Supreme Court, United States, Sammy Ramsey discussed on Short Wave

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Today, a non coronavirus. You about honeybees from a guy who knows all about. Them Sami Ramsey Aka Dr Bugs. First of all can i. just ask you how you got that nickname, so actually got that title Doctor. Bugs while working at the Supreme Court of the United States <hes> I work with the Supreme Court in. I know, I know I was the only intern some measure and the deputy clerk of the court referred to me as bugs, and then told him that I was going for my doctor. He's like Oh, Dr Bugs so honestly, the Supreme Court just did not know how to handle your entomologist and all they could do was just yell but. They really did not know what to do with that. And of course, nickname stuck, which is perfect for savvy. A honeybee researcher at the US Department of Agriculture also props to the Supreme Court for taking an entomology and turn the best science. Yeah, I, said it. Okay. So how is play an important role in our ecosystem and for our economy, but the cells as you might have heard are not doing so hot. <hes> we lost. About forty percent of our honeybee colonies left with deeply concerning and unfortunately, as continued a trend <hes> over the past decade, or so of US losing close to thirty percent of our bees every year. And that could have huge consequences for all of us. So today the show what's killing the Bees Sammy Ramsey tells us what's driving these die-offs including a wild critter straight out of a horror movie. And he tells us what we can do to help the base. Two semi your friends, the honeybees. They're not doing well. Can you give us a quick snapshot of Why that matters Honeybees are dramatically importance to the environment in a number of different ways <hes>? We could survive without them. We would just be really really bummed out because we would lose things like coffee. Avocados <hes> lemons limes oranges. Fruits and vegetables are pollinated by Honeybees, and while they wouldn't disappear entirely the huge amounts that we produce them in <hes> with simply be unsustainable, and they will become incredibly expensive prohibitively, so <hes> honeybees are worth more than eighteen billion dollars to the US economy every single year, <hes> primarily because of their pollination services in the night off that you mentioned earlier. Is this at all related to you know news reports that came out a few years back about bees kind of vanishing. Is that related to this dollars that a different thing? Who Okay here we go, so? We were talking about the colony collapse disorder. The defining quality was really that would open a colony that had been fairly productive, and just days before, and there would be pretty much nobis there. We have not seen that particular set of issues in more than half a decade now. We don't know whether it was a virus. Weather is a novel parasite whether it was just the confluence of. Of all of these different issues all coming together that the bees been dealing with stress climate change <hes> because it disappeared so sharply that we still haven't had the time to fully flesh out what occurred there. Okay, so so that is not what's going on now. That has subsided. We're not exactly sure what caused it. We're not exactly sure what ended it, but we're glad it's gone. So let's talk about the actual issues. That's making it hard for the bees to survive now so there's a triangle. Factors called the three piece, and that stands for parasites, pesticides and poor nutrition. These are the three main issues currently impacting honeybees now while colony collapse disorder is not still e problem. It did open our eyes to the fact that our bees are really unhealthy. What is? Is potentially the case. Is that colony collapse disorder isn't the issue. The bees were dealing with, but just sort of the punctuation mark at the end of a very long and very concerning sentenced about the state of honeybees around the world, so let's talk about the I p. the parasites you study that one that sounds like honestly to me a transformer. Tell me about that one. Varroa destructor does sound like a transformer, and while you might think that name is melodramatic, it's not I mean this parasite is off the wall wacky this parasite small about one point two millimeters long <hes> it climbs onto a be, and it will actually wedge itself between the exoskeletal plates that make up the bee's body so pretty much the be skin. It wedges itself under their. Their kinda levers one of the plates up and breaks through the skin under that with this mouse parts, and it releases this cocktail of digestive enzymes that break down the tissue in that region into a slurry, is literally turning the beasant cream of honeybees soup, and then sucking that out of their body so deeply concerned. You didn't have to say that with the Soup Yeah Sorry I <hes> you. It's a very good metaphor, but you didn't have to do. Well I. Want People to understand the horror story that honeybees are living through on a regular basis. It gives us more of a respect for them. You know. Yeah, okay, so let me get this right so this particular parasite this in. Might you know the way that it acts on the bees is extremely destructive in an also kind of them up suffer even more from poor nutrition exactly so let's talk about poor nutrition. What does food for a be look like in in? Why aren't they having much access to it? As they need great question so honeybees, the visit tons and tons of. Of Flowers, and they drink the nectar from these flowers. They transported back to the colony <hes>. They regurgitate it into the cells. <hes> at they dehydrate it and turned it into honey <hes> they also collect pollen from these flowers, and all that pollen is used as a source of protein <hes> to then rear their offspring. So when these BS don't have a lot of pollen or nectar, they begin to starve, and they go into this stressed out sort of crisis mode. There's a lot of stress that they deal with as a result of that, and unfortunately, it's not just the matter of starvation. Them having a diet that is not. That can be really problematic. An individual, who is constantly eating French fries isn't starving, but they don't have the full complement of nutrition that they need in order to be healthy, and that's sort of the scenario that we have the bees in at this point <hes> and that doesn't allow the bees the sort of diversity that they need when they're feeding. Of Our land has been turned over for of course, the development <hes> for. So. There's a lot of monocultures out there of plants producing the exact same nutritive in their pollen. Okay, so final P. Pesticides. What are we talking about exactly? And what's kind of the problem? <hes> pesticides win used responsibly can be very effective at reducing the numbers of destructive insects that are destroying crops and keeping the cost of producing these crops down <hes>. Now we have a lot of pesticides that are systemic there absorbed by the seed, and they ended up in different parts of the plant, such as the pollen or the nectar that has been collected by the bees and brought back. Back to the colony, and it moves all through the colony in addition to that there are chemicals like my decides mixed in with the herbicides and weed killers. People sprayed on their lawn, mixed with the Agricultural Insecticides while those chemicals may be used responsibly. We actually don't know what the interacting impact is for all of those different chemicals together. We've found that colonies on average have between three and four different chemicals in the colony anyone point and upwards of fourteen times, which can be really concerning, because we just can't account for all of the different effects that can have Gotcha Gotcha. So Okay Sammy if we as humans don't take actions to intervene. What. Do People that study? These think is going to happen. ooh, okay. We don't take action to intervene. I can tell you very clearly. There's going to be a dramatic economic impact without the bees. To produce those plants and native pollinators would take up some of the slack, but we would not be able to produce them nearly the large amounts that we produce them in. But I do want to say. Very clearly that this is being blown out of proportion by the magic of the Internet, people think that everyone will die if the B.'s disappear, but there are plenty of wind pollinated plants, corn <hes> rice, that cultures have lived off of for ages, and they've been fine. The problem is we will lose so much diversity in our diet and food would be a lot more expensive <hes> because there would be a massive drop in supply. Gotcha, so okay, what kind of solutions or things you know that we can do as a society would have the most impact <hes> in helping the Honeybee. Wonderful that Anyone can do. <hes> leave those dandelions alone. Don't mow the lawn in a way that is getting rid of all of the the difference <hes> Dandelions and things that we typically considered to be weeds, the wildflowers that spring up in your lawn. Bees love them. Leave them alone nowhere. We killer on those. And if you really want to be a huge help, plant tons of flowers and your front and backyard make a be sanctuary out of your living space. If more people did that, the issues that the bees deal with in terms of poor nutrition <hes> would be mitigated in a number of different ways, because bees are capable of self medicating if they can get a lot of resin and <hes> different kinds of nectar and pollen from flowers, able to medicate themselves, but they can't do that when they only have the offerings of that one plant. Okay Sammy I appreciate you and I appreciate the bees hall. That, warms my heart to hear I think. B.'s actually really love being appreciated. Well. Don't we? All I'm going to go home and not kill any dandelions implant some flowers. My Work here is done. Sammy Ramsey Aka Dr. Bucks and Tamala just with the US Department

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