Derek Niemi

Eugene, OR, United States

About Derek

Languages

English

Areas of Expertise

Biology

Universities

University of Oregon

Comments & conversations

186879
Derek Niemi
Posted over 1 year ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
Carly, elephants are extremely fearful of bees, so some African villages will place beehives around the perimeter of their village so elephants won't come walking through. If an elephant encounters the hive, it'll stop and walk away.
186879
Derek Niemi
Posted over 1 year ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
Jessica, I was thinking more along the lines of an anti-human fence so that people (assuming here that we're referring to a park) don't stumble on top of the hive and get stung. It wouldn't even necessarily have to be a fence, just something that provides a boundary that people wouldn't miss. I don't have any examples of this. A google search of beehive fences resulted in examples of using beehives as a deterrent for elephants in Africa. I would just think you would somehow want to protect the beehives in question from people, as well as people from the beehives.
186879
Derek Niemi
Posted over 1 year ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
Okay. Apparently the comment I posted earlier didn't post for some reason. Probably due to my bad internet. I don't really feel like typing it all out again, especially since most of it has been covered, so I will just try to sum up my main points: I think urban beehives are potentially a good idea as long as they are managed properly. The hives should be fenced off to prevent them from being a danger to the public, especially to those who are allergic to bees. In addition, the hives should be placed in parks so the bees will have a large area to gather resources and are less likely to be buzzing around the streets bothering people. One huge benefit to having these colonies in cities is that if CCD begins to affect these urban populations, it could potentially be easier to find the dead bees. In rural areas, there is so much space that the bodies are usually lost in the brush.
186879
Derek Niemi
Posted over 1 year ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
I don't believe the proposal is for rooftop gardens. I would think that rooftops would be too small and too isolated to support healthy bee populations. Instead, I believe it would be more effective to place these colonies in parks and the like, somewhere where the bees can thrive, and where plants are abundant.
186879
Derek Niemi
Posted over 1 year ago
Will the Belo Monte Dam project on the Amazon River cause more harm to the environment or will it be a good source of energy for Brazil?
I would assume that most of the costs are highly subjective. For example, in the video, it showed how flooding from the dam would put part of a city underwater. Well you can put a $ value on the property loss, but you can't put a value on the lives of the people who lived there, which would be destroyed. Another example is the habitat destruction that would lead to population losses in various species. Not to sound crude, but it's the middle of the freakin' jungle, so those animals that would die aren't likely to have much of a dollar value, but that doesn't mean that their loss would be low-cost (not taking into account biodiversity loss).
186879
Derek Niemi
Posted over 1 year ago
Will the Belo Monte Dam project on the Amazon River cause more harm to the environment or will it be a good source of energy for Brazil?
I think the sheer stupidity of what the Brazilian government is doing by allowing this dam to be built is a red flag that there are other matters at play here. As Juliana Ferreira somewhat mentioned earlier, the ecological and economical ramifications for building this dam are unbelievable. They are, which is why it in turn is unbelievable that any sane government would approve this dam. I am of the opinion that the Brazilian government, much like a large portion of the American government, is controlled by lobbyists and big corporations, because they provide the money. True, there is a net loss for the building of the dam for Brazil, but the energy corporation who runs it makes big bucks, part of which goes to the politicians who allowed it to be built. The solution here is not to try to make the Brazilian government realize that what they are doing is wrong, because they are far too corrupt to care, but this issue needs to be brought to the attention of the world so it can become an international political conflict. Only then will the Brazilian government be forced to back down.
186879
Derek Niemi
Posted over 1 year ago
Cats pose a serious threat to biodiversity: Why do we accept it? What should be done?
I agree, Lizanne. I grew up in the same sort of area. My parents still live there. No rabbits though. Mostly mice and voles. The moles and gophers I take care of myself when I'm around and have time for a stakeout. In addition to the lessons you mentioned, it also teaches people to watch where they step ;) Only had to make that mistake once... But anyway, back to you said, I totally agree and I think that that sort of realistic outlook is something kids are losing as more and more people live in cities. They never see what the real world is like outside of their sterile bubble.
186879
Derek Niemi
Posted over 1 year ago
Cats pose a serious threat to biodiversity: Why do we accept it? What should be done?
I agree with you Eleni. I'd like to add though that the usefulness of cats as pest regulators extends beyond urban environments. Many people living in the country, especially those with barns and sheds have cats to get rid of mice, and even birds that live in the rafters and the like. While yes, there also will likely be collateral damage with those species we are concerned about, there is also an undeniable benefit to a feline presence in both these areas and urban areas. As you said, people in these environments wouldn't be too happy to see rats running around, so the next alternative would likely be pesticides, which we know will have their own set of undesirable side-effects. While there are certainly downsides to having so many cats around, I believe it is a necessary evil. However, to help solve the problem, more animal control measures on feral cats could help reduce the unwanted deaths of native and threatened species.
186879
Derek Niemi
Posted over 1 year ago
Purell now, Bacteri-ell later?
Depends what way it goes in ;) But in all seriousness, probably not. Seems a bit overkill to me. Humans have been doing just fine for thousands of years without that kind of thing. But that's just my opinion.
186879
Derek Niemi
Posted over 1 year ago
Purell now, Bacteri-ell later?
Also, I'm not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but perhaps instead of "adding more", as you suggest via some sort of microbial cocktail, maybe we could just "take away less". For example, it may be possible to develop soaps and shampoos and that like that will clean your skin without essentially nuking the microbial populations that live there.