Queen honeybees have a pretty cushy life. Living inside the hive, worker bees take care of most tasks like collecting pollen and nectar, producing honey, and fixing up the hive. But that’s not the case for queen bumblebees. For most of their life, the fuzzy, fat, black-and-yellow bees in the genus Bombus fly solo and have to fatten up after hibernation, found a colony, and raise a batch of baby workers before they get a day off. Those weeks as a single mother are perilous for bumblebees, which rely on early-blooming flowers to survive the spring. A new study shows that the more diverse the flowers the queen bees can access, the better off the bees are in the long run.
Unlike queen honeybees, Apis mellifera, which can live for years and overwinter in their hives, the bumblebee life cycle is annual. In the fall, after mating with a male drone, new queen bumblebees dig a cavity in the ground to overwinter. When they emerge in the spring, it’s their job to find a new nest site, which can be a cavity in a tree, a hole in the ground, or even a nice tussock of grass. But searching for real estate is hard work, and thebees need to eat flower pollen for protein and sip nectar for sugar as they go about their business.
The Blue-billed Curassow is one of the birds closest toextinctionin the Americas. It belongs to a group of large, ground-dwelling tropical birds that are closely related to turkeys. Some say the birds are just as tasty as domestic turkeys, and unfortunately, harvesting the birds and eggs for food is an ongoing problem.
Blue-billed Curassow populations have also declined dramatically due tohabitat loss. Huge areas of lowland forest in the bird’s former range have been razed for livestock and crops, illegal coca farms, oil extraction, and mining. Although the species has been seen infrequently at other sites in Colombia, theAlliance for Zero Extinctionhas recognized a small portion of the Magdalena Valley as most critical for the curassow’s survival. This appears to be home to one of the last viable populations for the species.
Conflict and displacement have compounded centuries of discrimination against Yemen’s Muhamasheen minority, denying access to jobs, documentation and humanitarian aid.
AMRAN, Yemen – It was past noon, the time when Mariam would normally start preparing lunch for her children. But today, she and her extended family of 14 have not yet had their breakfast; the cold firepit in the corner of their tent an unwelcome reminder that they last ate more than a day ago.
The Sierra Club’s Santa Monica Mountains Task Force (SMMTF) was created in 1972. Our initial efforts were to bring attention and support to the Santa Monica Mountains as a great natural, cultural and recreational resource.
The SMMTF has long played an active role in campaigning to purchase significant open space in these mountains. We have worked to elect political leaders who fight to obtain new parkland and who endorse the highest level of protection for natural resources.