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You Can Build Your Own Customizable Bee Home For Free With IKEA

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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(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.

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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CAZt3mdAFlR/

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

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“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.”

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 

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Animals

Scientists Thrilled by Discovery of Rare, Mammoth 400-Year-Old Coral

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A massive 400-year-old hard coral discovered on the Great Barrier Reef has scientists expressing their sense of surprise and excitement.

Named Muga dambhi by the Manbarra people, the Indigenous group who have traditionally taken care of the land, the “exceptionally large” brown and cream-colored coral is located off the coast of Goolboodi or Orpheus Island in the Great Barrier Reef.

It is believed that the coral was spawned some 421 to 438 years ago, meaning that its age predates the arrival of Captain James Cook and the advent of colonization in Australia, notes the Guardian.

The spectacular coral is about 35 feet wide and over 17 feet high, and is double the size of the nearest coral.

Scientists and members of the community participating in a marine science course discovered the specimen earlier this year.

While not the largest coral in the world, the huge find is of major significance to the local ecosystem, according to Adam Smith, an adjunct professor at James Cook University who wrote the field note on the find.

“It’s like a block of apartments,” Smith said. “It attracts other species. There’s other corals, there’s fish, there’s other animals around that use it for shelter or for feeding, so it’s pretty important for them.”

“It’s a bit like finding a giant redwood tree in the middle of a botanic gardens,” he added.

It is likely that the coral hasn’t been discovered for such a long time due to its location in a relatively remote and unvisited portion of a Marine National Park zone that enjoys a high degree of protection.

“Over the last 20 or 30 years, no one has noticed, or observed, or thought it newsworthy enough to share photos, or document, or do research on this giant coral,” Smith said.

The coral is in remarkable condition, with over 70 percent of its surface covered in live coral, coral rock and microalgae. No disease, bleaching or recently deceased coral has been recorded on the specimen.

“The cumulative impact of almost 100 bleaching events and up to 80 major cyclones over a period of four centuries, plus declining nearshore water quality contextualise the high resilience of this Porites coral,” the field note added.

The specific coral has been given the name Muga dhambi, meaning big coral, out of respect for the Indigenous knowledge, language, and culture of the Manbarra Traditional Owners.

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Environment

Greenland Ice Washed Away as Summit Sees Rain for First Time in Recorded History

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For the first time in recorded history, torrential downpours of rain have struck Greenland’s icy summit nearly two miles above sea level.

Greenland, an environmentally sensitive island, is typically known for its majestic ice sheet and snowy climate, but this is fast changing due to a massive melt taking place this summer.

However, the typical snowfall has been replaced in recent years not simply by a few showers, but by heavy rainfall. The torrential downpour last week was so huge, in fact, that it washed away a terrifying amount of ice across some 337,000 square miles of the ice shelf’s surface, reports Earther.

Temperatures at the ice shelf had simultaneously warmed to a significant degree, with the summit reaching 33 degrees Fahrenheit – within a degree above freezing and the third time that the shelf has surpassed freezing temperatures this decade.

The fact that rain is falling on ice rather than snow is also significant because it is melting ice across much of southern Greenland, which already saw huge melting events last month, while hastening rising sea levels that threaten to submerge whole coastal cities and communities.

To make matters worse, any new ice formed by the freezing rainwater will not last long. The ice shelf currently existing on Greenland was formed by the compression of snow over innumerable years, which shines bright white and reflects sunlight away rather than absorbing it, as ice from frozen rain does.

The huge scale of the melt and accompanying rainfall illustrate the growing peril of rapidly warming climate conditions across the globe.

“This event by itself does not have a huge impact, but it’s indicative of the increasing extent, duration, and intensity of melting on Greenland,” wrote Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado. “Like the heat wave in the [U.S. Pacific] northwest, it’s something that’s hard to imagine without the influence of global climate change.”

“Greenland, like the rest of the world, is changing,” Scambos told the Washington Post. “We now see three melting events in a decade in Greenland — and before 1990, that happened about once every 150 years. And now rainfall: in an area where rain never fell.”

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Environment

South Korean Toilet Turns Poo Into Green Energy and Pays Its Users Digital Cash

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What if your morning #2 not only powered your stove to cook your eggs, but also allowed you to pay for your coffee and pastry on the way to class?

It seems like an absurd question, but one university in South Korea has invented a toilet that allows human excrement to not only be used for clean power, but also dumps a bit of digital currency into your wallet that can be exchanged for some fruit or cup noodles at the campus canteen, reports Reuters.

The BeeVi toilet – short for Bee-Vision – was designed by urban and environmental engineering professor Cho Jae-weon of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), and is meant to not only save resources but also reward students for their feces.

The toilet is designed to first deliver your excrement into a special underground tank, reducing water use, before microorganisms break the waste down into methane, a clean source of energy that can power the numerous appliances that dorm life requires.

“If we think out of the box, feces has precious value to make energy and manure,” Cho explained. “I have put this value into ecological circulation.”

The toilet can transform approximately a pound of solid human waste – roughly the average amount people poop per day – into some 50 liters of methane gas, said Cho. That’s about enough to generate half a kilowatt hour of electricity, enough to transport a student throughout campus for some of their school day.

Cho has even devised a special virtual currency for the BeeVi toilet called Ggool, or honey in Korean. Users of the toilet can expect to earn 10 Ggool per day, covering some of the many expenses students rack up on campus every day.

Students have given the new system glowing reviews, and don’t even mind discussing their bodily functions at lunchtime – even expressing their hopes to use their fecal credits to purchase books.

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