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

'F' Is For Fraudster In A Family Novel For Our Modern Times

Daniel Kehlmann's F, about three brothers abandoned by their father, examines the detail of lives lived without integrity. It is brilliantly translated from the German by Carol Brown Janeway.
NPR

No. 1 Most Expensive Coffee Comes From Elephant's No. 2

A coffee entrepreneur claims his brew is different — and better — than the trendy civet poop coffee. And it starts with the idea that elephants, unlike humans or civets, are herbivores.
WAMU 88.5

Maureen McDonnell Didn't Give Special Treatment To Star Scientific, Witness Testifies

A defense witness in the corruption trail against former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, says the former first lady often traveled the state promoting state businesses, countering the notion she gave special treatment to the company at the heart of the corruption trial.
NPR

The Momentum Of The Ice Bucket Challenge — And What It Means For ALS

A recent fundraising challenge has gone viral on social media, calling attention to research into Lou Gehrig's disease. Forbes contributor Dan Diamond discusses the state of that research.

Leave a Comment

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