Believed extinct for 38 years, the world’s largest bee has been found

February 22, 2019 by  
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Measuring in at four times the size of the average honeybee, Wallace’s giant bee has been on the endangered species radar for decades and was feared to be gone forever. But after 38 years of searching, scientists have confirmed that the world’s largest bee hasn’t gone extinct just yet. A team of scientists hailing from the United States and Australia discovered a female giant bee on the North Moluccas islands of Indonesia. The bee was uncovered in a termite nest, and the team was able to capture a series of photos of the massive insect, which has somehow evaded extinction all these years. Scientists have yet to determine how many giant bees are in the wild. Related: Bee Saving Paper “works like an energy drink for bees” “It was absolutely breathtaking to see this ‘flying bulldog’ of an insect that we weren’t sure existed anymore,” Clay Bolt , one of the team’s photographers, explained. According to The Guardian , Alfred Russel Wallace, a well-known naturalist and explorer from Britain, discovered the giant bee in 1858. Although it is the world’s largest bee , sightings of the flying insect have been rare, and scientists have had a difficult time unlocking its secrets. In fact, the giant bee stayed off the radar until 1981, when an American scientist named Adam Messer found three members of the species in Indonesia. The giant bee once again disappeared after Messer’s sightings, and scientists worried that the species had gone extinct. Fortunately, finding the living solo female proves that Wallace’s giant bee is still around, sparking hope that the species will continue to evade extinction in the years to come. The IUCN currently lists Wallace’s giant bee as vulnerable. Sadly, deforestation in the region is threatening the bee’s natural habitat. Collectors also seek out the giant bee because it is so rare, which has driven numbers down even more. Indonesia has yet to enact legislation that protects the bees from being targeted by humans. Scientists hope the new sighting will raise awareness about the giant bee and prompt lawmakers to take action to prevent the insect from becoming another  endangered species that goes extinct. Via The Guardian Images via Clay Bolt

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Believed extinct for 38 years, the world’s largest bee has been found

This could be the United States’ first endangered bee species

September 28, 2016 by  
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The world’s bees are dying – and one particular species may soon become the United State’s first endangered bee. The rusty patched bumble bee has suffered a staggering 90 percent decline in population over the last 20 years. If a new proposal is accepted, it will become the first bee species to receive federal protections in the US under the Endangered Species Act. The rusty patched bumble bee has historically lived in the midwestern and northeastern United States, but their population has plummeted over the years due to pesticides, climate change , and habitat loss. This has led the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to propose adding them to the Endangered Species Act . Related: South Carolina kills millions of bees while spraying for Zika mosquitoes These bees are not the only species that has suffered a severe drop in numbers. Estimates by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature reveal that over one-fourth of the 47 varieties of bumble bees native to the US and Canada will soon be facing potential extinction . Seven bee species in Hawaii were proposed for protection last year. Since bees play a vital part in crop pollination, their plight is something we should take very seriously . Via U.S. Uncut Images via Wikipedia , Flickr

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This could be the United States’ first endangered bee species

Student discovers a way to destroy superbug bacteria without antibiotics

September 28, 2016 by  
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A 25-year-old student has discovered a way to destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria without pummeling them with more antibiotics . Shu Lam successfully destroyed superbugs in lab tests using a star-shaped polymer that literally rips the cells to shreds. This breakthrough could signal a complete overhaul in how the medical community approaches these deadly bacteria . Currently, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ( MRSA ), kill 700,000 people per year. Scientists are worried that number could skyrocket to 10 million by the year 2050 , so they’re searching for ways to successful intervene before more damage is done. University of Melbourne student Shu Lam believes she may have found a solution. Related: ‘Nightmare’ bacteria found in the U.S. resists all known antibiotics Her study , published in Nature Microbiology , details the mechanism of SNAPPs, or structurally nanoengineered antimicrobial peptide polymers . SNAPPs work by directly targeting, attacking, and destabilizing the cell membranes of superbugs. They are large enough that they do not affect healthy cells, which are affected by conventional approaches that “poison” the bacteria. So far, Lam has successfully tested SNAPPs on six different strains of superbugs in a laboratory setting, and one in live mice. In each experiment, the nasty bacteria were all killed and did not develop resistance to the polymers in future generations. The development is still in its early phases, yet Lam and her team believe they are onto something big. Via Science Alert Images via Wikipedia , Flickr

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Student discovers a way to destroy superbug bacteria without antibiotics

Environmentalists Sue US Government to Get Bees Listed as Endangered Animals

May 14, 2014 by  
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What’s an insect have to do to get on the endangered species list these days? That’s the question some environmentalists are asking after a failed attempt to get a vanishing bumble bee species added to the list. Environmentalists with the Xerces Society got so frustrated with a lack of response about adding the rusty patched bumble bee that they have filed a lawsuit against US government agencies to draw attention to the issue. Read the rest of Environmentalists Sue US Government to Get Bees Listed as Endangered Animals Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bee die-off , bee disease , bee extinction , bee population , bee population reduction , bees endangered , bumble bee , bumble bee die off , colony collapse , environmentalists sue government , rusty patched bumble bee , The Xerces Society v. Jewell et. al , Xerces Society , Xerces Society sues Department of Interior , Xerces Society sues government , Xerces Society sues US Wildlife , Xerces vs US Government

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Environmentalists Sue US Government to Get Bees Listed as Endangered Animals

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