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To The Best Of Our Knowledge
May 18, 2019
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The Elephants and the Bees

elephants hate bees

One of the largest animals in our natural world is terrified of one of the tiniest creatures. Elephants are fearful of bees. It’s not exactly clear why, especially as it’s debatable whether the bee can actually sting through the tough elephant hide, though they could get to their eyes or other softer parts. Recent research shows when elephants encounter bees, they run away, and send sonic alarm messages to other elephants about the danger. While this sounds kind of sad for the big animals, their fear of bees may actually save them. In Africa, natural beehive fences are being used to keep elephants safe from wandering too far, encountering hunters, or ravaging neighboring farms.

You can learn more about the relationship among bees, elephants and humans here. A one-minute video at by Lucy King, head of the Human-Elephant Co-Existence Program for Save the Elephants in Nairobi, shows just how much elephants dislike the sounds of bees.

—Shannon

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Listening To The Mood Of The Hive

Where Heather and the bees converse
A single empty yellow chair sits next to Heather Swan’s tall, buzzing beehive in her backyard in Madison, Wisconsin. Swan keeps it there to sit next to the bees — some 60,000 insects —and talk with them.
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Falling In Love With Bees

Opening the hive
Heather Swan is a beekeeper and author — she tells Steve Paulson about what it's meant for her to be "chosen by the bees."
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How Do We Wrap Our Minds Around Bee Consciousness?

many bees
Christof Koch, a leading neuroscientist in the field of consciousness, says bees are smarter than we ever imagined.
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Singing The Song of a City

From Vivienne's Shadow Walk in Venice
Sound artist Vivienne Corringham takes us on one of her "shadow walks," where she records local spaces and how they affect the people who live there, then "sings the walk" through vocal improvisations.
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A Sonic Map Of The World's Cities

Well, maybe not all of them. But we'd like to get there! In "Listening to the City" we travel from New York to Los Angeles to Jacksonville to Baltimore and beyond, seeking to better understand the urban environment through some seriously close listening.
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Soundwalking the City with David Rothenberg

headphones in the city
A composer, environmental philosopher and guest producer on "To The Best Of Our Knowledge" teaches us how to deeply listen to urban spaces.
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