International News Desk – At Home: Adopt a Bee; Around the World: No More Mr. Clean

At Home: Adopt a Bee

Bumblebees may be a crucial part of the agricultural and natural cycle, but few urban and suburban dwellers are happy to discover them lurking around the front porch. Fear of stings (and of insects in general) prompts many to exterminate bumblebee colonies despite the long-term benefits of their presence. However, a new program in Calgary may offer a solution that keeps both residents and bees on good terms.

As the CBC reports, a local ?bee advocacy group? is pioneering a ?new foster program? that will allow unwanted colonies to be moved without being destroyed.

The program, which will be staffed by volunteers from the Community Pollinator Foundation, seeks to ?try to find new homes? for the displaced bees.

Professor Robin Owen, of Mount Royal University, told reporters that bees ?really won’t do you any harm unless you threaten them directly.? In fact, the professor added, bumblebees ?are extremely beneficial.?

The new program will allow the threatened insects to carry out their important role with minimal disturbance to both bees and homeowners.

Around the World: No More Mr. Clean

Now that the warm weather is coming back, we’re often consumed by a desire to spring clean. Drapes are washed, floors scoured, furniture dusted. Every last speck of dust and dirt is banished from the remotest corners of the home. But is this a mistake?

As The Globe and Mail reports, all that cleaning may be ?counter-productive,? in fact reducing the air quality in your house.

As recent study discovered that ?household dust actually purifies the air by neutralizing harmful ozone.? While ozone is vital in the upper atmosphere, at lower altitudes it ?is a pollutant that can damage our lungs.?

It’s not even a matter of that old-fashioned notion of a peck of dirt. Rather, It’s the dust containing remnants of shed human skin that does the air-clearing trick. Squalene, a compound found ?in the oils of our skin,? neutralizes ozone in the air?up to ?15 per cent,? according to the study.

Despite the benefits of dust, however, it can still compromise the air quality of ?allergy-sufferers.?

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