GMU Students Try To Understand Mystery Of Disappearing Honeybees | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

GMU Students Try To Understand Mystery Of Disappearing Honeybees

http://www.flickr.com/photos/arran_edmonstone_photography/4950104557/

At the top floor of the Shenandoah Parking Deck, 12 hives are buzzing with activity. More than 800 students are working there with professor German Perilla.

"There is a crisis," he says. "Scientists call it colony collapse disorder."

The professor and his students are trying to figure out why the honeybees are disappearing, what it means and what they can do to change it.

"Each student in the class will have one hive," says Perilla. "And it is not your pet. It is your hive. And you have to understand the mysteries of the hive."

Understanding the mysteries of the hive just may be the key to saving the planet from the devastation of colony collapse disorder.

"The main cause is actually the way we manage bees. It is nothing wrong with the bees. It is wrong with how we manage bees... That's what we hope to change here."

Lisa Gring-Pemble, associate dean of New Century College at the university, says saving bees is more important than it seems.

"Without bees, a lot of the foods that we have come to rely on — almonds, avocadoes, cotton, alfalfa — those things would be gone in a world without bees."

Apiaries are nothing new, she says. But this effort has a broader vision. The notion that we are working together to find a sustainable way of repopulating honeybees is pretty unique.

Emily Gwoliardi, a graduate student in education, says she hopes to bring the lessons she learns here to the classroom.

"The whole purpose of bees is to work together to accomplish a greater good," she says. "So I think to take that into a classroom for students to learn would be really beneficial."

Beneficial for the students, but also beneficial for the environment — if the professor and his students can help unlock the mystery of colony collapse disorder.

NPR

Ruth Rendell Dies, Pioneered The Psychological Thriller

The British mystery writer was known for her Inspector Wexford series and in her later years became active in Labour Party politics. NPR's Petra Mayer has this remembrance.
NPR

'Bourbon Empire' Reveals The Smoke And Mirrors Of American Whiskey

A new book suggests that tall tales on craft bourbon labels are the rule rather than the exception. They're just one example of a slew of "carefully cultivated myths" created by the bourbon industry.
WAMU 88.5

Planned Alexandria Metro Station Is About To Get A Vote

Members of the Alexandria City Council are about to cast a major vote that could give a green light to building a new Metro station at Potomac Yard.
NPR

People's Republic Of Uber: Driving For Connections In China

Uber is becoming more popular in China, but many drivers say they don't do it for the money. They say they like the human connection and the freedom.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.