A yellow-faced bumblebee above an orange poppy, a clump of orange pollen stuck to its legs.

This is kind of hilarious.

Conservation groups asked California to protect four species of native bumblebees. The agriculture industry objected on the grounds that the state’s endangered species law doesn’t cover insects. But the state fish and game code, in trying to cover all its bases defining marine life, defines a fish as “a wild fish, mollusk, crustacean, invertebrate, amphibian, or part, spawn, or ovum of any of those animals.”

So technically, bumblebees, being invertebrates, are eligible for protection as fish.

The state supreme court ruled in favor, because that’s technically what the law says. The judge pointed out that the legislature “is in a position to make whatever statutory amendments it may regard as necessary or useful” to resolve any ambiguities…and specifically stated that the ruling does not mean that the court actually believe bumblebees are fish!

Photo of a Yellow-Faced Bumblebee I saw at the South Coast Botanic Gardens a while back. It’s not one of the four species being petitioned for protection. But I wanted to use one of my own photos for illustration, rather than use the one from the newspaper. Though it’s amusing that of the four endangered species they went with a photo of — I kid you not — Bombus crotchii, a.k.a. Crotch’s Bumblebee. Named after George Robert Crotch.

Expanded from a post on Wandering.shop.

Also: Darwinian Honeybees

On a more serious note, hobbyist beekeepers are starting to use a strategy called Darwinian beekeeping to fend off colony collapse disorder.

Essentially you try to mimic how honeybees would live in the wild instead of trying to pack in as many monocultured hives as you can. Build smaller hives and spread them out, so if one gets infested the parasites or diseases don’t spread as easily to the next. Capture a wild swarm of honeybees, which, unlike mail-order bees bred to maximize honey production, have evolved defenses against the invasive mites that have been attacking developing bees. Keep the hives away from plants you’re going to be using pesticides on.

The causes of CCD are still unclear, but there seem to be multiple factors that contribute to it — and these strategies mitigate several of them. And a lower honey yield in exchange for colonies that survive longer seems like it would be worth the trade-off.

Interesting read on building “microforests”: If you don’t have enough room for actual rewilding, plant a small plot of multilevel native plants and trees in a park, school yard, or even your own back yard — especially in urban areas. Anywhere you can fit an oak (or equivalent), some shorter trees, some bushes and some ground cover. Create a thicket that will support small birds, insects and other animals, and just let it grow.

Horticulturist Katherine Pakradouni is developing a Los Angeles-focused how-to guide at LAMicroforests.com.

It makes me wish I actually had a back yard!

Amazon is shutting down their Drive service. “What Drive service?” you may ask? So did I. It’s a cloud drive like Dropbox or Google Drive, and I’d completely forgotten about it until I read that headline.

According to the FAQ, it was being used by apps for photo and video storage (I assume on Fire tablets) and those have all been moved to Amazon Photos (which I’ve definitely never used).

But something jogged my memory…not just of when Google moved all their Google Plus photo features over to Google Photos, but something else involving music.

So I looked. And it turns out I actually have some files on there after all:

Two folders.

One was “Archived Music”, all albums from 2011 that I’d imported from my CD collection. I’m not sure, but I think the service might have been integrated with Amazon’s online music player way back when, and when they disconnected them, I didn’t have anything else I wanted to use it for.

The other was “My Send To Kindle Docs,” and it was full of ebooks and PDFs from 2015-2016, most of which I recognize from Humble Bundles.

I guess I should look through and see if there’s anything I don’t have a local copy of anymore. That I want to keep, anyway.

There’s a peanut allergy alert for “Chocolate to Die For” ice cream.

I don’t think the name was intended to be taken literally 😬

It reminds me of the time I saw a recall of “Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge” candy, which turned out to actually be toxic. I mean, with a name like that…? (In that case it was lead found in the candy bars).

Though now that I think about it, my first full-on anaphylactic reaction was to an ice cream cake that was allegedly “chocolate, chocolate, everything chocolate” (and turned out not to be).

That’s eerily familiar.

Phishers: Hi, we’re your bank, please click on this attachment for important information.

Security experts: Never click on an unexpected attachment in an email even if you think you know who it’s from. It’s likely to be malware or a scam to steal your login credentials.

Actual banks: Hi, we’re your bank, please click on this attachment for important information. 🤦‍♂️

Seriously, I HATE these systems. The way they keep phishing and malware techniques believable — and have for years! — is worse than any supposed security advantage in not just using email. Half the time the info isn’t any more sensitive than a receipt would be. Or heck, even just “There’s a new message in your account, please log in to see it and use your own bookmarks to get there.” That’s actually more secure!

:sigh:

It’s really too bad all the schemes to add end-to-end security to email over the years have been either too cumbersome to take off for general usage or vendor-specific.

Orignal post.