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Re: [beemonitoring] The response of the younger, non-science public to "Native Bees"

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  • John Mola
    Hi all, Speaking as a member of the younger generation who uses Reddit, but also as a graduate student...I d like to point out the subreddit /r/entomology.
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 12, 2013
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      Hi all,

      Speaking as a member of the younger generation who uses Reddit, but also as a graduate student...I'd like to point out the subreddit /r/entomology. Several of you may be interested. While it's not as popular as the less "serious" subreddits, it still receives a good amount of views and if something becomes popular within the subreddit, it can be seen by many more people across all of reddit.


      Here's an example of a recent conversation/photo about Nomia:

      Still, postings of bees are rare. But, with that said, there's been a few conversations in other subreddits where I've chimed in with some bee knowledge. Specifically, I pointed out that some "crazy photo" of a bunch of "bees" in a drink were actually yellow jackets. I prefaced it by saying, "as someone who studies pollination ecology..." This reply resulted in a lot of excitement from people then asking all sorts of questions about bees versus wasps, and whether or not all bees make honey, etc. So, even in a subreddit called "WTF", you can manage to break through and have some great back and forth with folks who otherwise might never have even known people study bees at all!

      Oh, and here's another one where people posted a "blue carpenter bee". This one actually made the front page of Reddit, and has over 3,000 "upvotes" (that's a lot).  The person who posted the image does mention the nesting habitat and scientific name of the bee in the comments.


      Yes. I have to agree, most of the comments/conversation is silly and uneducated, but you have to start somewhere. Even if someone goes on the page just to make a dumb joke, but happens to at the same time notice and learn, "Hey, most bees are actually solitary." It's something. To be honest, most of my conversations with people "outside" the circles of scientists and students tend to look just like these reddit comments, I say a few informed statements, and then joking ensues!



      On Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 8:44 AM, Riddle,T Charles <tcri@...> wrote:

      Along the same lines, I recently had an employee request a copy of the diagram from the handy bee manual so his grandson could color it and he could put it on his refrigerator. Maybe some diagrams with color pictures could nudge kids into science?  


      From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Droege, Sam
      Sent: Monday, August 12, 2013 10:00 AM
      To: Bee United; Entomology Discussion List
      Subject: [beemonitoring] The response of the younger, non-science public to "Native Bees"





      My world of bee research, monitoring, and study is largely a closed one.  I talk to co mpatriots and people who seek me out online, help workout problems of identification and sample design, and live essentially in a pretty little bubble floating above the rest of the world.  When I reach out it is usually through the invitation of sympathetic organizations that already resonate and validate my ideals...I give talks to garden clubs, naturalist clubs and such and that usually is the extent of my interaction with "the public."


      Recently, my daughter forwarded me a link to a set of bee pictures posted on the socially networking site imgur and others told me about posts to reddit which often links to imgur.  Intellectually, it is pretty easy to dismiss both these sites as catering mostly to shallow, vapid discussions of pop stars and titillating topics.   But... they are incredibly popular and viewed by many people who would never read any of the things we read....so, an interesting demography.


      So, the pictures on imgur were downloaded from our official US government flickr account



      Which, contains public domain pictures my wonderful technicians and interns take, is very popular on Flickr (a high level photosharing site) and we explicitly say that people can do whatever they like with our pictures and while acknowledgement is preferred it is not required.


      Our pictures are used heavily and most cite us, but in this case they did not (we don't mind this by the way).  


      They were beautiful pictures and here is the link.



      No commentary, no scientific names just the pictures here.


      Turns out the pictures were compiled because of their visual properties and linked to reddit in a discussion thread called "WhoaDude" which states as its "mission"


      "WoahDude is for links to material that is trippy or mesmerizing. Often this includes material that was created specifically to be consumed by people when they are high on drugs....


      This place is for stoners first and foremost. Sober people are guests in our house. As harsh as that may sound, there's plenty of other subreddits around here. Let the stoners have their home! If you're a non-stoner, please stop downvoting our music videos and sandbox games just because you "don't get it" :)."


      Note that while it started in this reddit (I can actually see their point)....it subsequently was crossposted throughout the site.


      As of this morning this set of bee pictures has garnered almost 200,000 views in 2 days, we on the other hand achieved that number of views after only 1000 pictures were added to our site after well over a year.


      Below are some of the comments from the unwashed masses.  I am not quite sure what to think of this except that despite the coarseness of everyone's language and the fact that we probably would not choose to mix with this crowd they do vote and they ultimately have more power to influence conservation issues through their "liking" of topics and how good a job we and the media have done in keeping people outside of our special little circles informed of what we do.


      Have fun..





      [–]Nelo112 3 points 1 day ago

      Wow, the black one is cool. No wait, the blue one is better. What? A green bee? That's the best one. Hold on! The gray one! I love the gray one!


      [–]madeinkorea718 2 points 1 day ago

      I don't care how awesome these bees look, I still hate them with every inch of my body.


      [–]blackfay 2 points 1 day ago

      Beautiful, terrifying bastards


      [–]Hascalod 1 point 1 day ago

      Looks like pokemons or some crazy s**t like that. I like it!


      [–]alavalamp 1 point 1 day ago

      Holy f**k. Bees are awesome.


      [–]imgettingbetternow 1 point 1 day ago

      What breed(word choice?) is the bottom most one? So incredibly beautiful


      [–]McMammy 1 point 1 day ago

      I have almost a phobia of bees, but those are really great photos.


      [–]mike117 1 point 1 day ago

      I'm pretty sure some of these are tarantulas with wings.


      [–]GMCooper84 1 point 1 day ago

      you should only be able to scope these while listening to wu tang


      [–]asain-skiier 1 point 1 day ago

      Damn nature, you scary.


      [–]why_not21 1 point 1 day ago

      TIL bees aren't just black and yellow. They some bad mama jamas.


      [–]drfunkenstien014 1 point 1 day ago

      Hmmm I didn't know they came in blue, green, grey and death.


      [–]egypturnash 1 point 1 day ago

      omg SO PRETTYYYYYYY 🐝🐝❤❤❤🐝


      [–]congress_tart_ 1 point 1 day ago

      they're like the power rangers of insects


      [–]Too_many_straws 1 point 23 hours ago

      This Is probably one of the coolest things I have seen on reddit.


      [–]Verdris 1 point 23 hours ago

      Bees are pretty f**king beautiful.


      [–]dat_kat 1 point 23 hours ago

      I wish I had rainbow wings.


      [–]Crunketh 4 points 1 day ago

      The blue bee looked like it was created by a one night stand that included a regular bee & a fly.


      –]too_toked 1 point 23 hours ago

      The blue one looks like it could have been designed by Mazda..


      [–]jrizos 1 point 18 hours ago

      Want tattoo of these.


      [–]TheAceprobe 51 points 1 day ago

      These bees look like they're part of some insect crime-fighting task force.


      [–]lemonpartyorganizer 419 points 1 day ago

      They look so hi-tech, ultra-modern with their precision carbon fiber looking eyes, and their wind tunnel bodies. Nature is a strange thing.


      OdeToAwesomeness 163 points : a day ago reply

      If beebro didn't carry plant jizz everywhere, you wouldn't have fruits and vegetables. You should be thankful


      feastyoureartonguesonthesememorypops 4 points : a day ago reply

      Thanks for keeping the earth alive my bumbly friends


      kruton93 3 points : a day ago reply

      I can only imagine how f**king happy that first bee is covered in pollen.


      ilikemaps 1 point : 7 hours ago reply

      Let's not let them go extinct because of pesticides. Because, you know. We'd sort of die without them.


      IndestructiNokia 1 point : 9 hours ago reply

      Who turned up the acid?


      sparkyman1961 1 point : 14 hours ago reply

      To all the haters of bees: do you realise the planet would be f**ked without them, especially the bumble bee? Pollination is the key word!


      creatingthiswhileiamdruck 1 point : 21 hours ago reply

      I feel like they all have special jobs and go on special missions based on their color!


      brohanman 1 point : 21 hours ago reply

      I wonder if bees ever get allergies to pollen.


      HarryBalzac 1 point : a day ago reply

      5th one is majestic as f**k



      Bees are Not Optional

      Ong là không bắt buộc

      John Mola

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