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UK: Honey bees 'wiped out in 10 years': beekeepers demand £8m for research, government denies

Beekeepers have warned that most of the country's honey bees could be wiped out by disease in 10 years unless an urgent research programme is launched to find new treatments and drugs. They are to launch a nationwide campaign, including protests, to force the government to fund the £8m research project which they say is needed to save the nation's bees.

honey bee
©John Severns

Comment: The disappearance of bees will ultimately bring the disappearance of human kind. Albert Einstein observed that:
"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."
So why aren't the governments alert and rushing to fund research to save the bees AND human kind? SOTT focus editorial To Bee or not to Be, answers this question.


Australia: Earthquake shakes homes in southern NSW

A minor earthquake in southern NSW today shook homes but caused no injuries or damage, seismologists say.

The tremor, measuring 2.8 on the Richter scale, occurred at 3.41pm (AEDT) near the town of Yass, Geoscience Australia said.


Moderate Quake Rattles Iran

Tehran, Iran - A moderate earthquake and several aftershocks rattled a remote area in eastern Iran on Sunday morning, cracking walls and forcing some to seek shelter in tents, state media reported. No injuries were immediately reported.


Nevada, US: 3.0 earthquake shakes Mogul area

A string of recent earthquakes has hit the Mogul area and the biggest so far arrived early Saturday, reaching magnitude 3.0.

The earthquake at 2:07 a.m. followed a swarm of magnitude 1.2 to 2.2 quakes between Feb. 28 and Monday.

Better Earth

Study helps predict big Mediterranean quake

London - Scientists have found evidence that an overlooked fault in the eastern Mediterranean is likely to produce an earthquake and tsunami every 800 years as powerful as the one that destroyed Alexandria in AD 365.


Greece: African dust cloud warning

A thick cloud of dust from Africa is expected to engulf parts of central and southern Greece today, causing traffic problems by reducing visibility and aggravating allergies.


UK: Holy Grail castle in bats mystery

A Scottish keep that appeared in the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail has become caught up in a mystery about where bats hibernate.

Experts have been intrigued about where pipistrelle, which roost in large numbers in Doune, Central Scotland, in summer, spend the winter.

Just over 30 have been counted in Doune Castle, which was used in the film.

Meanwhile, bat watchers in the far north are monitoring for a species which may spread with global warming.

Pipistrelle come in two varieties - soprano and common


Mathematics Explains Mysterious Midge Behavior

Here's a place that's unlikely ever to be a vacation spot for Yankee pitcher Joba Chamberlain: Lake Myvatn, in Iceland.

Myvatn, translating from Icelandic to English, means Midge Lake.

Midges, baseball fans recall, are the gnat-like insects that rose from Lake Erie last October and descended upon Chamberlain in the bottom of the eighth inning of a playoff game against the Cleveland Indians, distracting him into throwing two wild pitches. Cleveland scored the tying run without a hit. The Yankees eventually lost the game and eventually the series.

©Arni Einarsson
A Lake Myvatn midge.


Mysterious "Rain on Snow" Events Tracked in Arctic

A few warm, springlike days might sound appealing if you live in the frigid Arctic Circle.

But a rise in temperature can spell doom for native peoples and the caribou, musk-oxen, and reindeer that they depend on in Earth's northernmost regions.

That's because a mysterious phenomenon known as "rain on snow," when sudden warm air turns northern snows to rain or slush, can cause animals to starve.

©Norbert Rosing/NGS
Musk-oxen huddle together during a snowstorm in Canada's frigid Northwest Territories.

A strange phenomenon known as a "rain on snow" event, in which warm rain freezes into a solid layer of ice on the ground in winter, killed off a quarter of the region's musk-oxen population in 2003.

Scientists are still working to figure out why and when these elusive incidents occur.


China's killer "yellow dust" hits Korea, Japan

SEOUL - South Korea closed schools on Monday and its factories producing memory chips stepped up safeguards, as a choking pall of sand mixed with toxic dust from China covered most of the country and other parts of Asia.

The annual "yellow dust" spring storms, which originate in China's Gobi Desert before sweeping south to envelop the Korean peninsula and parts of Japan, are blamed for scores of deaths and billions of dollars in damage every year in South Korea.