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Thu, 23 May 2019
The World for People who Think

Animals

Attention

Brussels authorities alarmed over silkworm appearance

Brussels authorities held an extraordinary session devoted to a silkworm invasion of the Belgian capital, a radio station reported Tuesday.

"The Brussels governor held an extraordinary session of the capital's government to coordinate measures to fight the larvae after it became known that these insects appeared in the city," Radio Contact reported.

A number of cities in the northern region of Flanders have been attacked by silkworm larvae. Firefighters and army units are fighting the insects.


Magnify

Suddenly, the bees are simply vanishing

Scientists are at a loss to pinpoint the cause. The die-off in 35 states has crippled beekeepers and threatened many crops.

The dead bees under Dennis vanEngelsdorp's microscope were like none he had ever seen.

He had expected to see mites or amoebas, perennial pests of bees. Instead, he found internal organs swollen with debris and strangely blackened. The bees' intestinal tracts were scarred, and their rectums were abnormally full of what appeared to be partly digested pollen. Dark marks on the sting glands were telltale signs of infection.

Life Preserver

Cyclone Gonu suspected in alien jellyfish invasion

Swimmers were banned from the sea yesterday after lifeguards spotted jellyfish they say have never been seen before in Dubai.

Staff at Jumeirah Beach Park speculated that the tiny purple and white creatures had been blown here by Cyclone Gonu.

Red flags were hoisted at the beach park yesterday as well as the Open Beach due to a large number of jellyfish spotted in the morning. However swimmers were seen in the late afternoon at Umm Suqeim Beach.

Barbara Scocci, 31, an Italian tourist visiting family in Dubai said an hour after she had arrived at the beach yesterday morning a Dubai Municipality jeep cruised up and down the shoreline calling everybody out of the water with a megaphone.

Attention

Colony Collapse: Do Massive Bee Die-Offs Mean an End to Our Food System as We Know it?

It may sound like urban legend but it's not. A frightening trend of bee colony collapses could lead to everything from a radically transformed diet to an overall wipeout of the world's food supply.

Magnify

Bee dieoff in 35 states has crippled beekeepers and threatened many crops

The dead bees under Dennis vanEngelsdorp's microscope were like none he had ever seen.

He had expected to see mites or amoebas, perennial pests of bees. Instead, he found internal organs swollen with debris and strangely blackened. The bees' intestinal tracts were scarred, and their rectums were abnormally full of what appeared to be partly digested pollen. Dark marks on the sting glands were telltale signs of infection.

"The more you looked, the more you found," said VanEngelsdorp, the acting apiarist for the state of Pennsylvania. "Each thing was a surprise."

Evil Rays

CCD revisited: Beekeepers Worry About Impact Of Mysterious Bee Aliment

MADISON, Wis. -- A mysterious ailment killing honeybees nationwide might be hitting Wisconsin bees harder than first suspected.

Colony Collapse Disorder has made headlines recently because bee pollination is needed for a third of all U.S. food crops.

Comment: For more information on Bee disappearances read the comprehensive SOTT editorial, To Bee or not to Be.


Magic Wand

Scientists discover new species in Suriname forest

Researchers have discovered 24 new species in Suriname while a fish species thought to be extinct has been rediscovered, a conservation organisation reported here Monday at the presentation of the result of an expedition from 2005 and 2006.

At a presentation at the Hotel Krasnapolsky in Paramaribo, representatives of US-based Conservation International (CI) told government officials, reporters and others that among the 24 new species there is a purple fluorescent frog (Atelopus species).

CI also issued a statement reporting on the extraordinary discovery of so many species outside the insect realm. Scientists warned however that the new found creatures are threatened by illegal small-scale gold mining, hunting and other forestry activities.

Black Cat

Rodents of Unusual Size, Florida tries to wipe out cat-sized African rats

Deep in the heart of the Florida Keys, wildlife officials are laying bait laced with poison to try to wipe out a colony of enormous African rats that could threaten crops and other animals.

U.S. federal and state officials are beginning the final phase of a two-year project to eradicate the Gambian pouched rats, which can grow to the size of a cat and began reproducing in the remote area about eight years ago.

Evil Rays

Human noise at sea could imperil creatures that depend on sonar

They're leaving behind people who banged on pipes and played a weird compilation of humpback hits, but the whales that lingered in the Delta are returning to an increasingly noisy ocean, where humans are the biggest noisemakers.

We pierce the depths with sub-seeking sonar. We rattle them with oil-exploration blasts. And we churn out a constant din from shipping.

The sounds sometimes kill, leaving beaked whales dead on shore after military exercises.

Heart

Whales slip out the Golden Gate

That's the verdict from scientists who acknowledged the humpbacks' quiet departure was bittersweet for the whale rescue team.

The last confirmed sighting of the mother and calf was Tuesday night near Tiburon, about four miles from the Golden Gate Bridge.