+
upworthy
Heroes

Bees are in trouble. A big part of the solution couldn't be easier or more delightful.

What's good for them is good for you.

Q: What do you give a sick bee?

A: Flowers!

Seriously, flowers are the answer. Here's the full story.

You've probably heard about mysteriously disappearing bees and colony collapse disorder. It's true: Bee numbers have dropped at horrifying rates.


This matters. We depend on bees for a third of our food. We can thank honeybees for pollinating cherries, blueberries, pears, strawberries, watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers, and apples just for starters. And they also pollinate alfalfa — OK, that's not tasty, but it does feed a lot of animals that are pretty tasty. Tomatoes are pollinated by bumblebees, and their numbers are down too.

Professor Marla Spivak calls this the "big bee bummer."

But she also sees a solution.

For one thing, it really helps to know that bees have great health care.

Honeybee societies work in mysterious ways, with no leader, but 40,000 to 50,000 individuals collectively making decisions and communicating about important bee things, like where the flowers are. Care-taking bees collect resins from plants that they bring back to the hive that are a natural antibiotic (propolis). Propolis fights bacteria and fungus and boosts the health of the hive. So with a little help, bees are very capable of taking care of themselves. In fact, they've been doing just that for some 100 million years.

Another key piece of the picture is that it's not just one thing that's killing 'em. It's a combination:

  • Endless, flowerless landscapes — they're food deserts for bees
  • Natural bee diseases and pests like the varroa mite — they're like giant ticks
  • Pesticides


Where's lunch?

Spivak describes how all these things might come together if you were a bee. It's not only the giant blood-sucking mite on your leg or just that you have to go miles to find any joint with nutritious food. It's that also in your weakened state, if that food has even a small dose of a chemical that makes your head kinda fuzzy, you might forget where you are.

"Oh, just where did I leave that hive?"

A lot of bees just never come home. No one knows exactly what happens to them.

But here's Spivak's delightful solution.

1. Plant flowers.

Even just a window box is a wonderful thing. There are lots of bees in the city. If you rip up a whole lawn and replant it with flowers, so much the better! Go native. You'll get butterflies and maybe hummingbirds too. Be sure to purchase your plants from a source that's pesticide-free.

2. Don't spray pesticides. Just don't do it.

It's that easy.

Here's Spivak's fascinating talk. Send a friend this video (and some flower seeds) and spread the word.

UPDATE: Since Spivak gave this talk, the U.S. EPA has put a moratorium on the use of neonics, the class of pesticides she describes. Some places have banned them. There's even published scientific evidence that pollen from plants treated with neonics are actually preferred by bees. The scientists suggest that the bees get hooked on the nicotine, just like humans can. Some people are skeptical. But while the scientists, farmers, and pesticide companies are duking it out, we have plenty of reasons already to push for diversity in agriculture and to do all we can to support a healthy, flower-filled landscape full of bees.

Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

Keep ReadingShow less

Millenial names are now "old" names.

You can’t turn back the hands of time and so it’s impossible to avoid being labeled “old” by younger generations, no matter how hard you try. For many of us, our names are tied to the times when we were born and can start to sound really dated, no matter how fashionable they were at one point.

TikTokker Amber Cimotti found this out the hard way when her daughter noted that she has an “old” person's name.

“My daughter told me the name Ashley or Amanda — or my name is Amber — are like old people names and I never thought about it this way,” Amber explained in a video with over 3 million views.

Keep ReadingShow less

Christine Kesteloo has one big problem living on a cruise ship.

A lot of folks would love to trade lives with Christine Kesteloo. Her husband is the Chief Engineer on a cruise ship, so she gets to live on the boat pretty much for free as the “wife on board.” For Christine, life is a lot like living on a permanent vacation.

“I live on a cruise ship for half the year with my husband, and it's often as glamorous as it sounds,” she told Insider. “After all, I don't cook, clean, make my bed, do laundry or pay for food.“

Living an all-inclusive lifestyle seems like paradise, but it has some drawbacks. Having access to all-you-can-eat food all day long can really have an effect on one’s waistline. Kesteloo admits that living on a cruise ship takes a lot of self-discipline because the temptation is always right under her nose.

Keep ReadingShow less

Woman shows her misbehaving cat to 'the trenches'

You always hear about a "bad dog," giving the furry goofballs a reputation for getting into mischief, but what about bad cats. Not all cats are angels just lounging around the house until someone gives them food while fanning them with a giant palm leaf. Some cats have a sketchy "catigree" and every once in a while they let that wild streak show. When that happens, what is a cat owner to do?

A cat mom that goes by the user name Lambo Licia on Instagram posted a video showing exactly how she gets her cat in line when he's misbehaving. No, it's not with a spray bottle. She shows him what life is like in "the trenches." You know, the area of town where homeless cats roam and cat burglars have real whiskers and thumbs that don't work, leaving a strange fish smell wherever they lurk.

If Scared Straight: Cat Edition was an actual thing, Mega, the orange tabby would be the first to turn his life around. He looks absolutely petrified from all of the unruly cat behavior he sees out the window and his mom's commentary.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

College students use AI to decode ancient scroll burned in Mount Vesuvius

“Some of these texts could completely rewrite the history of key periods of the ancient world."

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 C.E., it buried entire cities in volcanic materials. While Pompeii is the most famous site affected by the natural disaster, the nearby villa of Herculaneum was also laid to waste—including over 800 precious scrolls found inside Herculaneum’s library, which were carbonized by the heat, making them impossible to open and recover their contents.

Which brings us to the Vesuvius challenge, started by computer scientist Brent Seales and entrepreneurs Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross in March 2023. The contest would award $1 million in prizes to whoever could use machine learning to successfully read from the scrolls without damaging them.

On February 5, the prize-winning team was announced.
Keep ReadingShow less
Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

Shaquille O'Neal retired from pro basketball in 2011, but he's still one of the most famous players ever.

Fame comes with a lot of challenges, but it also comes with some pretty obvious perks. There's the money that frequently follows fame, of course, but there's also the special treatment people automatically offer you.

Some famous folks might revel in that special treatment and some might even express gratitude for it. But occasionally, you find a celebrity who refuses it altogether.

Take basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, for instance.

Keep ReadingShow less