The Permaculture Podcast

    Episode 1357: Honeybees with Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp


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    My guest for this episode is Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp, a research scientist with the University of Maryland and the former Chief apiarist for Pennsylvania. Dennis has investigated colony collapse disorder and the on-going bee die off since Dave Hackenberg first reported large colony losses.

    I wanted to speak with Dennis after seeing him in the documentary “Who Killed The Honeybee?” and then happened to see a recent research paper he was involved with, as well as his TED talk “A Plea for Bees”.

    During our conversation we talk about his work with bees, the ongoing loss of bee colonies in the United States and elsewhere, the role of bees as pollinators in our food supply, and what we can do to support honeybees and native pollinators.

    Two things I really enjoyed about this particular conversation was how precise and technical the conversation got regarding the research and issues surrounding bees, while still remaining accessible. For all of his work and research, I never felt like Dennis spoke over our heads. Part of that, I imagine, come from his love and passion for bees. Listening to him describe the co-evolution of flowers and pollinators reminded me of the beauty of nature and why I love this work and want to take care of this little space of mine and build a better world by including habitat for pollinators and tend to the other species around us.

    If you enjoy this episode you may enjoy:
    Native Plants with Dr. Doug Tallamy
    Stream Restoration with Dr. Bern Sweeney
    The Soil Food Web with Jeff Lowenfels

    Dennis vanEnglesdorp, PhD
    Dennis vanEnglesdorp: A Plea for Bees (TED Talk Video)
    Bee Informed Partnership
    Crop Pollination Exposes Honey Bees to Pesticides Which Alters Their Susceptibility to the Gut Pathogen Nosema ceranae (Research Article)


    1. December 16, 2013    

      Wow great show, I will be sure to share it with our followers.

      Dennis really does make things seem simple, and I agree the environment isn’t right and bees can survive in it.

      Luckily we don’t have CCD in New Zealand yet and we hope it never does get here and our bees remain safe and well.

      Thanks for putting out the show.

      Gary Fawcett

    2. RLM McWilliamsRLM McWilliams
      February 5, 2014    

      The loss of bees at such a precipitous rate is not shocking; the real shock is that they – and the rest of the eco-system – have survived as well as they have under the onslaught of habitat destruction and toxins. Then there is the exposure to unnatural radiation that bees were never exposed to in their evolution, including radiation and electo-smog.

      Interesting to note that the decline began just after WWII, which is when the military industrial complex was looking for a new market for the output of their factories, particularly their chemical weapons. You can almost hear the echo of their board meetings, ‘I know! Let’s spray these [toxic chemical weapons] on our nation’s food!’ Sigh.

    3. April 29, 2014    

      The honeybees have a lot to teach us about adaptation. We must learn to adapt as have they. Please see my short (3:42) video on the subject and please comment on my campaign: Every COMMENT helps generate traffic. Thank you!

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