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- July 21, 2015

As you may have noticed, at Restlet, we are fond of the bees. Our mascot, Sparky, is a big part of our company and so we decided to do something good for the bee community: we sponsored a hive!

What does that mean?

Well the concept is pretty simple. Every month, we give a little something ($$, or actually €€) to an organization called Un toit pour les abeilles (meaning “A roof for the bees” in french) and they build and maintain a hive in the name of Restlet. You get to choose a beekeeper in your region (in France only) and in exchange, you receive monthly news about your bees and their harvest (AND, you get 100 honey pots at the end of the year!) 😀 yum!

While we’re at it, here are some interesting facts about bees and hives:

  • A bee colony is comprised of about 40,000 bees.
  • A hive produces more than 3 kg of honey per day. This production far exceeds the need for the bees’ reserves. The beekeeper harvests and markets the honey surplus from the hive.
  • In June and July, the activity is very dense. The bees leave the hive and return with their legs loaded with precious nectar and work between 12 to 15 hours a day. Their life during that period is shorter – a bee lives 6 weeks on average during the summer, against 5 to 6 months in the fall when the activity is slowed down.
  • In France, nearly 30% of bee colonies disappear every year. In 10 years, 15,000 beekeepers have ceased their operations.
  • In a region of China, bees have completely disappeared as a result of intensive use of pesticides. Farmers are obliged to employ hundreds of people to pollinate the flowers of pear trees themselves.

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We hope you learnt a little something and don’t hesitate to post any questions. We’re not bee experts but we can ask our beekeeper, Claude! If you or your company also want to help save the bees and sponsor a hive, check out Un toit pour les abeilles.

We can’t wait to taste our honey! If we feel generous, maybe we’ll send you a couple pots 🙂

  • Craig Oda

    In France, what is the most popular theory as to why the bees are dying?
    As far as I know, in the US, there is no consensus. The three most common reasons are pesticides, food source, and a virus
    http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=15572

    I’ve been trying to find a source of data on bee collapse to share for possible API publishing of bee information. This article has summary results.
    http://beeinformed.org/results/colony-loss-2014-2015-preliminary-results/

    It references data from this organization, Bee Informed. http://beeinformed.org/

    I’d be curious to see if you find additional data sources.

  • Swann Vichot

    Hi Craig,

    The “Un toit pour les abeilles” website explains that ongoing studies show that several causes are responsible for this gradual disappearance: pesticide treatments, parasitic infections, diseases, pollution, food resource reduction (quantity and diversity of flowers providing nectar and pollen) and habitat, competition with invasive species, climate change, proliferation of electromagnetic emissions, new predators etc. So there is no ‘one popular’ theory.

    Thank you for these sources, it’s very interesting! We don’t have any data sources on this topic yet but I’ll make sure to send them your way if we do.

    Swann

    • Craig Oda

      I sent a note out to the research group at Bee Informed to try and get their data. The group receives funding from the US Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, so it’s possible they’ll provide the data to the public. I looked on their site and can’t find a REST API for their data or any download link for a larger set of data. They have lots of summary reports available, but as far as I can tell, no data API. It would be an interesting summer project for someone to get the bee data and publish it as a REST API using APISpark. I wonder if “Un toit pour les abeilles” makes the larger data set available? They’re probably running their hive data from some type of database API to provide this info: http://www.untoitpourlesabeilles.fr/particuliers

  • Swann Vichot

    Yes, that would be a great project! I’m sure Guillaume would love it!
    As for untoitpourlesabeilles, I’ll ask them if they have any open data and what they use for their website. They might need an API management solution 😉
    Thanks Craig!

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