Segments in this Video

Community of Honeybees (03:03)


Lavender is known for powerful aromatherapy properties and research shows it even affects honeybees. The smell changes their behavior and DNA. Honeybees dislike the smell of bananas.

Learned Association or Innate Response? (02:53)

Professor Charles Claudianos performed experiments on bees: first, the classic conditioning experiment in which bees are trained to associate lavender scent with a positive reward of sugar water, secondly a feather experiment where bees are antagonized by a black feather. A third experiment shows bees responding with calmness in the lab and in the field to floral scents.

Functions of the Environment (02:29)

Claudianos first proved that scent is related to memory-making and mood regulation in bees, and then created a theory surmising that scent cues affect honeybee genes. An experiment where cancer drugs that stop methylation were put on bees showed a significant effect on the bees' long-term memories.

Similar Brain Responses (02:09)

Without the ability to make epigenetic changes to the genomes, honeybees' long term memories are significantly impaired. Claudianos will now study human brains to see if the changes are close to the honeybee.

Genetically Identical Trees (03:05)

Pencil pine trees existing in the Tasmanian forest of over a thousand years of age are threatened by warming climates. The trees come up from root systems of another tree, creating clones.

Flammable Organic Soil (02:56)

Ten percent of the pencil pines were killed by fires started by people in the 1960's, as the fires are extremely sensitive. Thick peat generally protects the trees, but can burn and send fires underground if dried out.

Dangerous Fire Season (02:58)

Geoff Law demonstrated to the UN World Heritage Committee that lightning strikes were creating unprecedented damage in the Tasmanian wilderness. There were eighty fires in February 2016.

What Climate Change Looks Like (02:58)

In the 2016 fires, less than one percent of the trees were killed, but each tree is vital. Hot shrubs underneath a tree at least a thousand years old created a fire strong enough to kill it, while younger trees with dense canopies and mossy coverings survived. In order to recover, the forest requires coolness and dampness, but climate change patterns suggest otherwise.

Cool Temperate Rain Forests (03:24)

Dr. Jen Styger studied fire maps and climate date to make predictions about fire spreading into rain forests in the Tasmanian wilderness. Weather stations in the World Heritage area could help with understanding when forests are at risks of fire, but installing infrastructure compromises wilderness values.

Throwing Matches (02:38)

Paul Black and Geoff Law believe that advents in Tasmanian's management plan are vital for the next fire season. The loss of these ecosystems that are not supposed to burn should alert people to the severity of climate change.

Credits: Honey Bee Brains and Lavender / Tassie Fires: Catalyst (00:44)

Credits: Honey Bee Brains and Lavender / Tassie Fires: Catalyst

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Honey Bee Brains and Lavender / Tassie Fires—Catalyst

Part of the Series : Catalyst
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $129.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $194.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



Lavender is a powerful smell, but could it be even more powerful than we think? New Australian research reveals that not only can the smell of lavender help bees make new memories, but that it can also change their mood, and even change their DNA. Could it do the same for humans? Also, we like to think Tasmania is a refuge from climate change. A cool green island at the bottom of a warming world. But this summer may have seen a tipping point. The unprecedented number and size of fires ignited by dry lightning in Tasmania are no longer "natural" events. Conditions are so dry that the soil itself is burning. Ecosystems normally too wet to burn are going up in smoke. One thousand year old World Heritage forests face irreversible loss. Is this what climate change looks like?

Length: 30 minutes

Item#: BVL117863

ISBN: 978-1-63521-299-0

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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