There's no question that it's rough out there for a bee. Yesterday, the USDA released a report on the state of U.S. honey bees which found that nearly one quarter of the population was killed this past winter. The significant loss was still an improvement from last year, when 30.5 percent of bees succumbed to cold and disease, among other things. And despite recent breakthroughs in determining the causes of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which found that certain pesticides are likely to blame for the winter-time decimation of bee colonies, CCD still poses a major risk to our honey bees.
So we're totally on board with the USDA trying to give bees their moment in the sun with an apiary live cam, launched yesterday (you can check it out here).
The webcam shows activity at the People's Garden Apiary, located on the roof of a building at USDA headquarters in Washington, DC. The Apiary is home to about 40,000 Italian honey bees. People do seem to be enjoying #USDABeeWatch, per Twitter:
Live stream of a honey bee colony on the roof of the USDA HQ. Just saw some guard bees defending the entrance #USDABeeWatch— Daren Eiri (@dareneiri) May 16, 2014
Don't get us wrong, bees are great, really. They are important for our agricultural ecosystem and economy, and also they make honey, which we love. But it's not actually all that much fun to watch bees. Because they are bees.
Still, we applaud the USDA's efforts to get in on the animal cam trend, because it really is a great one. Because it's Friday, and bee-cause we want to, here's a list of some our favorite (more adorable) animal live webcams.
Any zoo with a panda now has a camera constantly poised on that panda for your enjoyment. You can watch the Smithsonian's panda cam here to see Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and Tai Shan hang out in their DC panda enclave. Or you can watch pandas in in the Bifengxia Panda reserve in Ya'an China.
Or! You can watch the Atlanta Fulton County Zoo's live cam. So many options for panda lovers.
Some of us spent several college finals weeks watching the Shiba Inu puppies sleep on top of each other like animated balls of fur to keep our hearts from freezing over.
This Great Dane service dog project live cam is also off the charts adorable. And also this Schnauzer puppy live cam.
Animal Planet has a pretty quality kitten cam up, as does the Friends of Felines rescue center:
You're welcome, friends.