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Inspiring News Stories
Excerpts of Highly Inspiring News Stories in Major Media

Below are one-paragraph excerpts of highly inspiring news stories from the major media. Links are provided to the original stories on their media websites. If any link fails to function, click here. The inspiring news story summaries most recently posted here are listed first. You can explore the same list with the most inspiring stories listed first. See also a concise list providing headlines and links to a number of highly inspiring stories. May these articles inspire us to find ever more ways to love and support each other and all around us to be the very best we can be.

Note: This comprehensive list of inspiring news stories is usually updated once a week. See also a full index to revealing excerpts of key news articles on several dozen engaging topics.

‘I saw a man transform before my eyes'
2024-06-15, Positive News

In A Band of Brothers, we believe that, when a man is willing to hold himself accountable and be supported by his community, magic can happen. And if you ask me what healthy masculinity looks like, it's that. A man who has been arrogant, ignorant, selfish, rageful ... in short, who has made mistakes (and show me a human who hasn't), having the courage to step into the circle and say: ‘I need help'. And other men holding him accountable without ever closing their hearts to him. I have compassion for all the men I meet who are still so focused on their own wounds that they cannot lift their heads to see the wounds of others. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 in the UK, which is the acute end of a much wider men's mental health crisis. The young men who come to us are often torn between competing pressures: an old story about needing to be tough, to make money, to dominate, and a newer one about needing to be gentle, to value more than money, to stop dominating, to renounce the old values. Compassion and accountability – you need both. And the compassion comes first. I am still struck by the words of the young man who said: "No-one had ever actually asked me why I was angry." He had also never been in a space where he was taught the difference between healthy anger, which is a natural and vital human emotion, and unhealthy anger, which leads to violence against yourself or others.

Note: This article was written by Conroy Harris, founder of A Band of Brothers. Explore more positive stories like this about healing social division.

The bid to ensure that no one dies alone
2024-07-16, Positive News

The No One Dies Alone (NODA) movement ... trains and supports volunteers to act as companions to people in the last hours of their lives. Award-winning Scottish nurse Alison Bunce was among the first to pioneer the concept in the UK, but as her team kept bedside vigils in homes, hospitals and hospices she began to ask herself: might they help people have good lives, too? "Being present and accompanying someone as they're dying is such a privilege – it's a profound, unique moment," says Bunce. "But over the years, people were speaking to me about social isolation and loneliness, and I realised this was about life as well as death." She set up Compassionate Inverclyde (CI) as a project funded by Ardgowan Hospice – where she worked as director of care – and recruited an initial 20 volunteers who could sit with people who were dying alone, initially in the hospice and a local hospital, but eventually in their own homes. Bunce soon realised her volunteers could do more and began curating a range of community care services which operate alongside healthcare professionals and support people at various stages of life. "Our very ethos is about being kind, and how ordinary people can make a difference together," she says. Volunteers might lend a hand and a friendly ear to new mums, create ‘back home parcels' for hospital leavers, visit socially isolated neighbours or keep the tea flowing out at CI's bereavement cafe.

Note: Explore more positive stories about human interest topics.

Turning Brownfields to Blooming Meadows, With the Help of Fungi
2024-06-27, Yale Environment 360

Danielle Stevenson ... has been pioneering a nature-based technique for restoring contaminated land, using fungi and native plants to break down toxins like petroleum, plastics, and pesticides into less toxic chemicals. The usual way of dealing with tainted soil is to dig it up and cart it off to distant landfills. In a recent pilot project funded by the city of Los Angeles, Stevenson ... working with a team of UC Riverside students and other volunteers, significantly reduced petrochemical pollutants and heavy metals at an abandoned railyard and other industrial sites in Los Angeles. Stevenson says she believes her bioremediation methods can be scaled up to clean polluted landscapes worldwide. "Decomposer fungi can degrade petrochemicals the same way they would break down a dead tree," [said Stevenson]. "And in doing so, they reduce the toxicity of these petrochemicals and create soil that no longer has these contaminants or has much reduced concentrations of it. They can also eat plastic and other things made out of oil. People who live in a place impacted by pollution need to have a say in how their neighborhood is being cleaned up. We need to empower them with the tools to do this. That's why along with doing these studies and pilot projects, I've been running workforce development programs. Potentially, they could bring economic opportunities and benefits to the community in addition to cleaning up the contaminated site."

Note: Explore more positive stories like this about healing the Earth.

An experiment doled out money to homeless people in Denver, no strings attached. Here's what happened.
2024-06-19, Colorado Sun

More than 800 people were selected to participate in the Denver Basic Income Project while they were living on the streets, in shelters, on friends' couches or in vehicles. They were separated into three groups. Group A received $1,000 per month for a year. Group B received $6,500 the first month and $500 for the next 11 months. And group C, the control group, received $50 per month. About 45% of participants in all three groups were living in a house or apartment that they rented or owned by the study's 10-month check-in point, according to the research. The number of nights spent in shelters among participants in the first and second groups decreased by half. And participants in those two groups reported an increase in full-time work, while the control group reported decreased full-time employment. Parents of kids under 18 ... reported statistically significant improvements in "parental distress" after receiving money for 10 months. Researchers tallied an estimated $589,214 in savings on public services, including ambulance rides, visits to hospital emergency departments, jail stays and shelter nights. The $9.4 million project was funded by a mix of public and private money, including $1.5 million from The Colorado Trust and $2 million from the city of Denver's pot of federal pandemic relief money.

Note: Explore more positive stories about reimagining the economy and healing social division.

U.S. Marshals Find 200 Missing Children Across the Nation During 6-Week Special Operation
2024-07-04, Good News Network

The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), along with federal, state, and local agencies led a six-week national operation that resulted in finding 200 critically missing children, which includes endangered runaways and those abducted by noncustodial persons. This is the second rendition of this coordinated effort, and so it was called Operation We Will Find You 2 (WWFY2). Running from May 20 to June 24 it focused on geographical areas with high clusters of missing children. WWFY2 resulted in the recovery and removal of 123 children from dangerous situations. An additional 77 missing children were located and found to be in safe locations, according to law enforcement or child welfare agencies. These so-called dangerous situations involved human trafficking, captivity by family relations, or situations of sexual exploitation, some involuntarily and others violently. "One of the most sacred missions of U.S. Marshals Service is locating and recovering our nation's critically missing children," said USMS Director Ronald L. Davis on completion of the case. "This is one of our top priorities as there remain thousands of children still missing and at risk." Some of the most notable and frightening cases can be read on the USMS release of the operation, and included kidnapping in Michigan, human trafficking in Miami-Dade, sex trafficking in Arizona, familial kidnapping in Oregon, and potential infanticide in North Carolina.

Note: Explore more positive stories about ending human trafficking.

This 12-year-old memorized the periodic table at age 2. He's heading to NYU after finishing high school in just 2 years
2024-06-30, CNN News

Recent high school graduate Suborno Isaac Bari, 12, plans to start studying math and physics at New York University in the fall. "I hope to graduate college at 14 in spring 2026," said Suborno, who recently became the youngest graduate from his Long Island high school. The gifted tween, who memorized the periodic table at 2 years old and has taught lectures at colleges in India since he was 7, graduated on Wednesday from Malverne High School in Nassau County, New York. The bright young student, whose family says he's also skilled in painting, debate and playing the piano, could also be making history at NYU when he begins pursuing his bachelor of science degree. A university spokesperson informed the Bari family "NYU is unaware of anyone younger than Suborno being admitted," according to a copy of an email shared with CNN. In 2016, then-President Barack Obama sent Suborno a letter praising the bright student for his hard work and accomplishments. The family shared a copy of the letter with CNN. In 2020 when he was 7, Suborno began receiving invitations from colleges in India to teach, which he does three times a year. "That gives him lots of chances to have conversations with different levels of expertise, students, faculties, college presidents, so many people," [father] Rashidul Bari said. Suborno plans to continue his family's trend of teaching by one day becoming a math and physics professor.

Note: Explore more positive stories about human interest topics.

Are animals conscious? How new research is changing minds
2024-06-15, BBC News

If new evidence emerges of animals' abilities to feel and process what is going on around them, could that mean they are, in fact, conscious? We now know that bees can count, recognise human faces and learn how to use tools. Prof Lars Chittka of Queen Mary University of London has worked on many of the major studies of bee intelligence. "If bees are that intelligent, maybe they can think and feel something, which are the building blocks of consciousness," he says. Prof Chittka's experiments showed that bees would modify their behaviour following a traumatic incident and seemed to be able to play, rolling small wooden balls, which he says they appeared to enjoy as an activity. A government review led by Prof Birch in 2021 assessed 300 scientific studies on the sentience of decapods and Cephalopods, which include octopus, squid, and cuttlefish. Prof Birch's team found that there was strong evidence that these creatures were sentient in that they could experience feelings of pain, pleasure, thirst, hunger, warmth, joy, comfort and excitement. The conclusions led to the government including these creatures into its Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act in 2022. Prof [Kristin] Andrews was among the prime movers of the New York Declaration on Animal Consciousness signed earlier this year, which has so far been signed by 286 researchers. The short four paragraph declaration states that it is "irresponsible" to ignore the possibility of animal consciousness.

Note: Explore more positive stories about animal wonders and the amazing natural world.

The Search For Alien Technology May Have Actually Found Something
2024-05-21, The Debrief

Astronomers scanning distant star systems for signs of alien technology say they have found 60 candidates, including seven M-dwarf stars giving off unexpectedly high infrared heat signatures, which may be surrounded by orbiting extraterrestrial power plants known as Dyson Spheres (DSs). First proposed by theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson back in 1960, confirmation of these aptly named devices would not only represent the first verifiable signs of life beyond Earth but would likely indicate a species that is more technologically advanced than humans. Since humanity's most powerful telescopes cannot image objects orbiting distant stars directly, researchers ... knew they would have to analyze light spectrum data emitted by millions of stars across the galaxy to search for signs of alien technology. In the case of Dyson Spheres, the team would need to look for an ‘unnatural' imbalance between the visible light and the infrared light emitted by a distant star. As proposed by Dyson, the more technologically advanced a species becomes, the more energy it needs. If they become advanced enough, a species could, in theory, surround an entire star with a "sphere" designed to capture all of its emitted energy. The sphere would radiate an excess of heat energy in the infrared spectrum as it captures the star's radiated energy and then releases it into space. In their published study [they explain:] "Dyson spheres, megastructures that could be constructed by advanced civilizations to harness the radiation energy of their host stars, represent a potential technosignature that, in principle, may be hiding in public data already collected as part of large astronomical surveys." Dubbed Project Hephaistos (named for the armorer of the Greek Gods), the effort [examined] data from over one hundred million stars. As hoped, the effort ... not only found 60 stars that had the right light ratios, but seven of these were particularly tantalizing, with IR heat signatures that lacked any other good explanation.

Note: Explore more stories about the nature of reality.

‘I've waited a long time for this': woman earns Stanford master's degree at 105
2024-06-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)

Virginia Hislop took 83 years to get her master's degree from Stanford University. Now, at 105 years old, she's finally graduated. "My goodness, I've waited a long time for this," she said, walking across the stage on Sunday to receive her diploma. She was cheered on by her family, grandchildren and the 2024 graduating class. Hislop had to leave Stanford early in 1941 when her fiance, George, was called to serve in the second world war. Unable to complete her thesis, she put her degree on hold and her university days behind her, later moving to Washington to raise their family. When her son-in-law contacted the university recently, though, he discovered that the final thesis was no longer required to obtain the degree. Hislop was eligible to graduate decades later. "I've been doing this work for years, and it's nice to be recognized," she [said]. Hislop's educational journey at Stanford began in 1936 when she enrolled to study for her bachelor's degree in education. A few years later, she completed this milestone and immediately transitioned to her postgraduate studies, driven by her ambition to teach after university. In 1941, Hislop, like many other women across the US, was forced to trade her career for marriage in support of the broader war mobilization. Focusing on the family was seen as the pinnacle of American sacrifice in that period, and she left Stanford to marry George before his deployment.

Note: Explore more positive stories about human interest topics and amazing seniors.

To Keep Clean Drinking Water Flowing to Paris, Farmers Are Going Organic
2024-06-25, Reasons to be Cheerful

About 100 miles southeast of Paris ... a charming stone aqueduct cuts across the green fields. "That's the Aqueduct of the Vanne," says [farmer] Zoltan Kahn. The Vanne, which supplies a fifth of Paris's tap water, is fed by the water sources in these parts. The region is rich in biodiversity and has been a key drinking water catchment area for centuries. Since 2020, Eau de Paris, the city's public water service, has been supporting farmers near its watersheds ... to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers on their crops. In other words, to go organic. When Kahn was approached by Eau de Paris with support to go fully organic, he jumped at the opportunity. In exchange for switching to organic, he would receive a so-called "Payment for Environmental Services" for each hectare of his farmland. As part of the â‚Ź48 million ($51.8 million) project, Eau de Paris and the Seine-Normandy Water Agency, a public institution fighting water pollution in the region, are supporting 115 farmers based in watersheds that supply the city to either reduce their use of chemicals or go fully organic (as 58 percent of the farmers have). Already â‚Ź32 million of that funding has been granted, according to Anne-Sophie Leclere, deputy director general of Eau de Paris. "It's better for us to have cleaner, purer watersheds," says Leclere. "This will save Paris from having to pay much more to process the water once it arrives in the city."

Note: Explore more positive stories about healing the Earth.

How Philadelphia Is Giving Fallen Trees New Life
2024-06-24, Reasons to be Cheerful

Each year, US cities lose an estimated 36 million trees to development, disease and old age, many of which ultimately end up in landfills. Losing these urban trees – known to help cool their neighborhoods, lower carbon emissions and improve mental health, among other benefits – costs an estimated $96 million annually. In Philadelphia, a partnership is giving the City of Brotherly Love's fallen trees new life. Philadelphia Parks & Rec joined forces with Cambium Carbon, a Washington, D.C.-based startup that repurposes waste wood, and PowerCorpsPHL, a local nonprofit that creates job opportunities for unemployed and under-employed 18- to 30-year-olds, to launch the Reforestation Hub. Rather than sending trees straight to the landfill or the city's organic recycling center to simply become mulch or wood chips, the Reforestation Hub (which is co-located in the city's organic recycling center) will salvage as many trees as it can. As many as possible will be turned into Cambium's Carbon Smart Wood, which stores 5.23 pounds of carbon in each board foot. Fifteen percent of sales that come out of the hub will be donated to Tree Philly at the end of each year to support tree planting and maintenance across the city. While the hub formally launched only recently, in the year and a half that it's taken to get the infrastructure in place, it has already diverted 542 logs to create 28,000 board feet of Carbon Smart Wood.

Note: Explore more positive stories about healing the Earth and technology for good.

CEO on why giving all employees minimum salary of $70,000 still "works" six years later: "Our turnover rate was cut in half"
2021-09-16, CBS News

It was six years ago when CEO Dan Price raised the salary of everyone at his Seattle-based credit card processing company Gravity Payments to at least $70,000 a year. Price slashed his own salary by $1 million to be able to give his employees a pay raise. He was hailed a hero by some and met with predictions of bankruptcy from his critics. But that has not happened; instead, the company is thriving. He said his company has tripled and he is still paying his employees $70,000 a year. "I make $70,000 a year," Price [said]. According to the Economic Policy Institute, average CEO compensation is 320 times more than the salaries of their typical workers. Price said despite the success his company has had with the policy, he wishes other companies would follow suit. "I would say that's the failure of this. You know, I feel like I've been shouting from the rooftops like, 'This works, this works, everybody should do it!' and zero big companies are following suit because the system values having the highest return with the lowest risk and the lowest amount of work," Price said. Price thinks Gravity's returns are up in large part because bigger paychecks have lead to fiercely loyal employees. "Our turnover rate was cut in half, so when you have employees staying twice as long, their knowledge of how to help our customers skyrocketed over time and that's really what paid for the raise more so than my pay cut," said Price.

Note: Explore more positive stories about reimagining the economy.

Dutch digital detoxers unplug en masse. Will the world follow?
2024-05-31, Positive.News

The Offline Club, which began life in Amsterdam, offers an oasis of calm and respite from the incessant digital hustle of life lived through the black glass of a smartphone. It nurtures moments of quiet introspection over vapid doomscrolling, and encourages spontaneous conversations with strangers instead of endless keyboard arguments. The concept grew organically from the ‘offline getaway' retreats [co-founder Ilya] Kneppelhout set up with pals Valentijn Klok and Jordy van Bennekom. The trio opened their first phone-free hangout in Amsterdam's Cafe Brecht in February this year, and to their astonishment drew 125,000 new Instagram followers in the space of a month. Customers alternate between time to themselves and time to connect. "People don't just pay to get rid of their phones – they're also paying to meet others," says Kneppelhout. "We live in quite an isolated world where we're ever more connected online, but in the physical world, it's hard to meet people. This is a real experience: where else are you going to be in a cafe with 30 others, and read a book or draw? It's quite unique." His hope is that customers will take away lasting habits from their cafe visits. "Big tech companies and the biggest social media companies are really playing with our minds, and with our time and our attention," he says. "I think that's bad: a counter movement is really necessary, and I think it's happening."

Note: Explore more positive stories on healing social division.

Planetary health diet cuts early death risk, new study shows
2024-06-10, Washington Post

Can you eat a diet that's good for your health and good for the planet? A new study suggests that it's possible. It found that people who ate mostly minimally processed plant foods such as nuts, beans, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and olive oil, along with modest amounts of meat, fish, eggs and dairy, had lower rates of premature death from heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases. At the same time, their diets had a smaller environmental footprint because they consisted of foods that were grown using relatively less land and water and that were produced with fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The study ... was inspired by a landmark 2019 report from the EAT-Lancet Commission, which designed a "Planetary Health Diet" capable of sustaining 10 billion people and the planet by 2050. The planetary health diet, in broad strokes, encourages people to eat more plants and whole foods alongside small portions of meat and dairy. People whose eating habits most closely adhered to the planetary health diet were 30 percent less likely to die prematurely compared to people who ate the lowest amounts of foods that form the basis of the planetary health diet. Planetary health eaters had a 10 percent lower risk of dying from cancer, a 14 percent lower likelihood of dying from cardiovascular diseases, a 47 percent reduction in the risk of dying from lung disease, and a 28 percent lower likelihood of dying of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Note: Explore more positive stories on healing our bodies and healing the Earth.

Denmark's Radical Plan for a Plant-Based Future
2024-06-17, Reasons to be Cheerful

Trine Krebs is sometimes called "the leek woman," or even Miss Dry-Legume, of Denmark. The 48-year-old has for decades traveled around the country as, in her words, a "food inspirer," proselytizing about all things vegetables. So when, in October 2023, the Danish government published the world's first ever national action plan for shifting towards plant-based diets, Krebs was ecstatic. The Danish government has three main goals: to increase demand for plant-based foods, to develop supply for plant-based foods, and to improve how all the different stakeholders – from scientists to farmers and chefs, food sociologists, and nutrition experts – in this nascent domestic industry are working together. Danish authorities see reducing meat and dairy consumption as key to reaching the Nordic state's goal of cutting carbon emissions by 70 percent before 2030, when compared to 1990. The climate think tank Concito estimates that more than half of Denmark's land is used for farming and that agriculture accounts for about a third of its carbon emissions. Yet a published in 2021 found that the emissions made by producing plant-based foods are roughly half the amount incurred by meat production. Denmark believes ... that the necessary shift toward plant-based eating also offers a massive economic opportunity. If the country were to gain a three percent share of the global plant-based food market, it could create up to 27,000 jobs.

Note: Explore more positive stories on healing our bodies and healing the Earth.

Scientists document remarkable sperm whale 'phonetic alphabet'
2024-05-08, NBC News

The various species of whales inhabiting Earth's oceans employ different types of vocalizations to communicate. Sperm whales, the largest of the toothed whales, communicate using bursts of clicking noises – called codas – sounding a bit like Morse code. A new analysis of years of vocalizations by sperm whales in the eastern Caribbean has found that their system of communication is more sophisticated than previously known, exhibiting a complex internal structure replete with a "phonetic alphabet." The researchers identified similarities to ... human language. "The research shows that the expressivity of sperm whale calls is much larger than previously thought," said Pratyusha Sharma ... lead author of the study published on Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. "Why are they exchanging these codas? What information might they be sharing?" asked study co-author Shane Gero, Project CETI's lead biologist. "I think it's likely that they use codas to coordinate as a family, organize babysitting, foraging and defense," Gero said. Variations in the number, rhythm and tempo of the clicks produced different types of codas, the researchers found. The whales, among other things, altered the duration of the codas and sometimes added an extra click at the end, like a suffix in human language. "All of these different codas that we see are actually built by combining a comparatively simple set of smaller pieces," said study co-author Jacob Andreas.

Note: Explore more stories about amazing marine mammals.

How the virtual world is inspiring gamers to become botanists
2024-06-10, Positive.News

What if computer games could facilitate a tangible, meaningful connection with nature? Now they can thanks to a new botany project that empowers gamers to cultivate plants featured in their favourite video game. The idea was that of Hannah Young and Aleks Atanasovski, two gamers who wanted to fuse their love of nature with their passion for gaming. The result is Seed Saga, a botanical pilot that allows players of Guild Wars – a popular roleplaying game renowned for its spectacular flora – to apply for seed packs so they can grow plants that feature in the game. The pair pitched the idea to the developer behind Guild Wars, Arena Net, which was "really up for it". So much so, that the firm provided renders from the game for the seed packets and gave the project a push on its social channels. Due to the limited availability of seeds ... gamers must submit an application explaining why they want them. The responses, says Young, have been heartening. Said one applicant: "[Guild Wars] saved my life during a period of deep depression. It would be an honour to grow [crimson sunflowers] in my yard to pay homage to the game and support the surrounding insects that could benefit from these flowers." The first seed packs went out in April. The idea now is to partner with other players in the industry and scale the concept to cultivate a new generation of botanists. Doing so could boost mental health: research shows that interacting with plants counteracts stress brought on by computers.

Note: Explore more positive stories about using technology for good.

A woman undergoing chemotherapy gets a special message from a stranger
2024-06-11, NPR

In 2003, Mary Fran Lyons was going through chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. One day after a treatment session, she went to the mall to have lunch. Lyons had lost all her hair, so she was wearing a baseball cap. "You didn't have to look at me very hard to know things were not quite right," Lyons said. As she was walking along, looking at the stores, a woman approached her. She told her something that Lyons will never forget. "She said, ‘I've been sent to tell you that you're going to be OK,'" Lyons remembered. "I stood there and looked at her and I thought, ‘Well, who sent you? I mean, who are you?' And I did not say anything. And she said it again: 'You're going to be OK.'" Then the woman simply walked away. Lyons watched her leave, trying to understand what had just happened. But nothing about the woman stood out. "She looked like a completely normal human being," Lyons recalled. "I never met her before, never heard of her since." Later, Lyons told a good friend about her unusual encounter. "And she said, ‘Do you believe in angels?'" Lyons recalled. "And I said, ‘I do now.'" More than 20 years later, Lyons continues to hold the experience close. "If that woman were standing in front of me right now, I would say to her, ‘You gave me hope at a time when I really needed to hear it,'" Lyons said. "And I still think of that to this day."

Note: Explore more positive human interest stories.

The all-female patrol guarding Ecuador's Amazon Rainforest
2024-05-07, BBC News

It is the break of dawn in the Serena community, in the middle of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Elsa Cerda, a 43-year-old indigenous Kichwa woman, brews guayusa leaves – a native plant from the rainforest – in a pot. It marks the start of the Guayusa Upina, a ritual performed by Amazonian indigenous peoples before beginning their daily activities. This tradition is more than a routine; it's a spiritual connection to their ancestral roots. As the first rays of light begin to filter through the tree canopy, a diverse assembly of 35 women, ranging from 23 to 85 years old, arrives one by one at the ceremony. The group goes by the name of "Yuturi Warmi". Their role as Amazonian guardians involves safeguarding the territory from pollution and preserving the land and rivers from activities that jeopardise biodiversity – such as deforestation and mining operations. The women undergo regular training sessions, with younger women teaching older members how to operate these phone cameras and drones. Each patrol involves a rotation of members, particularly the younger ones, who primarily patrol the land, ensuring continued presence and surveillance. The women do not carry any weapons, relying instead on their collective presence to act as a deterrent. In the event of witnessing illegal mining activities, the women prioritise non-violent measures such as contacting the authorities and gathering evidence.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this about healing the Earth.

How Electric Harps Are Protecting Honey Bees
2024-05-23, Reasons to be Cheerful

Michel Costa had become a frustrated veteran of an obscure yet devastating war in Europe. The enemy: invasive Asian hornets, which had been massacring his honey bees. When Costa, a retiree and avid beekeeper, discovered a new weapon with the potential to change the course of the entire war, he was intrigued. Several companies had begun selling so-called "electric harps," which they claimed could kill the hornets in droves by electrocuting them as they flew through. Although the harps take different forms, each one is made of some sort of large frame, which is then "strung" with conductive metal wires. These are then connected to a source of electricity, often solar panels, so that the wires conduct simultaneously positive and negative charges. When a hornet flies through, its wings touch the wires on either side, completing a circuit, and thereby delivering a fatal current of electricity. Beekeepers then place the harps around their hives in positions along the hornets' frequent flight paths. The harps can reduce predation pressure by 89 percent – enough to give hives the chance to replenish their stores. In one study only 56 percent of unprotected hives survived through winter, while 78 percent of those protected by harps did. Harps are also cheaper than other methods for beekeepers to install and operate. Beekeepers can buy them in complete kits that cost around $300 ... as Costa did. When combined with solar panels, maintenance costs are minimal.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this about healing the Earth.

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