Buzzed on Bees

I’ve been hanging out with my honeybees a lot lately. There are many reasons for this, including:

  • Hives are swarming like gangbusters in our neighborhood. Due to our magnificent spring season  hives have expanded beyond their ‘crib’ and need more room for new queens, brood and  food (pollen). (By the way, don’t freak out when you see honeybees swarm).
  • I’ve been beekeeping for almost nine years and remain a novice about beekeeping and these incredible creatures. I never tire of watching them. Each of my three hives have their own personality.
  • Spring is the busiest time of year for beekeepers. It’s especially important we keep their hives healthy and safe to sustain a fruitful summer and comfortable fall and winter.

By Denise Ryan


Acidification – Faster Than You Think

Tiny calcium carbonate shells tell us how fast the ocean is acidifying.

We were alarmed by recent headlines that said, “Waters Off California Acidifying Faster Than Rest of Oceans, Study Shows.” We live in coastal California. Acidification is a drop in the ocean’s pH that occurs when excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dissolves in seawater. The study featured in the news article examined the fossil shells of foraminifera, a simple-shelled planktonic organism that uses calcium carbonate to build its shells. Researchers found a 20% reduction in calcification in the shells of foraminifera in the last century. Shell-building marine animals need the carbonate ions from the ocean and they’re becoming scarcer with a more acid ocean.

Crisis in Australia

No one could be happier than us that Australia has finally had a reprieve from the devastating fires.

A massive dump of water - more than 400mm (15.7in) in some places - caused flooding and transport chaos, but also helped finish off many of the fires.

While we appreciate the rain, the world has endured a horrendous loss with the destruction of homes and habitats on a massive scale the likes of which we have never seen with an inestimable number of animals killed. The rescue of Australia’s charismatic megafauna, the koalas and kangaroos, have captured our hearts.

Jelly Fish: A Bloomin’ Problem?

In places around the world there are so many jellies in the sea that fishing nets and nuclear reactors become clogged with gelatinous blobs that also cover beaches and freak out tourists.

These are signs of jelly blooms – when huge numbers of jellies, often in the millions, appear seemingly out of nowhere. There’s a perception that there are more jellies and jelly blooms in the ocean now. But, is that true?