Rise in urban beekeeping a treat to bees: Well-meaning city types who put hives up in their gardens could actually be harming bees, acc. to a new study

Rise in urban beekeeping a threat to bees

Well-meaning city types who put hives up in their gardens could actually be harming bees, according to a new study.

Rise in urban beekeeping a threat to bees

In London alone, in the five years from 2008 to 2013 the number of hives doubled from 1,677 to more than 3,500.  Photo: ALAMY
Louise Gray

By , Environment Correspondent

7:00AM BST 12 Aug 2013

The Unviersity of Sussex research said that more honey bees in the city just mean less nectar and flowers are available to the wild bee population.

The study, published by The Society of Biology, said people should be planting wild flowers instead.

In London alone, in the five years from 2008 to 2013 the number of hives doubled from 1,677 to more than 3,500.

But Professor Francis Ratnieks, from the Laboratory of Apiculture & Social Insects at Sussex, said the boom in urban beekeeping is not the answer to honeybee declines.

He said it could even be bad for honey bees and other flower-visiting insects as it risks overtaxing the available nectar and pollen supply, and potentially encourages the spread of diseases.

“Both honeybees and wild bees have been declining. Although the causes are complex the most important seems to be loss of flowers and habitat.

“If the problem is not enough flowers, increasing the number of hives risks making that problem worse. The honeybee is just one of many insect species which feed on nectar and pollen. Having a high density of honeybee hives is not only bad for honeybees, but may also affect bumblebees and other species feeding on the same flowers.

“If a game park was short of food for elephants, you wouldn’t introduce more, so why should we take this approach with bees?”

Dr Rebecca Nesbit, of the Society of Biology, said people who want to help bees should plant more wild flowers.

“We must remember that there are around 250 bee species native to the UK, along with many other insects which feed on flowers. By focusing our efforts on providing what these insects lack, we can help not only honeybees but all flower-visiting insects. Everyone can get involved, whether you have a garden, an allotment or a window box. Plant the right flowers and the bees will fly many miles to find them.”…

Please, read more:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/10235916/Rise-in-urban-beekeeping-a-threat-to-bees.html

Suffering`s End: Mother Bear Kills Cub and Self to Escape Life of Bile “Milking”

Mother Bear Kills Cub and Self to Escape Life of Bile “Milking”

Mother Bear Kills Cub and Self to Escape Life of Bile “Milking”

A mother killed her baby and herself to end the torture of life on a  bear bile farm. She hugged her cub until it suffocated, then drove her own head  into a wall.

Bear bile is prized in traditional Chinese medicine, and the  demand for it has led to mass production. Bear farmers lock moon bears into “crush cages,” so small the bears can’t move. Then farmers puncture their gall  bladders to siphon off their bile.

The resulting wound stays open because farmers force needles or shunts into  it so often. It becomes “susceptible to infections and diseases which can cause  the animals unbearable pain,” according to the Daily Mail. Also common are broken teeth from biting on the bars of  cages, painful foot conditions and even malignant tumors.

This can go on for 20 years, until the bear stops producing bile and is killed.  More than 12,000 bears are caged on bile farms.

The following video contains some disturbing images.Video credit: Animals Asia  Please, visit the O-Site to watch Video! Thank You!

What A Mother Bear Knows

Moon bears have large vocabularies and lots of smarts. They know what is  going on.

This mother reacted immediately when her cub cried of distress because  farmers were puncturing its gall bladder for the first time. She broke out of  her own cage and into her cub’s cage and did the only thing she could to save  her baby from suffering.

This story is heartbreaking, but it is also an illustration of moon bears’ intelligence. Consider what this bear had to understand to do what she did: that  what the farmers were doing felt the same way to someone else as it did when  they did it to her; that the farmers would keep on doing this to her baby again  and again; and the nature of death — namely, that it would end everything.

Consider also the depth of her devotion to her cub: she broke out of her  cage, which she must have been able to do before but never did — or else she had  one of those moments of super-adrenaline that allow mothers to lift cars off their children; and after she hugged her baby  to death, she killed herself. The Daily Mail says she killed herself to end her torture,  but she could have done that before. I think that may have been part of it, but  mostly she killed herself because she had killed her cub.

This moon bear isn’t the only mother trapped in a factory farm who has gone  to extremes to protect her young. Veterinarian Holly Cheever tells the tale of a dairy cow she treated who had given birth four  times, and had her newborn confiscated every time. The fifth time, out in  pasture at night and without humans around (obviously this happened a while ago,  before factory farming had adopted near-constant restraints), she had twins.  This cow understood that the farmer knew she had been pregnant, that he was  expecting a calf, and that he would take her calves away as he had all her  previous babies. So she hatched a plan.

In the morning she brought one of her calves to the farmer, so that he would  be satisfied. She hid the other calf in the woods at the edge of the pasture. “Every day and every night, she stayed with her baby — the first she had been  able to nurture FINALLY — and her calf nursed her dry with gusto,” Cheever relates.

That gusto led to a glitch the poor mother had not anticipated. Her udder was  empty every time the farmer tried to milk her. Eventually he figured things out,  found the bull calf, and stole him away for a short, miserable life in a veal  crate. His mother’s efforts may not have bought him that much time, but they did  reveal how smart she was and how capable of love.

Moon Bears and Their Bile

CITES lists moon bears as one of the most critically endangered species in  the world. Any trade in them or their parts is illegal. Estimates of their population vary; some estimate  that in all of Asia there are only 16,000 moon bears in the wild.

Many experts, including some practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, say that  there are herbal or synthetic alternatives that have the same effects  as bear bile and its active ingredient, ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA).

Bile farmers are producing too much bile. The market is saturated. Rather than scale down their  operations, they keep the bears caged and keep suctioning fluids out of live  bears’ bellies, then sell the result in the form of non-therapeutic products  like shampoo. Those non-medicinal products account for half of the bile farmers  sell.

Please watch the above video from advocacy group Animals Asia for more  information on the plight of moon bears.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/mother-bear-kills-cub-and-self-to-escape-life-of-bile-milking.html#ixzz2NE7Yd6eD

Record rhino poaching death statistics released by the South African Government

Environment News Service, January 14, 2013

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Record rhino poaching death statistics released by the South African government Friday reveal a grim picture – 668 rhinos lost their lives to poachers in 2012 – up from 14 rhinos killed by poachers in 2005. Conservation scientists report that corrupt game industry insiders are now poaching rhinos alongside other criminal groups – all well organized, well financed and highly mobile.

Rhino horns taken from a carcass

The 668 rhinos killed across South Africa in 2012 is an increase of nearly 50 percent from the 448 rhinos poachers killed in 2011. Five more rhinos were killed by poachers just since the beginning of this year.

A 2012 report by the international wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, calls these rhino killings “an unprecedented conservation crisis for South Africa,” which until recently has had a stellar rhino conservation record.

TRAFFIC is a strategic alliance of the global conservation group WWF and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN, which maintains the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The methods used in the most recent rhino killings show a new, very worrying dimension, says the TRAFFIC report, “The South Africa – Viet Nam Rhino Horn Trade Nexus,” co-authored by Dr. Jo Shaw, rhino co-ordinator with the South Africa chapter of WWF, and Tom Milliken of TRAFFIC.

“Typically, rhinos are killed by shooting with guns, usually AK-47 assault rifles. More recently, however, a growing number of rhinos have been killed by a single shot from a high-calibre weapon characteristically only used by wildlife industry professionals or, less frequently, have been darted with immobilization drugs and had their horns removed,” Shaw and Milliken report.

“The use of such equipment, and other evidence that has even suggested the presence of helicopters at crime scenes, represents a completely “new face” in terms of rhino poaching,” they write.

“Such developments underscore the emergence of corrupt game industry insiders into rhino poaching. Rogue game ranch owners, professional hunters, game capture operators, pilots and wildlife veterinarians have all entered the rhino poaching crisis and become active players,” write Shaw and Milliken.

“This is a unique and devastating development in South Africa, severely tarnishing the image of a key stakeholder in the rhino equation even if the majority of private rhino owners and wildlife industry personnel remain committed to protecting rhinos and supporting rhino conservation.”

A majority of the 2012 rhino deaths, 425, happened in Kruger National Park, South Africa’s premier safari destination, the new government statistics show. Poaching incidents in this park rose sharply from 252 in 2011.

In the TRAFFIC report, Show and Milliken write, “…the complicity of South African national and provincial officials undertaking or enabling illegal trade has been documented.”

“In terms of killing rhinos, four government rangers were arrested in Kruger National Park in 2012 and, at the Atherstone Nature Reserve in Limpopo, the reserve manager committed suicide after allegedly being implicated in five rhino deaths. Provincial administrators have repeatedly turned a blind eye to “pseudo-hunting,” especially in North West and Limpopo provinces, and allowed rhino hunts to transpire that violate TOPS [Threatened or Protected Species] regulations,” the TRAFFIC report states.”


A White Rhino, Ceratotherium simum simum, cow and calf

“The most shocking aspect of the illegal trade in rhino horn has been the poaching of live rhinos on a brutal scale. For 16 years, between 1990 and 2005, rhino poaching losses in South Africa averaged 14 animals each year.”

“In 2008, this figure rose to 83 and, by 2009, the number had reached 122 rhinos. In 2010, poaching escalated dramatically throughout the year, nearly tripling the toll and reaching 333 rhinos killed. In 2011, the total again climbed to a new annual record of 448 rhinos lost,” they report. Last year, 668 rhinos were killed across South Africa.

Arrests of suspected poachers and smugglers in South Africa also increased in 2012, with 267 people now facing charges related to rhino crimes.

In November, a Thai man was sentenced to a record 40 years in prison for conspiring to smuggle rhino horns to Asia.

Rhino horns are believed to have medicinal properties and are seen as highly desirable status symbols in some Asian countries, notably Vietnam, whose native rhinos have recently been pushed into extinction.

While rhino horn is composed entirely of keratin, the same substance as hair and nails, and no medicinal value has been proven, the increased commercial value placed on rhino horn has drawn well-organized, well-financed and highly-mobile criminal groups into rhino poaching.

“Vietnam must curtail the nation’s rhino horn habit, which is fueling a poaching crisis in South Africa,” said Sabri Zain, TRAFFIC’s director of advocacy.

“Viet Nam appears to be the only country in the world where rhino horn is popularly gaining a reputation as an aphrodisiac,” the TRAFFIC report states, adding that the use of ground powdered rhino horn by wealthy Vietnamese to detoxify after drinking too much alcohol is “probably the most common routine usage promoted in the marketplace today.”

“Rhinos are being illegally killed, their horns hacked off and the animals left to bleed to death, all for the frivolous use of their horns as a hangover cure,” said Zain.


Vietnamese man drinks from a rhino horn grinding bowl

In December, Vietnam and South Africa signed an agreement aimed at bolstering law enforcement and tackling illegal wildlife trade, including rhino horn trafficking.

The agreement paves the way for improved intelligence information sharing and joint efforts by the two nations to crack down on the criminal syndicates behind the smuggling networks.

“Whilst we commend South Africa and Vietnam for signing a Memorandum of Understanding regarding biodiversity conservation, we now need to see a joint Rhino Plan of Action being implemented, leading to more of these rhino horn seizures,” said Dr. Jo Shaw, rhino co-ordinator with the South Africa chapter of WWF.

“There is also an urgent need to work closely with countries which are transit routes for illicit rhino horn, specifically Mozambique,” said Dr. Shaw.

Two Vietnamese men were detained in separate incidents earlier this month in Vietnam and Thailand for smuggling rhino horns, which were believed to have been exported from Mozambique.

Both Mozambique and Vietnam have been given failing grades by WWF’s Wildlife Crime Scorecard for failing to enforce laws meant to protect rhinos.

The TRAFFIC report explains that all animals alive today of the southern subspecies of White Rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum simum originate from a remnant population of 20 to 50 animals that have been protected in South Africa’s Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve since 1895.

South Africa now conserves 18,800 White Rhinos, which represents nearly 95 percent of Africa’s total White Rhino population.

“The remarkable recovery of the Southern White Rhino via Natal Parks Board’s “Operation Rhino,” which pioneered wildlife translocation and other important management strategies, remains one of the world’s greatest conservation triumphs,” write Shaw and Milliken.

The report credits the country’s private sector who account for a growing proportion of the national White Rhino population. Estimates from 2010 indicate that approximately 25 percent of all White Rhinos in South Africa are privately owned.

The Southern White Rhino is now listed in the IUCN Red List’s Near Threatened category and, although conservation dependent, the subspecies is no longer regarded as a threatened or endangered species.

But Africa’s other rhino species, the Black Rhinoceros Diceros bicornis, has been nearly wiped out. The estimated 100,000 Black Rhinos in Africa in 1960, before the first catastrophic rhino poaching crisis, were reduced to just 2,410 animals by 1995, the report explains.

Since then, numbers have more than doubled to 4,880 animals in 2010, but this species is still listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List.

In South Africa, Black Rhino numbers have shown a steady increase since the 1980s. South Africa now conserves an estimated 1,915 Black Rhinos – more than any other range state – and nearly 40 percent of all wild Black Rhinos alive today. Again, the private sector has played a major role in Black Rhino conservation, holding approximately 22 percent of South Africa’s current population.

“But the country’s superlative conservation record of more than a century is under threat,” write Shaw and Milliken.

They recommend that South Africa ensure that those arrested for rhino crimes are prosecuted and punished.


See Also:



Nun uebernehmen Voegel die Trauer…

  • 27.12.2011
  • schliessen

was fehlt …

… die Ausdauer

Nach dem Tod des nordkoreanischen Machthabers Kim Jong Il endet am Dienstag die Kondolenzphase. Aber dafür sind die Vögel jetzt von der Trauer ergriffen: Ein weißer Vogel, “größer als eine Taube”, habe den Schnee von den Schultern einer Statue Kims gewischt, zitierte der nordkoreanische Sender Radio Pjöngjang laut der südkoreanischen Nachrichtenagentur Yonhap eine Augenzeugin.

Der Parteizeitung Rodong Sinmun zufolge trauerten auch die Eulen um Kim Jong Il. Demnach flogen nach dem Tod Kim Jong Ils am 19. Dezember Eulen durch ein geöffnetes Fenster in einen eigens eingerichteten Gedenkraum in einem Bergwerk. Die dort trauernden Arbeiter seien gerührt gewesen, hieß es in dem Bericht.

Selbst die Naturgewalten scheinen aus nordkoreanischer Sicht in die Trauer um den Machthaber mit einzustimmen. An Kims angeblichem Geburtsort in der Nähe des Berges Paekdu sei plötzlich das Eis “mit einem Donnern” gebrochen und an der Jong Il-Spitze des Berges sei ein Leuchten zu sehen gewesen, hatten die Staatsmedien vergangene Woche berichtet. (dapd/afp)

Our Father From Eugen Drewermann, German Priest & Autor

"Cleric, Knight, and Workman": the t...
Image via Wikipedia

Our Father 
And also remember our older sisters and brothers, the animals.
Revive for their protection your old command from the sixth day of creation,
man must eat from the plants in the fields
but not from the animals (Gen 1.29-30).
Forbid men to kill animals for food.
For they are also sentient beings,
in them too lives the desire to live;
they are our companions on our common road to immortality.
As long as men kill animals they will wage war.
As long as men eat animals, they will torture innocent victims to death:
with hundreds of thousands in laboratories and mega breeding stations,
with millions in town slaughterhouses, in myriads in the oceans.
Their blood may no longer serve as nourishment,
their body no longer as raw material,
their life no longer as food for people.
Forbid us, Lord, our daily meat.
Give us our daily bread.
„Das Vaterunser” – “The Our Father” von Eugen Drewermann
Christ in der Gegenwart – Christ in the present time, Nr. 361 Sept. 91

Photograph: Wikipedia Cleric Priest and Workman Wikipedia  French Mediaval Pulic Domain



Countries which have indigenous peoples for wh...
Image via Wikipedia

 Indigene Völker spielen Schlüsselrolle im   Naturschutz

Donnerstag, 10. November 2011 11:22

Indigene Völker spielen beim Schutz der Wälder eine Schlüsselrolle, bestätigt eine neue Studie der Weltbank.

Naturschutzgebiete auf indigenem Land, die die indigene Bevölkerung ausschließen, funktionieren der Studie zufolge weniger gut.

Die Analyse bestätigt, dass Entwaldung in Naturschutzgebieten dann am geringsten ist, wenn der indigenen Bevölkerung ermöglicht wird, weiterhin dort zu leben und nicht vertrieben wird.

Weltweit gibt es Millionen von Indigenen, die zu“Naturschutzflüchtlingen” geworden sind. Die Belege der Weltbank zeigen nun, dass “der Schutz der Wälder nicht auf Kosten der Lebensgrundlage der lokalen Bevölkerung gehen muss.”


In der Studie wurden Entwaldungsraten anhand von Satellitenaufnahmen von Waldbränden analysiert. In indigenen Gebieten ging die Rate der Brände demnach zwischen 2000-2008 mit 16 Prozent verhältnismäßig stark zurück.

80 Prozent der weltweiten Naturschutzgebiete liegen auf dem traditionellen Land indigener Gemeinden, die dort oft seit Jahrtausenden gelebt haben. Dies ist kein Zufall: Immer häufiger bestätigen Experten die Verbindung zwischen indigenen Völkern und verminderter Entwaldung.

Der Wissenschaftler Daniel Nepstad vom Woods Hole Research Center, beschreibt indigenes Land als “die derzeit wichtigste Hürde bei der Abholzung des Amazonas-Regenwaldes.”

Doch obwohl die Weltbank die Vorteile des Schutzes indigener Landrechte anerkennt, hat sie auch Projekte unterstützt, welche die Existenz indigener Völker direkt bedrohen.

Zu fraglichem Ruhm kam das von der Weltbank finanzierte Great Carajás Programm in den 1970er Jahren. Mit dem Projekt sollten große Vorkommen von Eisenerz in Brasilien erschlossen werden; das Projekt hatte aber fatale Folgen für Brasiliens Awá-Indianer.

Stephen Corry, Direktor von Survival International, sagte heute:

“Die Experten wachen endlich auf. Die Landrechte indigener Völker zu schützen ist auch der beste Garant für den Schutz ihrer Wälder. Es ist bedauerlich, dass nicht alle Naturschutzorganisationen sich damit anfreunden können. Die Vertreibung indigener Völker ist nicht “nur” eine Menschenrechtsverletzung, es ist auch völlig unsinnig.”

India`s Animals



 I encourage India Goverment to improve and enforce their laws against animal abuse.

Photos of animals` abuse situation are too graphic I cannot post them here

Day of Atonement

Pool of a medieval mikvah in Speyer, dating ba...
Image via Wikipedia

Day of Atonement

“What atonement is there for blood
spilt upon the earth?”
– Aeschylus

Last evening’s sunset marked the beginning of the
day of atonement for those of the Jewish faith.
Yom Kippur represents a day of personal reflection
and introspection and I call upon the dairy industry
to come to terms with one of their most heinous crimes
against mankind.

Just about everybody in the dairy industry is aware that
the irritable bowels of 40 million Americans who have
Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel
syndrome can be traced directly to infected dairy cows.
For the scientific evidence see:


Today would be an appropriate day for dairy farmers
and dairy scientists to observe a Jewish tradition and
come to terms with the pain that their actions continue
to plague so many milk and cheese consumers.

We cannot forget and we cannot forgive. Armed with
this knowledge, it is hard to understand how members
of the dairy industry continue to ignore what they
themselves refer to as the dairy industry’s greatest
challenge. Try as they do, spending $300 million per
year, they still cannot eradicate this disease in
cows, nor prevent its spread to humans.

Jewish people observe this day to atone for their sins.
The entire dairy industry continues to commit this sin
of omission. Decency demands that a lifetime of atonement
act to prevent another case of bacterial contamination
which affects so many. The link to disease and suffering
from the consumption of mycobacterium paratuberculosis
in cow’s milk is irrefutable.

“Even when we know what is right, too often we fail to act.
More often we grab greedily for the day, letting tomorrow
bring what it will, putting off the unpleasant and unpopular.”
– Bernard M. Baruch

Robert Cohen