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Remember the honeybee problem from last year?
Posted: 09 June 2012 07:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Occam. - 09 June 2012 04:13 PM

I’m not familiar with bears, but it would seem that you could have conditioned them by putting out adjacent aluminum sheets around the hive and hooking alternate ones to the two sides of a 110 volt source.  It wouldn’t be lethal, but when they stepped on both strips they would get a pretty decent jolt.  A few times of that might have discouraged them.  Another possibility, one I used with a persistent raccoon which was determined to get at the cat food bowl at night when the cat was inside, is to buy about a dozen fly paper strips and hang them around the hive. Getting those things caught in the animal’s fur can be maddening to it.  On the other hand, that probably wouldn’t have worked because they would have caught many bees.

Occam

Actually we tried circling the hive in electric live stock fencing, we scored from some old farmer.  The bear wasn’t impressed one bit, never thought of using sheets of aluminum.


It was a shame too, we built the hive ourselves and the bees really did like it and flourish, but Mr. Ursus had his own plan.

life is what happens to you while you’re busy making plans.

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Posted: 10 June 2012 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Wow, a beehive sounds like a great idea. Way cooler than the worm bin I had for a couple of years. And no bears around our neighborhood! grin

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Posted: 11 June 2012 02:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 09 June 2012 07:46 PM
Occam. - 09 June 2012 04:13 PM

I’m not familiar with bears, but it would seem that you could have conditioned them by putting out adjacent aluminum sheets around the hive and hooking alternate ones to the two sides of a 110 volt source.  It wouldn’t be lethal, but when they stepped on both strips they would get a pretty decent jolt.  A few times of that might have discouraged them.  Another possibility, one I used with a persistent raccoon which was determined to get at the cat food bowl at night when the cat was inside, is to buy about a dozen fly paper strips and hang them around the hive. Getting those things caught in the animal’s fur can be maddening to it.  On the other hand, that probably wouldn’t have worked because they would have caught many bees.

Occam

Actually we tried circling the hive in electric live stock fencing, we scored from some old farmer.  The bear wasn’t impressed one bit, never thought of using sheets of aluminum.


It was a shame too, we built the hive ourselves and the bees really did like it and flourish, but Mr. Ursus had his own plan.

life is what happens to you while you’re busy making plans.

What would prevent you from placing the hives on 10’ steel poles, out of reach from bears or any other earthbound animal?

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Posted: 11 June 2012 06:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Write4U - 11 June 2012 02:24 AM

What would prevent you from placing the hives on 10’ steel poles, out of reach from bears or any other earthbound animal?

Guess that would keep the bear away.

Let’s see, very expensive pole, lot’s of digging, lot’s of concrete, so far so good, but it’s the stilts that worry me, specially considering our little hive was on a hill side.  wink

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Posted: 11 June 2012 07:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I thought since we’re on the topic you might be interested in something i learned about this recently. We were at my daughters college graduation and went to a gathering that some of the professors in the bio dept had for their undergraduate research assistants. One of the professors there was involved in the research on hive collapse and we got talking about it. It seems that the primary culprit is a virus but the interesting thing is that this virus naturally lives in the bees much like herpes viruses ( Herpes I & II and Varicella - chicken pox/shingles) remains in our bodies in a dormant state but only re-merges when our defenses are low enough. Her comment was that you need to think of the entire hive as a single organism with each bee analogous to s single cell. When the hive’s immune defenses are low this otherwise dormant virus is then able to infect the entire hive and cause disease.

So here’s where I go off on a tangent a bit but I think this is worth discussing. The part about the virus wasn’t what interested me so much as the concept of the hive as a single organism. Lately our concept of what defines an organism has begun to blur a bit as we learn more about biology. Humans are no exception. We think of ourselves as an organism made of trillions of cells with the same genetic makeup but as it turns out we are actually a colony in some ways like the beehive. We have within us hundreds of different species of bacteria which are genetically distinct from us and yet within our own body their cells out number our own 10 to 1. The microbes in and on our bodies perform many useful and even necessary functions. We are only starting to learn about some of the many subtle effects they have on our our systems. Some research has shown that certain organisms can even affect behavior patterns in non-random ways. Others may alter hormone levels and metabolism leading to things like obesity.

It may be as much a philosophical question as a scientific one but its interesting to think about and it does have some important implications. Comparing a hive to a single organism may give new insight into how this virus works but thinking about our own microbial partners as part of ourselves may change the way we approach things like antibiotics in the short term but it may also give us a whole new concept of disease where some illnesses are not due to the presence of a microbe but instead are due to the absence of one or imbalance of an entire microbial community. Just some food for thought.

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Posted: 11 June 2012 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I think I read somewhere that the reason why so many people today suffer from allergies may be due to the fact that our bodies don’t get enough microbes to fight against: Our food is too clean, we take showers every day, etc. Supposedly, allergies among people in third world countries have a much lower prevalence since their food and bodies are not as clean.

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Posted: 11 June 2012 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I find that aspect fascinating too, macgyver. You mentioned microbes in our bodies but we also have such structures as the cellular mitochondria, which are part of us now but probably were once independent organisms. They even have their own separate DNA.

And taking it in another direction, how about considering large populations of humans as a single organism? The more interconnected we get, the more our behavior begins to resemble one. Once day we may become the Borg!

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Posted: 11 June 2012 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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The most shocking thing I heard about recently is that up to 50% of the genetic information in our gut is nether human, bacterial, viral nor fungal. They have no idea what it is and they refer to it as the “biological dark matter.” And no, it’s not the “junk” (noncoding) DNA.

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Posted: 11 June 2012 09:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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FreeInKy - 11 June 2012 08:19 AM

I find that aspect fascinating too, macgyver. You mentioned microbes in our bodies but we also have such structures as the cellular mitochondria, which are part of us now but probably were once independent organisms. They even have their own separate DNA.

And taking it in another direction, how about considering large populations of humans as a single organism? The more interconnected we get, the more our behavior begins to resemble one. Once day we may become the Borg!

Exactly. You can take this analogy in both directions. The solid line delineating what is an organism and what is not starts to look a bit arbitrary. There have been some recent studies which show that when large numbers of bacteria grow together in a biofilm they begin to communicate with each other and take on specialized roles so that they are behaving more like a multicellular organism than a group of individuals. And of course there is the Gaia Hypothesis which postulates that the entire earth is a single organism. That theory has its merits although some people take it to far.  When they start getting into the idea that the earth is conscious they lose me. If the earth were truly conscious it would have figured out a way to get rid of its human infection long before now tongue laugh

The Borg are very interesting. I have been working on a short story about how they arose from a civilization not unlike our own. Its kind of creepy but fun to speculate about.

[ Edited: 11 June 2012 09:55 AM by macgyver ]
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Posted: 11 June 2012 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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George - 11 June 2012 08:33 AM

The most shocking thing I heard about recently is that up to 50% of the genetic information in our gut is nether human, bacterial, viral nor fungal. They have no idea what it is and they refer to it as the “biological dark matter.” And no, it’s not the “junk” (noncoding) DNA.

I haven’t come across that anywhere but I would be interested in looking into it. Perhaps they are referring to the DNA of what we consume? Obviously there is a a lot of plant an animal DNA in our gut. I’m not sure what they would be referring to or how they could separate it out from the mixture of DNA we eat every day. Do you know where you read about that George? I would be interested in reading it to see what they meant.

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Posted: 11 June 2012 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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macgyver - 11 June 2012 09:46 AM
George - 11 June 2012 08:33 AM

The most shocking thing I heard about recently is that up to 50% of the genetic information in our gut is nether human, bacterial, viral nor fungal. They have no idea what it is and they refer to it as the “biological dark matter.” And no, it’s not the “junk” (noncoding) DNA.

I haven’t come across that anywhere but I would be interested in looking into it. Perhaps they are referring to the DNA of what we consume? Obviously there is a a lot of plant an animal DNA in our gut. I’m not sure what they would be referring to or how they could separate it out from the mixture of DNA we eat every day. Do you know where you read about that George? I would be interested in reading it to see what they meant.

I saw it on TED. HERE is the link.

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Posted: 11 June 2012 10:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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macgyver - 11 June 2012 09:39 AM

The Borg are very interesting. I have been working on a short story about how they arose from a civilization not unlike our own. Its kind of creepy but fun to speculate about.

Sounds cool. I would love to read that.

Some proponents of the “singularity” idea think that becoming borg-like is one of only two possible outcomes for humanity; the other, of course, is extinction.

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Posted: 11 June 2012 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 11 June 2012 06:42 AM
Write4U - 11 June 2012 02:24 AM

What would prevent you from placing the hives on 10’ steel poles, out of reach from bears or any other earthbound animal?

Guess that would keep the bear away.

Let’s see, very expensive pole, lot’s of digging, lot’s of concrete, so far so good, but it’s the stilts that worry me, specially considering our little hive was on a hill side.  wink

How about an old plastic 10” sewerpipe. Dig the bottom 3 ’ deep into the soil rurround with rocks.
Servicing is done by small ladder.

Perhaps a suspended hive?  Rope and pulley. For sevicing the hive is gently lowered to the ground.

True all would take a little investment, but so does a cat or a dog. And if you have fruittrees or a garden, they will thrive from careful tending and pollination by the bees. If ever there was a friend of nature it is the bee.

[ Edited: 11 June 2012 11:10 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 11 June 2012 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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macgyver - 11 June 2012 09:46 AM
George - 11 June 2012 08:33 AM

The most shocking thing I heard about recently is that up to 50% of the genetic information in our gut is nether human, bacterial, viral nor fungal. They have no idea what it is and they refer to it as the “biological dark matter.” And no, it’s not the “junk” (noncoding) DNA.

I haven’t come across that anywhere but I would be interested in looking into it. Perhaps they are referring to the DNA of what we consume? Obviously there is a a lot of plant an animal DNA in our gut. I’m not sure what they would be referring to or how they could separate it out from the mixture of DNA we eat every day. Do you know where you read about that George? I would be interested in reading it to see what they meant.

I think I read once that we have such a symbiotic relationship with some beneficial bacteria that we actually have incorporated their DNA into our DNA and we give birth to several species in addition to a human. Now if that is true, it would remarkable.

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Posted: 11 June 2012 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Write4U - 11 June 2012 10:23 AM
macgyver - 11 June 2012 09:46 AM
George - 11 June 2012 08:33 AM

The most shocking thing I heard about recently is that up to 50% of the genetic information in our gut is nether human, bacterial, viral nor fungal. They have no idea what it is and they refer to it as the “biological dark matter.” And no, it’s not the “junk” (noncoding) DNA.

I haven’t come across that anywhere but I would be interested in looking into it. Perhaps they are referring to the DNA of what we consume? Obviously there is a a lot of plant an animal DNA in our gut. I’m not sure what they would be referring to or how they could separate it out from the mixture of DNA we eat every day. Do you know where you read about that George? I would be interested in reading it to see what they meant.

I think I read once that we have such a symbiotic relationship with some beneficial bacteria that we actually have incorporated their DNA into our DNA and we give birth to several species in addition to a human. Now if that is true, it would remarkable.

I don’t think that’s right, Write. I was listening to a podcast about just this recently (I think it was on RadioLab, but I’m not sure about that). They were saying that a fetus is unable to digest food precisely because it does not yet have any gut flora. It is basically sterile. But as soon as it begins to pass through the birth canal, it begins to acquire them, although it takes a couple of years to fully develop the rich mixture that will allow it to digest a varied diet.

On a related note, there is evidence that the appendix has evolved to play the role of a sort of storehouse for beneficial gut microbes. When we get sick and have a bad bout of diarrhea or lose most of them to strong antibiotics, the one part of the gut that keeps a reserve is the appendix. If true, this is a cool example of a vestigial organ being re-purposed.

[ Edited: 11 June 2012 10:33 AM by FreeInKy ]
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