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Fri, 25 Jun 2021
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Attention

Losing Bees, Butterflies And Other Pollinators

Humans are reducing numbers of pollinators like bees and butterflies by destroying habitats, spraying pesticides and emitting pollution. Now, a University of Kansas researcher and a world-famous crop artist are behind a nationwide campaign to publicize the peril faced by species that transfer pollen between flowers.

"This is serious," said Orley "Chip" Taylor, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at KU. "We're losing six thousand acres of habitat a day to development, 365 days a year. One out of every three bites you eat is traceable to pollinators' activity. But if you start losing pollinators, you start losing plants."

Taylor works with the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC). That group has successfully worked with the United States Department of Agriculture and U.S. Senate to designate June 24 through June 30, 2007, as "National Pollinator Week." The NAPPC also has convinced the United States Postal Service to issue a block of four "Pollination" stamps this summer depicting a Morrison's bumble bee, a calliope hummingbird, a lesser long-nosed bat and a Southern dogface butterfly.

Light Sabers

French Beekeepers Brace for Asian Sting

Ambushing locals as they return home from work, foreign invaders are dismembering French natives and feeding them to their young.

This horror scenario is playing out in France's beehives, where an ultra-aggressive species of Asian hornets - who likely migrated in pottery shipped from China - may be threatening French honey production.

The hornets are thought to have reached France in 2004 after stowing away on a cargo boat, said Claire Villemant, a lecturer at Paris' Natural History Museum.

Bizarro Earth

Spring's slow arrival hits crops, baseball

Wheat fields ruined by freezing temperatures, snowed-out baseball games in Cleveland and Chicago, and shivering vacationers have made this spring one to forget across much of the United States.

After the warmest winter ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere and much talk of global warming, weather watchers say occasional snowstorms in the Midwest and Northeast, and unseasonable cold gripping much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation, is rare though not unprecedented.

Cloud Lightning

Storms Cancels Flights in N.Y and N.J.

NEW YORK - Airlines canceled 300 flights Sunday as a hard-blowing nor'easter gathered strength along the East Coast and threatened to deliver some of the worst flooding to coastal Long Island in 14 years.

Red Flag

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?

Scientists claim radiation from handsets are to blame for mysterious 'colony collapse' of bees

Star

UK weather: Its July in April

Britain will enjoy the warmest weather of the year so far this weekend as Britain basks in glorious sunshine, weather forecasters have predicted.

It is expected to be around 10 degrees above the seasonal average in the coming days as thermometers in parts of Britain hit 24C-25C (75F-77F).

Cloud Lightning

Storm Blamed for 5 Deaths Heads East

ALBANY, N.Y. - The Northeast on Saturday braced for a hard-blowing nor'easter that could bring severe coastal flooding, power outages and more than a foot of snow in some places.

Cloud Lightning

Thai flash floods kill 27 holidaymakers

Flash floods killed at least 27 people and injured more than 20 at three waterfalls in the southern Thai province of Trang on Saturday as they celebrated the Thai New Year, disaster officials said.

Attention

US: The weird weather is causing problems for Michigan fruit crops

It is everywhere you look around West Michigan. The snow is an inconvenience, it is a mess. But it is also a threat to the farmers who put fruits and vegetables on your family's table. Growers say there is definitely going to be some damage to the fruit crops, but they don't know how much. The good news is that it won't be as bad as some other states. Down south, some of the fruit crops like peaches and apples are wiped out.

In Kent City, Nels Nyblad grows apples, peaches, plums, apricots and cherries. As far as the weather goes, he says, "I've never seen anything like it." Nyblad is trying to stay positive, but admits that the weird weather is a concern. He's been pulling branches from his trees every day to see if they've been damaged. Some of them are already budding. "They thought it was spring and it turned winter on us again", says Nyblad.

It's that warm spell a few weeks ago and the recent freeze that caused the problems. When the trees got buds and opened up, they were exposed to the cold. Nyblad says "The earliest flowering fruits have been damaged-apricots, plums." Nyblad also expects a smaller crop of peaches. "We may not be able to send semi loads full of them. Suppliers may be limited, but they should be good."

Wolf

Giant Mice Devouring Island Seabird Chicks, Threatening Extinction

Hordes of giant mice are devouring endangered seabird chicks on a remote South Atlantic island and may be pushing some of the birds to extinction, scientists report.

The carnage has harmed the breeding success of endangered Tristan albatrosses and threatened Atlantic petrels on Gough Island, a British territory a thousand miles (1,600 kilometers) off the coast of South Africa.

The birds' sole breeding ground is home to 22 bird species - 10 million birds in total - and is considered the world's most important seabird colony.

Common house mice were introduced to the island more than a century ago. Now three times larger than normal mice, the invasive rodents likely number more than a million.