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Author: TriSec    Date: 07/01/2017 10:38:01

Good morning.

Idly skimming the news, I've come up with a couple of things this morning.

As you may well remember, this column has shone the spotlight on an important insect known as the common honeybee. It's been a while since they've been in the news, as the devastating Colony Collapse Disorder has actually started to recede.

But once again, bees are back in the news - this time via the BBC.

The most extensive study to date on neonicotinoid pesticides concludes that they harm both honeybees and wild bees.

Researchers said that exposure to the chemicals left honeybee hives less likely to survive over winter, while bumblebees and solitary bees produced fewer queens.
The study spanned 2,000 hectares across the UK, Germany and Hungary and was set up to establish the "real-world" impacts of the pesticides.

The results are published in Science.

Neonicotinoids were placed under a temporary ban in Europe in 2013 after concerns about their impact on bees. The European Commission told the BBC that it intends to put forward a new proposal to further restrict the use of the chemicals.

"There was a need to undertake a large-scale, realistic experiment to represent the effects of neonicotinoids on pollinators in the real world," said Prof Pywell.

The pan-European trials took place across 33 sites.

Bees were exposed to winter-sown oilseed rape that had been treated with two different types of neonicotinoids - Bayer's clothianidin and Syngenta's thiamethoxam - as well as untreated oilseed rape.

For bumblebees and solitary bees, the researchers said that in the UK, Hungary and Germany, higher concentrations of neonicotinoid residues found in nests resulted in fewer queens.

The scientists also found a type of neonicotinoid called imidacloprid in the wild bee nests. This pesticide was not used in the study, and the team said its presence suggested that despite the 2013 ban, the chemicals were lingering in the environment.

For honeybees, the scientists concluded that in the UK and Hungary, exposure to neonicotinoids meant that hives were at risk of dying out over the winter.
Prof Pywell said: "In the UK, we had high hive mortality."

In Hungary, colonies fell by 24% over winter.

However in Germany, the scientists found there were no harmful effects on overwintering honeybees.

They believe this may be because bee diseases are less prevalent in Germany and the insects also have a wider range of flowers to forage on.

Of course, I don't expect Mr. Trump to even care. After all, HIS food comes from the most excellent farms that don't need lazy bees. Besides, he's surely on the verge of launching an investigation into NASA. You probably heard about this, but I'm sorry to report I made the mistake of reading the story.

You've got to be fucking kidding me.

Even in this age of free-flying conspiracy theories, this one's a doozy.

On Thursday (June 29), a guest on Alex Jones' radio show named Robert David Steele claimed that Mars is inhabited — by people sent to the Red Planet against their will.

"We actually believe that there is a colony on Mars that is populated by children who were kidnapped and sent into space on a 20-year ride, so that once they get to Mars, they have no alternative but to be slaves on the Mars colony," Steele told Jones, the founder of the controversial InfoWars website. [25 Space Conspiracies That Just Won't Die]

It's unclear why this "ride" would last two decades; it takes just 6 to 9 months to reach Mars using current propulsion technology. Perhaps Steele believes that the kidnapped children return to Earth, as adults, 20 years after being spirited away?

Whatever the details may be, Jones seemed open to the possibility.

"Look, I know that 90 percent of the NASA missions are secret, and I've been told by high-level NASA engineers that you have no idea," Jones told Steele, who the show billed as a "CIA insider." "There is so much stuff going on."

Jones went on to add that "clearly, they don’t want us looking into what is happening; every time probes go over, they turn them off."

I don't actually know what's sadder - that there are people that can come up with this stuff, or that there are people out there that actually believe this. Remember that Star Trek TNG episode where the crew de-evolved? I think we're reaching that point in some circles.


2 comments (Latest Comment: 07/01/2017 14:00:57 by Will in Chicago)
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