After years of panic over the collapse of bee colonies across the world, we seem to have a new problem – in the US anyway. We talk about that today as well as new Bigfoot footage, the problem of misinformation on YouTube, and some interesting insights into how and when humans gain self-awareness.
For years now we’ve been hearing about the plight of the bees, how disastrous it would be if the bees went away, all our food would go away, mass chaos, riots in the streets, dogs and cats living together…
So of course a lot of effort has been made to protect the honeybees in America, thousands of people have taken up beekeeping, and the workhorse of most commercial beekeepers is the european honeybee.
But the european honeybee, as the name suggests, is not native to North America. Like… It actually shouldn’t be here.
Bee here? Get it?
And it turns out that’s causing some problems now. Because of course it is.
We’re going to be talking about that in today’s Lightning Round video, where we’re also going to talk about geothermal energy, the problem of misinformation on YouTube, and some new alleged Bigfoot footage. Check it out…
Brian Beswick asked: With all the buzz about UAPs and now the latest big foot video from Colorado, what’s your favorite cryptid, and do you think any of them might be real?
Can’t tell how big it is so it could be a person. Plus it’s along this very popular tourist train, so it is likely to be a hoax.
Robin Colburn wrote… a VERY long question, which I will shorten in the interest of not taking up half the video – help me out here, Robin!
But basically her question was: I’ve seen some studies that say that beekeeping can actually be harmful to local ecosystems because beekeepers use imported European honeybees instead of local pollinators. Are we overdoing it with the beekeeping craze?
Whoa! Hey! You gonna come in here and disrespect the honeybee, you gonna come in my house and say the honeybees are bad? I oughtta spansh you in de kaboshna! Farfalla! Rigatoni!
Sorry, I got a little protective of the honeybees there.
But seriously, we’ve been all “Save the honeybees” for so long… That’s actually a good question, could it have a downside?
Were we so concerned with finding out if we could save the honeybees we didn’t stop to think if we should?
Are we creating Jurassic… Hive? Jurassic Mark? Because honeybee stings leave a mark? This metaphor has collapsed.
But it seems that Robin’s question has some merit, I found this article from Scientific American in 2020.
Which, by the way, this is obviously an American issue – European honeybees aren’t really a problem in Europe – but it does have corollaries all around the world.
But yeah, it’s funny to think about, you know, honeybees are so ubiquitous that we forget they’re actually an invasive species. An invasive species which was brought in because they’re really good at pollenating a lot of plants and making a lot of honey.
And this article points out that in some places it crowds out local bees and pollinators, many of which were already endangered and at risk, way more than the imported bees are.
It also mentioned that these hyper-pollinators can increase the spread of damaging weeds because they don’t discriminate between what plants they pollenate, whereas native bees might?
I mean any time you disrupt an ecosystem there are knock-on effects, and we might not know for a while how bad this will affect things, and it did make the point that it affects different places in different ways.
They did a study on an island in the Canary Islands that had never had imported bees before, they were able to see a before and after effect that you just can’t get here now because like I said the European bees are so ubiquitous.
And they showed that there was a reduction in native bee populations, almost immediately.
But in other places not so much. A similar experiment was done in South America that showed no difference.
And every ecosystem is different, in one example the native bumblebees actually did better because their proboscis was longer and could reach nectar in certain native tulips that the imported bee couldn’t.
Anyway, there has been a massive increase of hobby beekeeping lately in response to the perceived honeybee crisis we had a few years back. In fact my sister in law started a little beekeeping business.
I can see why it’s attractive, if you feel like you’re helping the environment and also able to sell honey and make some money off of it.
But it seems that every rose has its thorn. And… a bee pollenating it.
I still think it’s pretty cool but yeah… something to keep in mind.
Cole Parker asked: Hey Joe, if YouTube called you up and asked you to help them fix misinformation (lies) in YouTube Video, Shorts and Ads, what would you recommend to help improve the situation?
Point at the search for ammonia cars and those types of channels – would be great if YouTube could cut down on content farms like that
I do think that misleading titles and thumbnails are a problem and should be discouraged because a lot of people don’t watch the videos or read the articles and yet are bombarded by misleading titles and thumbs – that stuff gets in your head.
I do sometimes miss the star system from back in the old days because you could gauge a video’s quality by audience reaction. Of course that can be easily abused, and it was, which is why it’s not around anymore.
Comment spam was a big problem but they seem to have gotten that a bit more under control.
I have to say the longer I’ve done this and the more I’ve gotten to know and talk to YouTube employees who are working on this kind of stuff, the more I get how big of a problem this is, or how difficult it is to fix.
It’s like every potential fix has an easily exploitable downside that bad actors will find a way to abuse.
And of course now there’s the whole problem with bots – that was the comment issue.
Ultimately YouTube is a social media platform and they have the same problem as all social media – they have to prioritize time on the platform and in order to do that algorithms are tailored to promote engagement, regardless of veracity.
Of course if you platform becomes untrustworthy in the eyes of the public, they’ll stop coming there… It’s a give and take.
It’s actually a tough problem and I don’t know how to fully get rid of it without a verification system… then you get into accusations of free speech issues, etc.
I do wish they had a way to weed out these content farms that just crap out garbage with AI, like the same way Content ID can find songs, they can determine if something is sourced from AI. Or at the very least stop promoting this kind of junk.
Sigh asked: What are the limitations of utilizing geothermal in the US? Obviously geography would be a huge limiting factor, but I’m curious why we’re not geothermalling-the-bejesus out of where it’s possible.
It’s the money, Lebowski.
Geothermal has been on a wild ride over the last 20 years or so, but it might be on an upswing thanks to… wait for it… fossil fuels?
Just in case you don’t know what geothermal is… here’s the basics…
Geothermal and enhanced geothermal
- Popular in the 2000s, but expensive
- Over the years as solar and wind became cheaper, they became more popular
But geothermal could be baseline power, which solar isn’t.
Also when fracking made natural gas cheaper, that became more popular.
But that same fracking technology is making it cheaper and more efficient for geothermal (because you can drill sideways)
There’s still some hurdles to overcome but yeah it may turn out that fracking technology might give geothermal what it needs to finally compete. We’ll see what happens.
John wrote: How old do you think the average person is before they have the thought that “when I see green, do you see red?”; that realization that things defined subjectively may not be true objectively.
Judging by YouTube and social media comments, I’d say about 30% of people never reach that age.
I like apples I PREFER ORANGES. YOU NEED TO BE MORE SENSITIVE TO OTHER PEOPLE’S PREFERENCES, DO BETTER.
- Main character syndrome
- The five stages of awareness
- When does a person become a person?
- The idea of sonder