From honey bees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies and our very existence. But for the past decade, resounding alarm about dwindling bee populations has often seemed to drown out the humming of the bees themselves. We know bees are special, but few of us can say why.
On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with conservation biologist Thor Hanson, author of Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees, about the modern plight of bees, from pesticides and colony collapse to climate change, and what is being done to help revive them. Along the way we'll learn about the origin of bees and the profound web of relationships, great and small, that binds together the human and natural worlds.
Thor Hanson is a conservation biologist and Guggenheim Fellow. He has studied Central American trees and songbirds, nest predation in Tanzania and the grisly feeding habits of African vultures. His previous books include The Triumph of Seeds and Feathers.