- Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is the subject of an article by Doug Samuelson in the Dec 2008 issue of OR/MS Today. It is a mysterious situation in which a large portion of the US honeybee population has disappeared. Experts have been unable to pinpoint the cause. The bees are used extensively to pollinate food crops, often being trucked thousands of miles between sites. In addition, when they are set loose to pollinate, they may mix with other bees from other well-traveled colonies, possibly picking up disease. The system is quite complex and so the cause is hard to track down. Michael Pollan wrote an excellent article about this in the New York Times Magazine a year ago, available here (bees come up on the 2nd page). For more on Pollan including some OR connections check out this recent post on Laura McLay’s Punk Rock OR blog.
- UPS is now using bikes according to this piece on Green Inc. See the quote near the bottom about it being an operational decision and that it just happens to be nice that it has an environmental benefit. Still, the movement of benefits from the ethical side to the operational side is underway. It is driving the momentum in this latest green charge. Emissions standards, clean energy quotas, rising fuel prices and more are all spurring the transition. It may not be long before the bikes at UPS are seen this way.