Bumble Bees Don't Generate Big Buzz and Their Numbers Are Also In Steep Decline


Environmentalists and concerned citizens are very attuned to the plight of bees, and specifically honey bees, considered to be most vital for pollination. The bumble bees' longer tongue and wing vibrating tendencies make them more efficient pollinators for some plant species. 

Bumble bees can forage in cool, unfavorable weather better than other bees, making them a focus of study among scientists at Michigan State University. Researchers studied the current population of Michigan bumble bees while extracting data from museum specimens collected as far back as the 1880s.

Blueberries are MIchigan’s leading fruit crop. Science Daily writes: “To extract the pollen necessary for fertilization, the blossom needs to be shaken vigorously, and bumble bees are expert at vibrating the flowers to shake out the pollen.”

"In Michigan, there are 19 species of bumble bees and around 445 species of other bees," said Wood, who led the study in the lab of Rufus Isaacs, MSU entomologist. "Many of Michigan's key crops depend on them. In fact, about 50 percent of cherry pollination is carried out by wild bees."

Wood's team scoured the state of Michigan and compared the distribution of 12 different bumble bee species across the state's 83 counties before and after the year 2000. Some of the biggest declines include:

  • Rusty patched bumble bee -- 100%

  • American bumble bee -- 98%

  • Yellow banded bumble bee -- 71%

  • Yellow bumble bee -- 65%

The findings hold lessons for other regions around the globe, and some of them are positive. A couple of success stories include the common eastern bumble bee and the brown belted bumble bee, which increased by 31% and 10%, respectively.

By sampling pollen on aged bee specimens in museums, scientists determined that the greatest declines in bumble species came from those that had a narrow range of plants they visit for pollen. The picky eaters bumble bees weren’t able to adapt seasonally and also due to loss of prairies over the last century. Pesticides aren’t mentioned in the research summary.


Doutzen Kroes Says Ambassador Role For #Knot On My Planet Gives Her Sense Of Purpose


Supermodel Doutzen Kroes didn’t just become an activist two years ago, but the Dutch superstar model, mom, wife, design collaborator and activist for humanity tells Vanity Fair that it’s her role as global ambassador for #Knot on My Planet that gives her a tremendous sense of purpose.

Vanity Fair checked in with Kroes before shooting the new #Knot on My Planet campaign with Naomi Campbell and Serena Williams also part of the production. The Knot on My Planet elephant conservation effort gained momentum when Reed Krakoff became chief artistic officer of Tiffany & Co. last year. The new collection will expand beyond elephants to also include rhino and lion pieces.

Tiffany has partnered with the Elephant Crisis Fund on the #KnotOnMyPlanet campaign, launching an initial campaign featuring Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington Burns, Naomi Campbell and other prominent voices tying a knot to never forget elephants under threat from ivory poachers.

While there has been some good news — China banned all commercial ivory trading in 2017 — the situation remains bleak in many African countries. Most recently, nearly 100 elephants were discovered dead in Botswana, a country that has relaxed its elephant protection policies under its newly-elected president Mokgweetsi Masisi. New reports in Africa are that Botswana is also considering lifting its hunting ban.

Followup October. 21, 2018: The New York Times wrote on September 28 an article ‘Doubts Mount in Botswana Over Charity’s Claim of Elephant ‘Poaching Frenzy’.

We will dig much deeper into the very thoughtful arguments raised in this article concerning the influences of outside groups involved in elephant conservation being pitted against the wishes and interests of native Africans living on the land. The NYT article is too complex and valuable a read to treat it as an addendum.

African elephants photographed by Susan McConnell.

African elephants photographed by Susan McConnell.

Returning to Tiffany & Co, Anisa Kamadoli Costa, chief sustainability officer at Tiffany and chairman and president of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, sat down with Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, founder of Save the Elephants, to discuss his tireless efforts on behalf of these magnificent creatures and what we can all do to help.


Tanzania's Selous Safari Company Recycled Their Taka Taka Long Ago With Minimal Footprint Policies

bamboo straws selous safari company.jpeg

I've been on the hunt for bamboo tubes used in our GlamTribal jewelry and this gorgeous image from Tanzania's Selous Safari Company is causing me to have a eureka moment! I'm probably finding them to be so scarce because larger bamboo tubes are now being used as straws. 

One of the core values and main objectives of Selous Safari Company is its commitment to have minimal impact on the environment. 

Long before it was mainstream practice, SSC stopped using plastic bags, started using solar power, set out to recycle all their "taka taka" (Swahili word for garbage) and ceased using plastic bottles. Selous Safari Company also stopped using plastic straws… without a firm plan for their replacement.

A bit of creative meditation, most likely accompanied by a delicious cocktail or two on their magnificent beach, produced the answer: Bamboo straws! And NOT delivered by Amazon. REAL, AUTHENTIC bamboo straws. 

SSC's beach lodge, Ras Kutani, on the Swahili Coast has plenty of bamboo, and the creative minds went into high gear. Read their blog post for further instructions.  Here in America, GlamTribal will order our own bamboo straws, treat them with only eco-friendly varnish, perhaps even decoupage them. Who knows what ideas will be inspired by the bamboo straws created by Tanzania's Selous Safari Company!

If a trip to Tanzania isn't in your budget this minute, consider taking a hatchet to your monthly must-haves, buy our woolly mammoth bone, bamboo tubes, black lava pendant and imagine yourself at Jongomero, another Selous Safari Company property. 

Surely, you can give up a pumpkin latte or 10 a month, just to put on your pendant in this splendid, rustic elegance at Jongomero

PS250 Woolly Mammoth Bone Bamboo Tubes Black Lava Pendant w/Earrings


Sizing: 24" L to top of pendant INCLUDING bamboo tubes adjusting to 28.5"" fully open w/extender. Plus pendant measuring 2 1/4"L x 2".  Earrings 1 1/2"L

Finding: 12mm antique gold swivel lobster clasp. 11mm antique gold, stainless steel earwire. 4.5” handmade chain extender.

10% of retail price supports Kibera (Nairobi) School for Girls and elephant conservation in Kenya.

Studio-made: unique pendant w/speckled bone tube and elephant charm resting on black lava. Other materials: 1 woolly mammoth bone bead, carved bone beads, specked bone tube, brass mini spacers, bamboo tubes, yellow and black crow bead, twigs, acai bead, faceted tortoise glass, antique gold brass filigree tubes. HOPE and PEACE spacers.

NOTE: I’ve updated pendant with elephant and bee on jumpring, to keep elephant from moving to back of black lava. Ellie still moves but doesn’t get lost.

Handcrafted in America; natural variations and minor substitutions for sizing apply. Statue not included. Pendant shipped in burlap bag w/recycled tissue.

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