Toward a happier honey maker

Photo via Thinkstock.

Photo via Thinkstock.

While searching (in vain) for a twitter handle for Becky Rosen­gaus, whom I blogged about last week, I dis­cov­ered that she intro­duced Best Bees Com­pany founder Noah Wilson-​​Rich to the amazing wonder of bee biology while he was  under­grad­uate at North­eastern: “I was pre-​​med, and I took this amazing class called “Socio­bi­ology” that was taught by Rebecca Rosen­gaus, and it just changed my whole tra­jec­tory,” he told TED blogger Kate Torgovnick.

As you’ve prob­ably heard by now, bees are dis­ap­pearing around the globe and researchers are still strug­gling to work out the com­plex net­work of fac­tors (including habitat loss, insec­ti­cide and fungi­cide use, among others) behind the so-​​called colony col­lapse dis­order. There are fewer than half as many bees on the planet today than there were 70 years ago, and as Tor­gov­nick said, “this should be extremely alarming, given that bees pol­li­nate one-​​third of the world’s crops.”

Wilson-​​Rich spoke at TEDx­Boston last year about how urban bee­keeping pro­vides some­thing of an unex­pected safe-​​haven for the happy honey makers with a bad rap. Take a look: