Do you drink tequila? Eat chocolate? Thank a bat. This hour on Focus, we’ll listen back to a conversation we had earlier this year about how these notorious flying mammals and the role they play in our eco-system.
Bats are notorious in popular culture, and they play a vital role in our eco-system. Of the more than 1,000 species that exist worldwide, 13 can be found in Illinois, and six of those species are now being threatened by white nose syndrome. This hour on Focus, we’ll listen back to a conversation host Jim Meadows had with Ed Heske, a mammalian ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, about bats, why they’re important and why white nose syndrome is so scary, especially for farmers. This program originally aired in March when researchers first discovered white nose syndrome in Illinois.
This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows explores East Central Illinois…from the perspective of a tourist. Sue Post, author of Hiking Illinois, will be here to tell us about some scenic, and maybe unexpected, places in the area to enjoy the outdoors and will talk with us about what makes hiking in Illinois unique. We’ll also talk with her about native wildlife of note.
Then during the second half of the hour, we’ll talk with Heather Wilkins, Director for the Land of Lincoln Regional Tourism Office, about Illinois trails. These Trails don’t have much to do with hiking, but they’re just as scenic. We’ll talk about where you can go to visit everything from Illinois’ most historic drive-in movie theatres to the oldest soda fountains and the world’s largest golf tee and covered wagon.
What are your favorite places to go or things to do to “get away” while staying in the area? We want to hear from you this hour on Focus!
The US Agriculture Department said yesterday that the honey bee population declined by more than 30 percent last winter, continuing a decrease in honey bee numbers that began in 2005. That’s a problem as more than 20 billion dollars worth of annual harvests rely on bees for pollination. No one really knows exactly why bees are disappearing, although many speculate it’s due to what scientists are calling colony collapse disorder. Researchers have pointed to pesticides, stress and microbial organisms as possible causes but conclusive answers have so far been elusive.
This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with May Berenbaum, Professor of Entomology at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign about colony collapse disorder, what it is, and what might be causing it. According to new research, high fructose corn syrup could also play a role. We’ll also hear from David Burns, a Master Beekeeper and owner of Long Lane Honey Bee Farms in Fairmount.
Are you a bee keeper? Are you a concerned farmer or gardener? We want to hear your story. Post in the comments section below!