Pesticide industry spending ‘hundreds of thousands of dollars’ to slow U.S. bee protection

June 17, 2016 by  
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Would it surprise you to hear that the pesticide industry is actively working to halt measures that would protect bees from dying in record numbers across the continent? A new report published by Friends of the Earth (FOE) this week lists the tactics the industry is using to get in the way of much needed federal and state legislation and, spoiler alert, there are a lot of them. Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that 44 percent of honeybee colonies nationwide died off last year, marking a sharp increase in the destruction that has a devastating trickle-down effect on American food crops. Yet, the pesticide industry still works to block protective legislation and it’s all because they stand to make a profit on the death of our important pollinators. For years, chemical researchers and entomologists have been building a case against pesticides, composed of overwhelming evidence that widespread use of the chemicals—primarily in agriculture but also in public parks and residential areas— threatens bee populations in a very real way. Without wild honeybees, the nation’s crops and food supplies are in danger , so many agencies at the federal and state level have considered programs to protect bees, ranging from pesticide bans to protected “honeybee corridors” to “pro-bee-iotics” that may protect the buzzing beauties from dangerous chemicals. Related: 44 percent of U.S. honeybee colonies died off last year FOE’s 29-page report ( PDF ) comes with an ominous title: “Buzz Kill: How the Pesticide Industry is Clipping the Wings of Bee Protection Efforts Across the U.S.” But, the severity of the language seems appropriate, given the report’s findings. Following an in-depth evaluation of continued efforts by the pesticide industry to interfere with or block protective programs for bee populations. The report says the industry is spending “hundreds of thousands of dollars” at the federal and state level to lobby against measures that would reduce or ban pesticide use, leading to weak legislation that does more to protect pesticide companies than bees. The FOE report also claims the pesticide industry has “infiltrated federal regulatory agencies” through employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency who previously worked for different regulatory agencies and companies including Bayer, Syngenta, and Monsanto , which all profit from pesticide use. FOE also charges the pesticide industry with creating misinformation campaigns against bee-protecting legislation, by “directly funded or influenced science by donating to education initiatives and building strategic alliances with academics.” Despite the industry’s efforts, some states are making forward progress to protect bees. Earlier this spring, Maryland became the first state in the country to ban neonicotinoids, the class of pesticides with strong links to the decline in bee populations. Other types of pesticides harm bees , too, which means reducing pesticide use or restricting certain varieties is only one part of the puzzle when it comes to protecting bee populations. Federal and state lawmakers must be free to evaluate their options without the tainted influence of the industry that seeks only to profit from the destruction of our delicate ecosystem. + Friends of the Earth Images via Shutterstock ( 1 , 2 ) and Friends of the Earth

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Pesticide industry spending ‘hundreds of thousands of dollars’ to slow U.S. bee protection

Maryland governor expected to ban bee-killing pesticides in US first

March 29, 2016 by  
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The declining bee population on Earth has been linked with widespread use of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids . While the chemicals have already been banned in several countries, they are still widely used in the United States. Maryland, however, is the first state poised to approve a measure that bans the pesticides , after losing 60 percent of its hives last year. The pending legislation has passed the state’s upper and lower chambers, and now awaits the signature of Governor Larry Hogan, which is expected. Read the rest of Maryland governor expected to ban bee-killing pesticides in US first

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Maryland governor expected to ban bee-killing pesticides in US first

Special pro-bee-iotics could protect honey bees against neonicotinoids

September 22, 2015 by  
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The plight of bees worldwide is now front and center and policymakers, like President Obama , and scientists are taking action to protect this invaluable natural resource. But one need not be president to make a difference in the lives of bees. Students at the University of British Columbia spent their summer developing a probiotic specifically designed for the digestive system of honeybees. Fittingly named “pro-bee-otic,” the innovative microorganism cocktail could prove to be a powerful defense against the destructive power of pesticides. Read the rest of Special pro-bee-iotics could protect honey bees against neonicotinoids

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Which countries are doing their part to stop Colony Collapse Disorder

August 21, 2015 by  
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Pollinators are the lifeblood of ecosystems everywhere. They help plants reproduce, increase biodiversity, facilitate the dispersal of species into new regions, maintain genetic diversity within plant populations, increase fruit yields, and support flora and fauna at every level of the food chain. But for the past 10 years, bee  keepers have been finding their hives suddenly and inexplicably abandoned. In the years since, the phenomenon often called Colony Collapse Disorder has been reported in Egypt, China, Europe, USA, Japan and the Middle East. This handy map reveals which countries are doing their part to stop the collapse and which have a long way to go. Read the rest of Which countries are doing their part to stop Colony Collapse Disorder

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July was the hottest month in recorded history

August 21, 2015 by  
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Last month was the hottest month, ever; not in California or even all of America, but in the whole recorded weather history of the planet. Phys.org reports that the first seven months of 2015 were the warmest since modern weather records began in 1880, and this past July was the warmest month ever entered into those records. The average July temperature across land and sea surfaces around the world was 61.86 degrees F (16.61 Celsius), cracking the previous record set in 1998. Read the rest of July was the hottest month in recorded history

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Incredible video shows the first 21 days of a bee’s life

May 25, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. What will save the bees? In an effort to explore the issue, National Geographic commissioned writer Charles C Mann and photographer Anand Varma to produce a story called Quest for a Superbee for the May 2015 issue of the magazine. A fascinating retrospective that delves deeper than everyday hysterics about the ‘beepocalypse’ unveils one of the biggest threats to our most important pollinator is the Varroa destructor , a mite that is quickly becoming resistant to the chemicals beekeepers are forced to pump into bee hives to protect them. In order to better understand his subject, Varma became a beekeeper himself. Read on to learn more about this fascinating video depicting the first 21 days of a bee’s life. Read the rest of Incredible video shows the first 21 days of a bee’s life Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Anand Varma , colony collapse disorder , honeybee , mite , National Geographic , neonicotinoids , parasites , pollinator , saving bees , TED Talk , varroa destructor

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Incredible video shows the first 21 days of a bee’s life

Does the bare-bones Maison D house take utilitarian architecture too far?

May 25, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Does the bare-bones Maison D house take utilitarian architecture too far? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: affordable home , bioclimatic , Bioclimatic Architecture , Fouquet Architecture Urbanisme , French house , Maison D , Maison D by Fouquet Architecture Urbanisme , operable windows , oriented strand board , passive solar principles , pellet burning stove

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How the Deadly Funnel Web Spider Could Help Save the Bees

June 27, 2014 by  
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Recent years have seen bees dying off en masse , but our flying friends may have found their salvation in an unlikely insect ally – a dangerously poisonous spider . A bite from a funnel web spider could kill a human quickly, but new research by scientists at the University of Newcastle shows a mixture of venom from Australian funnel web spiders combined with snowdrop lectin creates a powerful “biopesticide” that could be used in place of pesticides believed to be killing off bees. Read the rest of How the Deadly Funnel Web Spider Could Help Save the Bees Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: agriculture , bees , deadly spider could save the bees , farming , food , funnel , lectin , neonicotinoids , pesticides , pollination , security , snowdrop , spider , web

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Qatar Unveils Modular Tent-Like 60,000-Seater Al Bayt Stadium for World Cup 2022

June 27, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Qatar Unveils Modular Tent-Like 60,000-Seater Al Bayt Stadium for World Cup 2022 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Al Bayt Stadium , Al Bayt Stadium World Cup 2022 , football stadium 2022 , nomad tents , Qatar World Cup , Qatar World Cup 2022 , sports architecture , traditional nomadic architecture , vernacular architecture , world cup 2022

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Qatar Unveils Modular Tent-Like 60,000-Seater Al Bayt Stadium for World Cup 2022

JAJA Architects Reinvent the Parking Garage as a Green Community Space with Park ‘n’ Play

June 27, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of JAJA Architects Reinvent the Parking Garage as a Green Community Space with Park ‘n’ Play Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: centre pompidou , copenhagen , green facade , green roof , green roof playground , green roof public park , Jaja Architects , Nordhavn , parking garage , plant shelving system , planter boxes parking garage , red neighborhood , staircase frieze , staircase railing , the red thread

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JAJA Architects Reinvent the Parking Garage as a Green Community Space with Park ‘n’ Play

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