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Tagged : pollinators

Save bees by skipping these pesticides

July 10th, 2013

You may not think you can do much to save the honey bees, which continue to die in alarming numbers worldwide. But you can take a stand in your home landscape by banning a class of pesticides that are especially harmful to bees.

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Bees get a break in Europe

April 30th, 2013

The European Union votes to give honey bees a reprieve from a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, long suspected of triggering massive bee deaths that threaten agriculture worldwide. The pesticides are still be allowed in the United States.

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Let Lady Bird help you pick natives for your garden this spring

March 25th, 2013

Lady Bird Johnson’s legacy lives on, with a state full of wildflowers and a center that can help you pick the right native plants for your home landscape. Want to help bees and butterflies? The LBJ Wildflower Center makes it easy.

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Beekeepers and food and environment groups sue EPA over pesticides toxic to bees

March 22nd, 2013

Beekeepers and environmental groups sued the EPA this week for allowing pesticides that are causing an epidemic of bee deaths. The suit asks the agency to suspend the permits for certain pesticides, which have been shown to poison bees, which in turn threatens a wide array of crops dependent on bee pollination.

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Haagen Daz orchestrates campaign for the plight of the honeybee

July 30th, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Help the Honey Bees, a web-based campaign by Haagen Daz is trying to build buzz for the beneficial insects, which are beset by a mysterious ailment that causes whole colonies to collapse.

The effort includes backing some cute You Tube videos (dancing humans dressed as bees definitely help personify this issue), and a series of “challenges” on the Experience Project in which people can plant a flower or pledge to eat natural foods to help honey bees. There’s also a bee trivia quiz.

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Monarch butterflies: A natural wonder under threat

June 19th, 2009

By Melissa Segrest
Green Right Now

Up close they are such delicate creatures, their bright orange wings outlined in black and accented with white spots. But when they migrate by the millions each year — from Canada through the United States and most to a specific mountainous region of Mexico and back – monarch butterflies become one of nature’s most breathtaking spectacles.

Their tiny brains are hard-wired with biological clocks, and their eyes detect ultraviolet light variations to guide them. Every year, generations of the beautiful monarchs travel from 1,200 to 2,800 miles to their winter and summer habitats. Because most adults only live four weeks, they only travel part of the way. Then their offspring continue the trek, and on and on until they reach their habitats.

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Despite scary Halloween image, bats are environmental helpers

October 16th, 2008

By Catherine Colbert

Bats have historically gotten a bad rap as rabid, blood-thirsty creatures. While it’s agreed that the very thought of them conjures up vivid images of Béla Lugosi-style Dracula flicks, a growing body of research proves the mammals are beneficial to the environment in several ways.

Bats are chemical-free exterminators. A National Geographic profile on bats calls them “nature’s own bug zappers.”

The pint-size creatures also spend their time pollinating and feeding on crop-damaging bugs. “Worldwide, bats are important pollinators, dispersers of seeds, and help to control insects, including serious crop pests,” says Barbara French, a biologist and Science Officer for Bat Conservation International (BCI), located in Austin, Texas.

“Each summer, a colony of 150 big brown bats can protect farmers from up to 33 million rootworms, which are serious crop pests. Many bats feed on moths. The moths lay eggs that develop into caterpillars, like corn earworms and army worms, which feed on an amazing variety of crops,” says French. “Important agricultural crops, such as bananas, breadfruit, mangoes, cashews, dates, and figs, rely on bats for pollination or seed dispersal. And bats are critical for rain forest regeneration,” asserts French.

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Stung By Bee Colony Collapse, A BeeKeeper Fights To Retain 60-Year-Old Business

February 14th, 2008

By Shermakaye Bass

So far this winter, things are looking fair-to-middlin’ for David Ellingson’s honeybees, but the Minnesotan is holding his breath until later this month, when he learns how two-thirds of his commercial hives have fared during their wintering season down south.beekeeper-ellingson.jpg

Ellingson has 1,200 hives in Southeast Texas (normally 20,000 to 30,000 bees inhabit a healthy hive), where he hopes the bees are fattening up in the warmer, moister climate. His remaining 700-800 hives buzz about the fields of California, where they are helping to pollinate the state’s massive almond crop.

The next few weeks are critical for the third-generation beekeeper.

More from GRN
Bee Colony Collapse:
Experts Race To Unravel Mystery

Ellingson, a past president of the American Beekeeping Federation, will learn if he’ll have a repeat of last winter, when he lost 65 percent of all his bees. Also, in the next few weeks, he and those affected by Colony Collapse Disorder and other honey-bee health issues will learn if the current Farm Bill, which has a proposed $75 million for research and disaster-relief, will even make it to the House and Senate floors.

“This year so far our bees look better… If I had another year like last year (Ellingson saw an additional 15-20 percent loss during the ’07 summer), we would be getting ready for a sale. I’m 54 years old. I can’t go any deeper into debt.”

For him, a lifelong passion and family tradition are at stake.

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Bee Colony Collapse: Experts Race To Unravel Mystery; Beekeepers Fear A Deepening Crisis

February 11th, 2008

Photo: Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium

Worker bees

By Shermakaye Bass

A year and a half ago, news of a mysterious phenomenon captured the country’s attention – something known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that was affecting up to 30 percent of America’s commercial honeybee producers, whose mobile apiaries pollinate one-third of the country’s food supply.

For months, the international media carried reports on CCD (essentially a disappearing act by America’s worker honeybees), projecting repercussions that would drive produce and dairy prices through the roof and eventually cause large-scale food shortages in the U.S.

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