Are we doing enough to protect honey bees? How might this environmental issue impact you? What do you think will happen if there are no more honey bees?
Since 2006, honey bees have been dying at an alarming rate. The event, called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has killed about one third of all honey bees within the US.
We depend on honey bees to pollinate crops that we eat every day—apples, cucumbers, blueberries, broccoli, onions, pumpkins, carrots, avocados, almonds, strawberries, soybeans, watermelon, and more. The bees’ services are estimated to be worth $20-30 billion in agricultural production annually in the US alone.
Researchers have found links to CCD with certain pesticides called neonicotinoids. Last month, nations within the European Union voted a two-year ban on neonicotinoids to protect honey bees.
The US Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency came out with a 72-page report on honey bee health determining that pesticides in combination with other factors—including parasitic mites, low genetic diversity in bees, and poor nutrition—are contributing to CCD. Neither organization recommends banning neonicotinoids as the EU has done, but would like beekeepers and growers to collaborate on best practices with use of pesticides.
The US organizations will update an action plan to include priorities in combating CCD over the next 5-10 years.
KQED and the California Academy of Sciences recently teamed up to produce Earthquake--a new eBook and iTunes U Course. Incorporating multimedia from both organizations, the eBook and course provide an engaging, hands-on way for students and teachers to learn about the science behind earthquakes. Videos, animations, interactive graphics and other classroom-ready materials are woven together to teach about what earthquakes are, and how they move continents, form our landscape, and fit into the larger story of plate tectonics. Learn more about these two new resources!
from The Mermaid - A Story about Restoration, Lowell High School
On June 10, the California Academy of Sciences hosted the first annual KQED Science Youth Media Festival. Young filmmakers with their friends and family came from all over the area to participate in a great showcase of over 20 videos about environmental issues. The videos ranged in a variety of environmental issues like air quality, greenhouse gases, water quality, ocean acidification, conservation, food justice, and sustainability. All selected videos were granted iTunes gift cards.
The festival showcased the videos under 5 categories: Water, Air, Food, Sustainability, and Conservation.
The jurors awarded three winning videos in both the high school and middle school age groups. The winners won Apple mobile devices. Below are the winners.
Each of the video players are playlists that host 3 videos, respectively. To view the other videos in the playlist, click on the text that says "Playlist" on the bottom of the player. A window will slide up and you can see the other videos. Click on one to view.
High school winners:
Middle school winners:
Congratulations to all of the accepted entries and winners of the festival. See you next year!
The California Academy of Sciences’ Science Action Clubs ignite the spark for science in middle school youth. These action-filled science clubs occur once per week during the school year in after-school programs at several of San Francisco Unified School District's Middle Schools. Both students and a select group of afterschool Activity Leaders join the Science Action Clubs for a chance to do real science and be part of a national, authentic science project.
The fun never stops in the Science Action Club: one week you may learn how to make edible bird nests, the next week you are using an iPad to report bird observations to Cornell University’s bird biologists, and the following week you are visiting the California Academy of Sciences on an afterschool field trip.