Nothing will Replace Honeybees

This assignment I am basing of, “Probing Question: What’s killing the honeybees?” by Lisa Duchene featured in Penn State News.

House of Cards vs. Spider Web

Will other means of pollination allow for crop production to be sustained if there are further losses to the honeybee population?

The honeybees may be the most influential step in the growing process. Farmers have always heavily relied on honeybees as a natural pollinator to pollinate all of the crops that feed families and communities. As honeybee numbers drop, other insects such as other species of bees, butterflies, and ants will continue to pollinate a certain percentage of crops grown and the increased amount of available food will increase the population of each of the species. (Fultz, 2009) The rapidness of this population growth and the full extent of crop amounts that can be covered is unknown. Butterflies and other replacement pollinating insects come with other complications that are not present with the use of bees. Butterflies’ offspring develop in stages away from a set colony. The caterpillar stage can be very harmful to crops. The caterpillar will eat large amounts of crops often in inconvenient places that harm the look of the crop which, as we covered in Module 6: Food and Agriculture, will hurt the sales of the crop.


Due to the profound impact already being felt, farmers are purchasing and renting hives of honey bees to be places near the areas they are growing to ensure pollination rates. This task is becoming more difficult due to the decreasing winter survival rates of hives. The shortage is leading to importing of hives. The hives have to be transported which leads to higher prices. The fact that farmers are paying more and more money for single hives means that there is little alternative to using bees for pollination. This could mean a lack of food produced if the honeybee population continues to diminish.


J, Fultz. (2009). Pollinating Insects. Indiana State University. Retrieve on Apr. 15, 2016. From

Connections Mod 9 – Perricone

mod 9 diagram

The network of communications is very extensive and does not seem to be entirely friendly. Leverage was used to influence different countries’ actions. The US was in direct contact with one of the leaders of the negotiations, Meles Zenawi, the Ethiopian prime minister. The meeting was between Meles Zenawi and Maria Otero, the United States Undersecretary of State. This information was discovered by Addis Ababa. The US state department attempted hacking to discover information. They sent emails to diplomats in china that copied the format of companies hoping that they would be opened because code was attached that would allow hijacking of the computer. The first attempt failed but further attempts were planned. Ahmed Shaheed showed his hand, so to speak, by sending communications to Hillary Clinton saying he wanted support. Then two months later there was further action on behalf of Maldive to push for the accord sooner and make members in the accord follow the agreed actions. The system diagram shows how all of the individual communications are connected and centered around the United States. There was illegal spying by the United States but also against it. There was communications directly to leaders of other countries. Although the communications were related to climate change and environmental issues, there is no proof that it was the main concern of the United States to have the deal that was being struck be the deal that is best for the environment. The representatives from Maldive seemed to be more focused on the environment.

As a citizen of the United States, I am very embarrassed that the government would stoup to trying to hack individuals’ computers. Especially because these individuals are not citizens and are not subject to the authority which the United States holds over its citizens and there is no reason to suspect treasonous actions from the targeted individuals. Furthermore, the inappropriate actions risks relations between the United States and China, the country of the targeted individuals as well as any country that discovers the transgression and feels strongly that it was inappropriate and immoral. The discovered spying on United States diplomat does not condone the action. Information on the government actions should have been released by the United States government sooner than happened but I understand the need for secrecy. If I was in a position within the government to release information on the transgressions of others that would put national relations at risk I would not have released any information to compromise the United States government.

The United States uses far too high a percentage of fossil fuels throughout the country and by a very high percentage of the population. This means that the United States is allowing the release of a significant amount of harmful emission into the atmosphere. This should lead the United States to want to be a leader in environmental protection and increase regulations of emissions. This group and bringing other countries into the fight will only benefit the United States. The United States should be the one pursuing the issue not making Maldive representative make repeated attempts at communication and negotiations.

Mod 8 Hazards

Using the Nathan World Map of Natural Hazards by Muncih Re, many risks and trends were identified for the general area. The area I used was north east Pennsylvania because I was unable to distinguish more accurately. The area is zone 0 for MM V and below earthquakes, zone 1 for low chance of wildfires, zone 1 for winter storm with 81-120 km/h winds, zone 2 for moderate frequency and intensity of hail storms, and also close to a coast with a tendency for zone 4 winds with peak speeds between 252-299 km/h. The El Nino brings warmer weather and fewer tropical cyclones. The La Nina brings higher risks of tropical cyclone activity. The history of the area shows trends of an average increase of 0.3 degrees Celsius and 15% rise in precipitation per decade between 1978 and 2007. There is an increased risk of heavy rain in the area.

For the first choice of question two, using Global Risk Data Platform, the site allowed a considerable increase in preciseness of area observed. For this part, I used Wayne County Pennsylvania and made note of how different parts of the county were affected. There was no history of landslides, tsunami, or spectral acceleration (earthquakes). There have been cyclone winds reaching an average of 70 km/h causing losses in the bracket of 20-200 million dollars (US). There are flood hazards especially near rivers. Certain areas at risk of draught. The detail in effected areas is very helpful when compiling data. I would differentiate the colors further when showing the level an area is affected. This sight is more time consuming and would be overly specific for larger areas.

The distinguished weather in different seasons causes predictable patterns for hazard risks. During winter, there is an increased risk of storms that produce snow or ice and come with strong gusts of wind. During the spring months, there is increased risk of storms that bring heavy rain fall often and the warmer temperatures leads to any remaining snow or ice to melt. This increase of water in the area leads to flooding especially in low-lying areas near bodies of water. This precipitation tappers off and the average temperature continues to rise leading to drought through the end of the summer. This transition of temperature can lead hail storms or twisters. Neither have a large risk of happening but have happened and normally effect about a square mile. Fall may be the season with the lease risk of hazards but there is still possibilities for all of the above hazards.

One main change I would make to the town would simply be stopping any development of land within a foot of sea level or within 100 yards of a body of water. Many areas deal with flooding often and development in these areas subject structures to water damage repeatedly. There could be zoning by local government to forbid insurance available on structures that area in flood zones. This may cause individuals to build structures in areas with less risk of flooding to qualify for insurance. I will never build a permanent structure in a flood zone with the expectation that it would be safe from floods. The other major risk faced in the area is winter storms and the side effects. The local area is proficient at predicting and canceling what is needed to keep roads more clear. Also individuals often choose not to drive in the weather.

Honesdale and Future Developments

I grew up in Honesdale Pennsylvania. This is a small town in the northeast corner of the state with a population of 4,312 during the last census in 2013. The town officially covers 4.023 square miles but I consider myself a resident regardless of being a half mile outside of the boarder. Within the area that is officially Honesdale there are two types of neighborhoods. The center and areas surrounding between the center and the local high school a mile away are all Pedestrian-Oriented Neighborhoods with a few more automobile friendly roads cutting through the middle. The rest of the town is primarily Automobile Suburbs. There is no public transportation in the town with the exception of a bus stop for a coach bus taking passengers to a larger town across the border in New York. This only comes to town three times a week. Most of the shopping in the area is over a mile away from where the sidewalks end leaving Honesdale. I believe that the current lack of public transportation is hindering possible growth in the area.

The first city from the module I would like to discuss is Detroit and its Urban Farming. I was very impressed by the productive use of land and how the community came together to support one another and thrive. My town is surrounded by farm land and farmers and although many have independent stores normally located on the property they farm from it is very far from the mass of the population. If my town were to hold farmers market open to the public more often then those in the town would have alternatives to buying food from other regions with less inconvenience and sales would increase in these areas. Furthermore farmers could also participate in farmers markets outside of our small town to bring healthier food options to the cities surrounding us including Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Monticello. These towns are within an hour drive have significantly greater population. I know of multiple buildings in the town that are large enough and stand empty at this time. These would be perfect areas for such events to happen regularly.

The second city I would like to discuss is Curitiba and its bus system. I was impressed by the ease created for use of the busses which decreased wasted time. The planning of routes was highly effective in creating such a beneficial system. For my town transportation should start being made available from the main residential area to the main shopping areas. If designing for expansion and increased use were to happen now then it could become highly efficient and decrease the traffic in the town currently. The problems faced for Curitiba against a subway would increase once the consideration of geography was added for the problems my town would face. Due to the water ways, terrain, developed areas, and elevation differences this would be all but impossible making busses the smarter option.

Small Changes – Perricone Mod 6

I have gone two years without having more than a tea and the very rare McFlurry (my weakness but only three in this time) from a fast food restaurant.  This is a significant decrease from my high school days when I would eat fast food a minimum of three times a month and my first two years of college where it was quick, easy, and cheaper than other options and would be up to half of my diet at times. This change came about for many reasons. The more I ate this food the worse my body felt. I was told by many friends the serious health problems I would cause if I did not reduce my intake and I realized that this food was not even close to the healthy food all my friends were eating.

Although I was not obese, I noticed weight gain as my fast food intake increased and a very large part of my diet was highly processed food. The change in diet was for my benefit as much as to resist what these restaurants are making our food market into. The food was very greasy and over all unhealthy due to the way it was made. This unhealthiness was leading to my weight gain because my calorie intake increased while my daily exercise not only did not increase but slightly decreased due to increase of studying.  The food I was eating was coming from highly industrialized farms. I make a point to go to local farmers markets for food, including ice cream, to support smaller farms in my area. The money I am not spending on fast food is not getting into the hands of large farmers. I know this is an almost unnoticeable change to these large companies but it is a more effective change to the small farms I work to support.


diagram mod 6

Bees and Healthcare

This is a broad study of 344 plots throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This is from allAfrica division of UN News service. The article I am referencing is Africa: Bees Can Help Boost Food Security of Two Billion Small Farmers At No Cost retrieved from This article details how important bees are for the pollination of crops. Pollination is a fundamental part of the growing process for crops and the significant majority of it is done by bees. This means for a successful food production and more importantly successful development of countries, bees must be protected and possibly production of honey could be coupled with farming large acreage of crops. Some effects of climate change have negative impacts on bee colonies as well so any actions to slow climate change would be beneficial for bees.

This study has to do with a range of citizens in Costa Rica. It is from the World Health Organization on government funded healthcare’s relation to life expectancy and the struggle for the government to continue funding. This is simply Case Study: Costa Rica, a link to the pdf is In relation to this week’s subject, the study states that although the country is only 69Th in GDP per capita, it is on the list of the top, “35 countries with the highest Human Development Index.” Funding is a significant problem with the design of this health service because of the large percent that falls on employers and employees with little help from taxes on controversial products.

In the rural area I grew up, there was always talk on how farmers would occasionally loss hives, honey bees are kept by some farmers to harvest honey. The talk was always regarding the cost or replacing bees seemed to increase but if protected hives are dying, how are the wild bees fairing? I hope that the dangerous to bee does not start harming the produce production of small farms in my area. For the second article it made me remember talking with my aunt who is a nurse in Maine. With the border to Canada being so close, many people go to Canada for healthcare which cuts the need for funding in the areas. There are only a few major hospitals in the whole state. Also, she remarked that even a few of her fellow employees live in Canada because it is cheaper to live in Canada and commute to work because of the healthcare available and better to work in healthcare in the United States because the pay is better here. I do agree that the service provided by healthcare workers is important and it is a shame that wages have to be lower just so healthcare can be provided, affordably to everyone.

Water Usage, Perricone

Part 1-a:

For my home town of Honesdale PA, the homes in town use water from Bucks Cove Lake. This reservoir is supplied by the Lackawaxen River and accessible via Bucks Cove Road. The reservoir is located six hundredths of a mile outside of town, the previously used reservoir was over five miles outside of town when the pipe network was in need a repair and Bucks Cove Lake replaced it to comply with the town’s needs. The water is pumped into town using a pipe network that mostly follows the roads. Most of the pipes in question were replaced last summer. Once the water is used in houses in town and sent down a drain away from said houses, it is piped back to a wastewater treatment plant accessed by the same road, Bucks Cove Road. The address for the complex is 574 Bucks Cove Road. The treated water is released downstream of the Lackawaxen river to reenter the Lackawaxen river section of the Delaware River Basin Watershed. My personal home has a well that pumps well water straight into my house and we have a sewer on our property that the wastewater is filtered through.

Part 1-b:

Water use:

Drinking 0.6 gallons a day

Cooking 1 gallon a day

Dish washing 30 gallons per day

Flow rate from tap: 1.5 gallons per minute

Time running water: 20 minutes

Shower 26.25 gallons per day

Flow rate from shower head: 1.75 gallons per minute

Time running water: 15 minutes

Teeth brushing 0.425 gallons per day

Flow rate from bathroom tap: 0.85 gallons per minute

Time running water (with turning on and off): 0.5 minute

Hand washing 5.1 gallons per day

Flow rate from bathroom tap: 0.85 gallons per minute

Time running water: 0.5 minutes

Washings per day: 12

Toilet flushing 28 gallons per day

Gallons per flush (model from 1980-1992 time frame): 3.5 gallons per flush

Flushes per day: 8 flushes per day

Rinsing wash rag for cleaning 1 gallon per day

Laundry 11.49 gallons per day

2 loads a week

40 gallons per load (old machine)

80 gallons per week

Total water use in home: 114.2 gallons per day

Part 1-c:

I am going to reference a summer camping trip as the two gallon a day water use experiment. While camping, I was lucky enough to be by a river which allowed me to clean my body. I did use wet wipes for washing. I brought enough clothing, and did not use a toilet or cook any food that required water. My water usage was limited to drinking, and a half cup for brushing teeth. The amount of water I drank increased due to weather and activity leading to a total water use of about a gallon. This was made possible by not needing to use machines, as in a toilet or washing machine, which use high amounts of water, and I did not use dishes. This worked for one day but is not a lasting life style. Some of the items I used, wet wipes and plastic silverware, are not available in the areas listed. As an experiment, I could live with significantly less water use and perhaps take steps to decrease day-to-day consumption, but this is a failed experiment due to the need of flushing toilets and running washing machines when living in a home in an urban area.

Ranee Perricone – Module 3 – Ethics

  1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

Being a good person may keep you from doing bad acts where good acts will not keep you from doing bad acts. The reason that this class will focus on action ethics has to do with being able to sense actions, by seeing personally or feeling the effects of a positive action but knowing the virtue or a person or people in general is difficult on a small scale. In the scale of our studies it would be almost impossible. I agree with the reading that in most cases it in not a choice of one or the other, most actions are driven by virtue. The stance I take is due to the fear of bad acts by unvirtuous individuals. If there were only good acts coming from an individual it would be assumed that that was due to virtue but it may not be true. A person of that description would be a beneficial addition to society despite the fact that the virtue may not support the ideals being worked toward. This would obviously change if the bad actions started to outweigh the good.

2. Do the ends justify the means (ends ethics vs. means ethics)?

This ethical debate has to do with the impacts that will result from the “means” verses the impacts from the “ends.” In the example used of cutting down trees to stop the spread of a fire, a few trees or even many trees being cut down can save many more trees, people’s homes, and even lives. Obviously this would be an easy, almost strait forward, choice. What if the impact of the ends and means were close? Take eating candy, the end result would be satisfaction of taste buds and the means would be adding unnecessary and unhealthy calories to your diet. Would the satisfaction of your taste buds outweigh the result of the extra calories? There may be some with will power strong enough not to resist the temptation on occasion but many do fall prey to a sweet tooth. This may not be a very liberal interpretation but a good example of when impacts decide if the ends justify the means.

4. Do ecosystems matter for their own sake, or do they only matter to the extent that they impact humans (ecocentric ethics vs. anthropocentric ethics)?

For the matter of sustainability an ecocentric ethical approach would be most effective, in the sense that it would help keep the environment stable, although not completely because the pollution being produced is increasing. The ecosystem is not pollution itself in any high amounts but any changes for human benefit is almost guaranteed to have ties to pollution or create waste. The counter argument is that the increasing population will lead to the need for more land and area for production. Although it will be more than possible to increase production of the current developed areas, at some point there may be a need to use new land to keep the current standard of living. If that standard of living is to live with excess it would again be better to be ecocentrism but if there is a point where developing new land will help humans survive very few will take anthropocentric view.

Module 2 – Ranee Perricone – System Diagram

The diagram shows the results of the two different cooking options with regard to the three main points the video made along with two points I felt should be included. The video said the cooking gas system was beneficial because it does not produce smoke in unventilated areas, it leads to an income for the women who use it, and it reduces child labor. I strongly disagree with the latter. I do not think that the children would not have to help gather the manure for the system or help process the leftover manure for selling. I also think that the lack of families gathering the fallen wood would cover the ground with dried wood which is known to lead to forest fires. On the other hand, manure production is greater than tree growth which means greater sustainability

The child labor that would lead to income would be much preferable to labor that would not. The increase in income would allow for better education whether it be giving the family an opportunity to spend money on something that is normally time consuming or simply allow a child to stay in school longer rather than have to leave to get a job. The increased income and increased education is a positive feedback loop.

My diagram points out how things work together. The diagram I created uses less variables. There is less interactions between individual parts of the two divisions of the diagram. My diagram is extremely focused when compared to the figure provided in the reading. The figure in the reading is focused on the interactions of the ecosystem as a whole as opposed to the specific diagram about how the introduction of this system can affect the environment in this area.

diagram mod 2




Getting to know Ranee Perricone

Hello from Honesdale PA! I am a senior in mechanical engineering working on a minor in energy, business, and finance. I grew up in Honesdale Pa and only left for school and am back now that I am only taking online classes. Rent is cheap at home. While I am home I like to participate in sports. Everything from watching, playing, coaching and officiating. I am pursuing the mechanical engineering, with no idea what I want to do with it. I have things I am leaning toward but will probably end up working for a larger manufacturing company to start. Someday I would love to work in consulting. This course is a requirement for another class I am hoping to take but I am looking forward to learning more about geography and sustainability.

An issue is that interesting to me is the impact of developing nations on the environment because they do not have the same restrictions as the more developed nations have adapted. Inducing these countries into programs such as Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) would not only help the environment of those countries but also the environment of the whole planet. There should be greater efforts to educate those in developing countries of their impacts, large and small. Individuals could help start recycling programs and conserving resources to make a difference even if the country as a whole did not partake in the efforts.