
not only caused a 1.8-degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperatures, but, if left unchecked, human activity will continue to boost warming by up to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit globally between 2030 and 2052. That doesn’t mean the planet will warm uniformly; rather, temperatures are likely to increase more over land masses than over bodies of water. “It definitely has gotten warmer in winter [in Indiana],” says Indiana University Department of Geography professor Scott Robeson. “And that’s actually happening all over the northern hemisphere.”
Discover Magazine online
Are We Loving Monarchs to Death?
Until recently, monarchs have mostly been at Mother Nature’s mercy—contending with disease, weather fluctuations, and heavy predation in the wild.
Lately, however, the efforts of a well-meaning public to bring monarch eggs and larvae indoors to raise to maturity, or to purchase large numbers of farmed monarchs for release into the wild, may be making life even more difficult for the beleaguered butterfly. Experts suggest such activities expose monarchs to disease, interfere with its genetic diversity, and stymie scientists’ efforts to track its migration patterns. Sadly, this isn’t the first time our good intentions toward monarchs have gone bad.
Discover Magazine online
Unintended Consequences: The Sinister Side of Species Protection
There’s something dark at work when it comes to certain human-animal interactions.
A recent report from the Ecological Society of America admits that calling attention to plants and animals in need of special protections can actually result in “perverse consequences,” ultimately putting some species in harm’s way—even in the face of stiff penalties.
Beyond Pigeons: Bird watching catches on in the urban jungle
“Okay, so he was dead. But he was also the most stunning wild bird I’d ever seen—probably ever would see. I’d been walking the city alleys of Bloomington, Indiana, when I nearly stepped on a lovely-but-lifeless Indigo Bunting. I recall lightly pinching his paper-thin body between my thumb and index finger. With the smallest movement of my wrist I could make his electric blue head flop from one side to the other. His snapped neck made sense. After all, the neotropical migrant navigates with the stars. Flying at night, he probably never noticed that eight-story brick building smack in the middle of the city’s buzzing downtown—until he smacked into it himself, of course.”
Boys’ Life Magazine
“After half an hour of clawing and biting, four Bronx Zoo grizzlies gave up on the apple-filled canister their keepers tossed them to test. The confounding container manufactured by Garcia Machine was designed to be bear proof, and fortunately for the bears, it is.”
Indiana University Alumni Magazine
The Ordinary Extra-Ordinary Junco: Singing the praises of a research rock star
“From the elusive ivory-billed woodpecker to the well-traveled arctic tern, there are a lot of fantastic birds in the world. Dazzlingly iridescent indigo buntings. American redstarts that very nearly glow. Birds with, at least at first glance, a lot more cachet than an ordinary junco.After all, juncos are ubiquitous, ranging across North and South America. Sometimes called ‘snowbirds’ in Indiana, they arrive in autumn, stay through winter, and will be migrating away soon. (Look closely and you just might spot some of the little, gray birds outside your window right now.) But, when it comes to research value, the unassuming junco is a veritable rock star.”
New Research Shapes Author’s Advice for Wildlife Gardeners
Much can change in 15 years. When author David Mizejewski originally wrote Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife in 2004, wildlife losses certainly were concerning. But now?
One million species are believed to be endangered. “And one-third of all species in the U.S. are at increased risk of extinction in the coming decades,” Mizejewski says. “That’s new.”
How to Garden for Butterfly Life Cycles
Want to encourage more butterflies in your backyard or garden? Consider planting in concert with the lifecycle of butterflies in your region!
Hobby Farms Magazine
Growing versatile luffa gourds pays off in home gardens and at farmers markets.