(TMU) – World Bee Day, on May 20, is a day to celebrate the bees of the world and scientists and conservationists aim to raise the awareness of the vital role bees. These tiny creatures and other pollinators form an essential part of our ecosystem and are responsible for about a third of the world’s food supply. Humans have been destroying their natural habitat and as a consequence, bees are on the edge of extinction.
IKEA’s external innovation hub, SPACE10, to celebrate World Bee Day, launched Bee Home in partnership with Bakken & Bæck (recently named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2020 by Fast Company) and designer Tanita Klein. The projects goal is to assist people worldwide to design and download a Bee Home, for free, to take action and help in the preservation of bees.
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Today, on World Bee Day, we launch Bee Home: a project together with @space10_journal and designer @tanita_klein. Bee Home is a digital platform that makes it easy for anyone to create a sophisticated sanctuary in their own backyards for the most vital living species on our planet: solitary bees. Link in bio! #BeeHome
Climate change, human impact and invasive species have put bees under threat of extinction which is why SPACE10, with their new Bee Home project, aims to make it easy for people to take action to preserve bees locally. In collaboration with Bakken & Bæck and designer Tanita Klein, they launched an open-source Bee Home.
IKEA marks a new era of democratic design with Bee Home’s free, open source design. Marking a new era of democratic design Bee Home is a free, open-source design. “With a design that is flexible and accessible through open-source design principles, everyone, everywhere is empowered to design and fabricate their own Bee Home locally,” the creatives behind the project explained.
Solitary bees make up 90% of all bees and live alone and not in colonies.They great pollinators and one can provide as much pollination as 120 honey bees. Since they live alone, they only need small holes where they can store their pollen and lay their eggs, protected from moisture and the weather.
In an effort to encourage people to take action locally by preserving solitary bees, the Bee Home project’s three step process makes it easy for anyone to design a lovely and unique home for this essential threatened species. To create their your own bee home all you need to do is select the size, visual style, and preferred placement, such as a balcony, rooftop, or garden.
Once the design is done you simply download your personalized design files, with building instructions, for free. The files can then be forwarded to your local CNC machine owner where it can be built using digital production and finally, you can place your bee home in your chosen location and draw the bees to the area by planting some flowers in close proximity for the bees to pollinate.
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Solitary bees have maintained biodiversity and kept our planet healthy for millions of years.⠀ ⠀ But, as we humans have built cities and expanded industrial farming across the planet, we have jeopardised their natural habitat. ⠀ ⠀ Solitary bees do not live in complex hives like honey bees. In fact, all they need is small holes to store pollen and lay eggs — and protection from weather and moisture.⠀ ⠀ Soon you can design your own Bee Home for free. Our open-source design ensures that most local makerspaces are able to help you build it — so that together we can help bees, and planet Earth, thrive again.⠀ ⠀ Launching on World Bee Day, 20 May 2020. Made in collaboration with @bakkenbaeck and @tanita_klein.⠀ ⠀ #BeeHome #SPACE10 #SaveTheBees
“I want people to design a dream home for bees that provides the perfect environment for their offspring, while at the same time being incredibly easy to design, assemble, and place,’’ designer Tanita Klein explained. “It was important for me that Bee Home is aesthetically pleasing and almost feels like you’ve added a sculpture to your garden or your balcony. This project really exemplifies how design can be good for both people and their environment.”
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Today, on World Bee Day, we are excited and proud to release our latest open-source design project: a home for bees.⠀ ⠀ With Bee Home, it’s easy and free for anyone anywhere to design a beautiful home for bees.⠀ ⠀ Let’s help bees, and planet Earth, thrive again. Follow the link in our bio to design your own Bee Home.⠀ ⠀ #BeeHome #SPACE10 #SaveTheBees⠀ ⠀ Made in collaboration with @bakkenbaeck and @tanita_klein.
If you’re afraid of bees and feel apprehensive of having them in close proximity, don’t worry. Solitary bees are friendly, and, unlike honey bees, they don’t produce honey and therefore don’t have anything to protect from prey. Male bees don’t have a sting and make up a large portion of the solitary bee population.
The bee house requires little to no maintenance other than perhaps a quick cleaning every third year, after the babies have left the house. According to the Bee Home creatives, “once you put it up, you should just leave it be.”
More info: Bee Home
Scientists Horrified as Over 27,000 Leaking Barrels of Toxic DDT Discovered on Seafloor Near LA
Over 27,000 barrels of the toxic insecticide DDT have been found so far on the seafloor about 12 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, in what could be one of the greatest examples of industrial pollution uncovered in recent memory.
The barrels have been leaking, and researchers fear that there could be up to a few hundred thousand barrels of DDT waste in total. Over 100,000 total objects have been found in the area by researchers at the University of California San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
The barrels cover an area roughly spanning double the size of Manhattan and lie off the coast of Santa Catalina Island, which is home to dozens of endemic species that exist nowhere else in the world.
DDT waste has been linked to cancer and widespread disease among humans as well as mass die-off events in the natural world. It is likely that the vast trove of illegally dumped DDT could be linked to the widespread cancer faced by sea lions along the West Coast.
“Unfortunately, the basin offshore Los Angeles has been a dumping ground for industrial waste for several decades, beginning in the 1930s. We found an extensive debris field in the wide area survey,” said Eric Terrill, chief scientist of the expedition and director of the Marine Physical Laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said in a statement.
Los Angeles Times reports that shipping logs from a disposal company implicate Montrose Chemical Corp. of California, a company that produced DDT, in likely dumping some 2,000 barrels of DDT-laced sludge each month from 1947 to 1961 into a designated dumpsite.
Additionally, logs from other entities show that several other industrial concerns in Southern California used the basin as a dumping ground until 1972, when the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act was enacted.
Florida Set to Release a Billion Genetically Modified Mosquitoes in “Nightmare” Experiment
Environmentalists and Florida residents voiced concern and outrage Monday as state government officials and the biotechnology giant Oxitec announced plans to move ahead this week with a pilot project that involves releasing up to a billion genetically engineered mosquitoes in Monroe County over a two-year period.
Presented by local authorities as an effort to control the population of Aedes aegypti—a mosquito species that can carry both the dengue and yellow fever virus—critics warn that the effort’s supposed benefits and its potential negative consequences have not been sufficiently studied.
Responding to news that the first boxes of genetically modified mosquitos are set to be placed in six locations in Monroe County this week, Friends of the Earth noted in a press release that “scientists have raised concerns that GE mosquitoes could create hybrid wild mosquitoes which could worsen the spread of mosquito-borne diseases and could be more resistant to insecticides than the original wild mosquitoes.”
Dana Perls, food and technology program manager at Friends of the Earth, called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—which approved the project last May—to “halt this live experiment immediately.”
“This is a dark moment in history,” said Perls. “The release of genetically engineered mosquitoes puts Floridians, the environment, and endangered species at risk in the midst of a pandemic. This release is about maximizing Oxitec’s profits, not about the pressing need to address mosquito-borne diseases.”
The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District and Oxitec said late last week that “less than 12,000 mosquitoes are expected to emerge each week” in Monroe Country over a duration of around three months, the initial phase of the experiment.
The stated goal of the project is for Oxitec’s genetically altered, non-biting male mosquitos to mate with the local biting female population, producing female offspring that die in the larval stage before they can spread disease.
As the Miami Herald explained earlier this year: “A ‘death mechanism’ designed into mosquitoes is meant to ensure no viable female offspring will result from the mating, according to Oxitec. The male offspring will pass on the ‘self-limiting gene’ to half of their offspring, said company spokesman Ross Bethell.”
“My family’s bodies, blood, and private property are being used in this trial without human safety studies or my consent,” Mara Daly, a resident and local business owner in Key Largo, Florida, said in a statement Monday.
Barry Wray, executive director of the Florida Keys Environmental Coalition, added that the “EPA has set the lowest possible bar for approving genetically engineered insects and has opened Pandora’s Box for future experiments that will slide through with little investigation.”
“Everyone should be writing the White House to stop this release until there are regulations and standards that truly protect us,” Wray said.
Republished from CommonDreams.org under Creative Commons
Rapid Melting of Glaciers Has Shifted Earth’s Axis, Study Reveals
Since 1980, the planet’s north and south poles have moved roughly four meters in distance, and new research shows that shifts in the Earth’s rotational axis have accelerated since the 1990s as a result of the widespread melting of glaciers—a clear manifestation, scientists say, of the climate emergency.
“Faster ice melting under global warming was the most likely cause of the directional change of the polar drift in the 1990s,” Shanshan Deng—a researcher from the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences—told the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Thursday.
In a study published last month in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letter, Deng and her co-authors found that changes in terrestrial water storage—particularly the accelerated loss of water stored on land due to melting glaciers—redistributed enough of the world’s mass to drive “the rapid polar drift toward the east after the 1990s.”
As The Guardian explained Friday:
The planet’s geographic north and south poles are the point where its axis of rotation intersects the surface, but they are not fixed. Changes in how the Earth’s mass is distributed around the planet cause the axis, and therefore the poles, to move.
In the past, only natural factors such as ocean currents and the convection of hot rock in the deep Earth contributed to the drifting position of the poles. But the new research shows that since the 1990s, the loss of hundreds of billions of tons of ice a year into the oceans resulting from the climate crisis has caused the poles to move in new directions.
The scientists found the direction of polar drift shifted from southward to eastward in 1995 and that the average speed of drift from 1995 to 2020 was 17 times faster than from 1981 to 1995.
The AGU noted that “researchers have been able to determine the causes of polar drifts starting from 2002 based on data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), a joint mission by NASA and the German Aerospace Center, launched with twin satellites that year and a follow-up mission in 2018.”
Data from the GRACE satellites has enabled scientists to “link glacial melting to movements of the pole in 2005 and 2012, both following increases in ice losses,” The Guardian reported. “But Deng’s research breaks new ground by extending the link to before the satellite’s launch, showing human activities have been shifting the poles since the 1990s, almost three decades ago.”
While Deng’s team showed that the accelerated decline in water stored on land stemming from glacial losses “is the main driver” of polar drift since the 1990s, the researchers wrote that groundwater depletion in non-glacial regions has also contributed to the movements.
“Groundwater is stored under land but, once pumped up for drinking or agriculture, most eventually flows to sea, redistributing its weight around the world,” The Guardian noted. “In the past 50 years, humanity has removed 18 trillion tons of water from deep underground reservoirs without it being replaced.”
Vincent Humphrey, a climate scientist at the University of Zurich who was not involved in the study, told AGU that the new research “tells you how strong this mass change is—it’s so big that it can change the axis of the Earth.”
This shift in the Earth’s axis, however, is too small to affect daily life, Humphrey added. It could change the length of day, but only by milliseconds.
Nonetheless, other climate experts such as Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Arizona, have said before that the mere fact that the climate crisis is driving polar movements demonstrates “how real and profoundly large an impact humans are having on the planet.”
Republished from CommonDreams.org under Creative Commons