When foraging bees find food, they fly back to the hive and dance. (Photo by Jenny W.)
Bee researchers have long believed that honeybees use a special dance to show their hive-mates where food is. A study published in the journal Nature provides direct evidence that the dance works. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Rebecca Williams explains:
Bee researchers have long believed that honeybees use a special dance to
show their hive-mates where food is. A study published in the journal
Nature provides direct evidence that the dance works. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Rebecca Williams explains:
Honeybees have a complex way of talking about dinner. Forager bees fly out
of the hive in search of pollen and nectar. When they find something tasty,
they fly home to the hive and dance.
Researchers in England caught bees that had watched the dance and tagged
them with tiny radio trackers. Then they followed the bees’ exact flight
Joe Riley is lead author of the study. He says the research relieves some
doubts about how well honeybees interpret the dance.
“The only thing that was missing was a really convincing demonstration that
this happened. And what we saw what happened was they left the hive,
circled for a minute or two to get their bearings and then flew straight off
in this predicted direction and for the distance that was coded in the
Riley says the bees do need a little help once they get close to the food
source: they have to look and sniff around to find the right flower.
Superfast muscles help this bird sing. (Photo by Brian Peterson)
Scientists have come one step closer to understanding how birds create their songs. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Rebecca Williams explains:
Scientists have come one step closer to understanding how birds
create their songs. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Rebecca
That’s a cooing ring dove. And this is a recording of special muscles
the dove’s using to control its song: (sound of muscle activity).
Those muscles are called aerobic superfast muscles. It’s a type of
muscle that has been found in rattlesnakes and some fish. The
muscles were just discovered in birds for the first time.
The research was published in the journal Nature. Coen
Elemans is the lead researcher. He says a unique quality of the dove’s
song led him to investigate it further.
“And we found that some of these doves have a trill in their song, they
make a sound something like (mimics dove song). And during this
short trill, you get elements that are so short, sometimes ten or nine
milliseconds, that I was wondering, how can this be done? This is so
fast that normal locomotory muscles you find in vertebrates cannot do the job.”
Elemans says this discovery could be just the beginning. He says
songbirds have more complex vocal systems than doves… so
songbirds could be using even faster muscles.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Rebecca Williams.
People who come to the United States to escape persecution in their home country often face two major adjustments: Life in a new country, and life—for the first time—in a major city. A farm in Illinois takes part in a program designed to ease that transition. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chris Lehman reports:
People who come to the United States to escape persecution in their
often face two major adjustments: Life in a new country, and life—for
time—in a major city. A farm in Illinois takes part in a program
designed to ease
that transition. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chris Lehman
The demons of torture were threatening to rob Thaddee Essomba of his
Essomba was a political activist in the West African nation of
Someone evidently didn’t share Essomba’s views, and they wanted to make
Essomba fled Cameroon, leaving behind his home, his family, and
knew. He didn’t stop running until he arrived in Chicago.
Chicago was unlike anything Essomba had ever seen. Skyscrapers,
complexes and elevated trains were all new to him. Miles and miles of
and asphalt surrounded him. Adjusting to life in the city was almost
as difficult as
adjusting to life in a new country. All this, while trying to recover
physical and psychological scars of torture.
Then, Thaddee Essomba discovered the farm.
(sound of farm fades in)
“For me to come here is really to go back to the source. Because when
you live in
the city, you know you get a little bit, you like to be in touch with
the nature. And
really I was missing that.”
(sound of goats)
The farm is called Angelic Organics. For the past decade it’s been
from the Marjorie Kovler Center for Survivors of Torture in Chicago.
helps people fleeing persecution to recover and re-settle in the United
People come to the center from all over the world. Many of them are
areas and aren’t used to living in a city.
Tom Spaulding is a former volunteer at the Kovler Center. He now works
Angelic Organics Farm. He says a visit to the farm can be a key stop
on the road
to recovery for torture victims.
“They’re living now in Chicago in a huge metropolitan area, and they’re
backgrounds, and some of them are farmers. And to be on a farm that’s
like what they were used to back home—because it’s a small farm, it’s
vegetables and livestock. And so it’s, maybe it’s just because it
touches a lot of
things from peoples’…what was familiar from back home. And maybe that
For many of the people here, it’s a familiar setting. John Fallah
fled a civil war in
Liberia two years ago. He had to leave his family behind when he
While he says he enjoys life in Chicago because he doesn’t feel
anymore, Fallah says the farm reminds him of home…
“I’m very much impressed of what I am seeing on this farm. There is no
difference from how we do the farming in Africa and here.”
(sound of chickens, goats)
This was Fallah’s first visit to the farm. Some of the Kovler Center’s
made the 80-mile trip from Chicago many times. Thaddee Essomba says
has become an important part of his life.
“When I came here you know I feel myself very relaxed. I enjoy myself,
know, my soul was really in touch with the nature, and I feel very
know and why sometime every year I try to come back to be, to feel that
For Essomba and the other survivors of torture, that sensation can be
part of the healing process.
Essomba has even found a way to give back to the community surrounding
farm. He’s been teaching area kids about life in his native country.
It’s a land far
away, a place the kids have probably even never heard of. But as
learned, the nation of Cameroon has some very important things in
the rural Midwest.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Chris Lehman.