Bee Powerline Habitat – Conserving

Bee Powerline Habitat – Conserving

Music; Ambience: bees

JM: Birds and beasts have inspired many conservation efforts. But what about a home for bugs? I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Dr. Kimberly Russell is with the American Museum of Natural History. She says that bees, spiders, centipedes and other invertebrates are frequently left out of the effort to preserve natural habitat.

KR: “It’s an area that’s been somewhat ignored by the general conservation community, for a variety of reasons. One of which just being the showiness of the organisms in general; people care more about warm fuzzies than they do about invertebrates.
But of course the more people study it, the more they realize that these little critters are critically important, biologically, and we really can’t afford to ignore them. A lot of people said, well, if you conserve a lot of land, then what’s good for the bear is good for the beetle. But when people actually started looking at that in more detail, they realized that actually, you know, there are some issues that are more specific to invertebrates than people realized. They require a certain type of quality habitat. It’s not just about space or area. And so, you know, conserving for bears isn’t necessarily going to help the beetle. If you don’t meet the beetle’s requirements in that habitat.”

JM: Dr. Russell is working on a project that would make the land underneath power lines into a habitat where bees would thrive. She says that this could be one of the solutions to the problem of preserving land for invertebrates. Why not turn areas not previously thought of as valuable into insect-friendly habitats?

KR: “I think that’s where this type of thing is going to make the most difference, is actually in very highly developed areas where you just don’t have habitat like this for species to exist in. You know, there are lots of areas throughout the country, where you either have forest or you have development and that’s your only choices. And so in that situation this could really make a big difference.”

JM: We’ll hear more about power line habitats for bees in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Bee Powerline Habitat - Conserving

Beetles need a place to live, too!
Air Date:10/11/2012
Scientist:
Transcript:

Bee Powerline Habitat - Conserving

Music; Ambience: bees

JM: Birds and beasts have inspired many conservation efforts. But what about a home for bugs? I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Dr. Kimberly Russell is with the American Museum of Natural History. She says that bees, spiders, centipedes and other invertebrates are frequently left out of the effort to preserve natural habitat.

KR: "It's an area that's been somewhat ignored by the general conservation community, for a variety of reasons. One of which just being the showiness of the organisms in general; people care more about warm fuzzies than they do about invertebrates.
But of course the more people study it, the more they realize that these little critters are critically important, biologically, and we really can't afford to ignore them. A lot of people said, well, if you conserve a lot of land, then what's good for the bear is good for the beetle. But when people actually started looking at that in more detail, they realized that actually, you know, there are some issues that are more specific to invertebrates than people realized. They require a certain type of quality habitat. It's not just about space or area. And so, you know, conserving for bears isn't necessarily going to help the beetle. If you don't meet the beetle's requirements in that habitat."

JM: Dr. Russell is working on a project that would make the land underneath power lines into a habitat where bees would thrive. She says that this could be one of the solutions to the problem of preserving land for invertebrates. Why not turn areas not previously thought of as valuable into insect-friendly habitats?

KR: "I think that's where this type of thing is going to make the most difference, is actually in very highly developed areas where you just don't have habitat like this for species to exist in. You know, there are lots of areas throughout the country, where you either have forest or you have development and that's your only choices. And so in that situation this could really make a big difference."

JM: We'll hear more about power line habitats for bees in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.