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Are B.C.'s bee colonies the latest to die off?



Jean-Marc Le Dorze is confounded by all the honeybees vanishing from his Mission apiary.
Kevin Statham photo.

What's happening to the bees? The fuzzy little honey-making critters are dying off like the dinosaurs, and no one knows why. In the U.S., according to a congressional report updated in June, up to 36 percent of 2.4 million bee colonies were wiped out last winter. Canadian beekeepers reported losses of one-third of this country's bees during the winter, including a 23-percent loss in British Columbia.

Cloud Lightning

Tropical storm Erin blamed for 8 deaths in Texas

At least eight deaths in southern U.S. state of Texas were blamed on tropical storm Erin which has brought at least 6 inches (15 cm) of rain to the state since Thursday,

One person was killed and another was hurt when a waterlogged roof collapsed at a Houston grocery store when Erin hit Texas Thursday, the Texas-based KPRC-TV reported on Friday.

©Josh Carrol
Flooded Houston. Thursday, August 16, 2007.

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'New continent' and species discovered in Atlantic study

A scientist from the University of Aberdeen is leading a team of international researchers whose work will continue our understanding of life in the deepest oceans, and contribute to the global Census of Marine Life.

Exploring life in the North Atlantic Ocean at various depths of 800 to 3,500 metres, a team of 31 scientists are returning from a five-week scientific expedition which has surfaced a wealth of new information and insights, stunning images and marine life specimens, with one species thought to be new to science.

Question

Deadly mine 'bump' was recorded as 'unnatural' seismic event

Magnitude 1.6 seismic waves indicate downward motion

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations recorded a magnitude-1.6 seismic event at the time of a Thursday, Aug. 16 "bump" that killed and injured rescuers at a Utah coal mine where six miners were trapped by an Aug. 6 collapse.

Seismic waves from the event at about 6:39 p.m. MDT Thursday indicate downward motion, consistent with further settling and collapse within the mountain where the Crandall Canyon mine is located.

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Flooding Traps 181 Chinese Miners

Floodwaters from heavy rains poured into two coal mines in a town in eastern China, leaving 181 miners trapped and feared dead, government officials and state media said Saturday.

There was no word on whether there was any sign of life in the mines or when rescuers might enter them. Two high-speed pumps reportedly were being rushed in to drain the flooded shafts.

A dike on the Wen river in Shandong province broke Friday afternoon, sending water gushing into a mine run by the Huayuan Mining Co. in the city of Xintai and trapping 172 miners, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Cloud Lightning

Hurricane Dean strengthens to deadly Category 4

Hurricane Dean grew into a ferocious storm with winds over 135 mph (216 kph) on Friday after it smashed into the Caribbean islands, leveling banana plantations and setting off landslides before heading toward the oil and gas rigs of the Gulf of Mexico.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Dean was a Category 4 storm, the second-highest level on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale and capable of widespread destruction.

©NOAA

Bizarro Earth

Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks to Record Low



©AP Photo/NASA
This satellite image released by NASA in 2005 shows the concentration of Arctic sea ice. There was less sea ice in the Arctic on Friday than ever before on record, and the melting is continuing, the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported.

WASHINGTON - There was less sea ice in the Arctic on Friday than ever before on record, and the melting is continuing, the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported.

Coffee

Crows wield tools with human-like skill

New Caledonian crows, famed for their tool-making skills, can also use tools to manipulate other tools. Such "metatool" use shows that the crows have the brainpower to apply their skills to a completely new situation and plan ahead to solve a task, researchers believe.



Working with captured wild crows, Russell Gray and his team from the University of Auckland in New Zealand hid a treat in a box so that a crow could only extract it with the help of a long stick. This kind of task is easy for the tool-using crows.

Bizarro Earth

Alaska Peninsula volcano erupts

Pavlof Volcano on the Alaska Peninsula started erupting Wednesday, a day after scientists issued a warning based on a sudden surge in local earthquakes.

©Ron Engstrom/Anchorage Daily News

The volcano, one of the most active in the Aleutian rim of fire, is spewing molten rock in what could be a buildup to a bigger ash explosion, scientists said.

Cloud Lightning

Typhoon Sepat bears down on Taiwan

Typhoon Sepat swept towards Taiwan on Friday packing winds of more than 180 kilometres (125 miles) per hour, disrupting flights, schools, rail and ferry services.

©US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

The Central Weather Bureau said the typhoon was set to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday in eastern Hualien, pounding the island with strong winds and torrential rains.

©TSR
Typhoon Sepat Track as of 17 Aug, 17:10 GMT