It's Time for this Bumble Bee to Come Under Government Protection
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believes a species of bumble bee – the rusty patched bumble bee – should be under federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.
It has finally come to this: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believes a species of bumble bee –the rusty patched bumble bee – should be under federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The petition was filed September 22, 2016 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which attributes the decline in its report to disease, pesticides, climate change, and habitat loss.
The rusty patched bumble bee can be identified by the red coloring on its abdomen. You may be able to spot the bee if you happen to live in the upper Midwest or Northeastern part of the United States. Then again the species has suffered a great decline in its population – 90% since 1990 – so maybe not so much.
“[The] Endangered Species Act safeguards are now the only way the bumble bee would have a fighting chance for survival,” Sarina Jepsen, of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, told Reuters.
It’s no secret bees have been dying off at an alarming rate, suffering from colony collapse, a disease which causes a number of worker bees to abandon the hive. This decline is thought to be caused by pesticides, which some researchers believe impairs the bees’ behavior in some way.
Scientists have pointed the finger specifically at neonicotinoid pesticides, typically used in agriculture, causing a scientific debate to become slightly politicized. However, if nothing is done, America could be losing some valuable free labor. After all, bees are responsible for pollinating 75% of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables we eat.
"Honeybee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the United States," the White House said.
Without pollinators, many flowering crops will require workers to go out into the field and manually induce pollination. To do this, you need to identify the male flowers, pluck them, and rub them up against the female flowers within a certain window of time during the day.
If these bees do fall into extinction, their absence will create quite a few job openings.
Get to know the more eccentric side of bees here, with Jonathan Keats.
To create wiser adults, add empathy to the school curriculum.
- Stories are at the heart of learning, writes Cleary Vaughan-Lee, Executive Director for the Global Oneness Project. They have always challenged us to think beyond ourselves, expanding our experience and revealing deep truths.
- Vaughan-Lee explains 6 ways that storytelling can foster empathy and deliver powerful learning experiences.
- Global Oneness Project is a free library of stories—containing short documentaries, photo essays, and essays—that each contain a companion lesson plan and learning activities for students so they can expand their experience of the world.
An extinction events expert sounds a dire warning.
- The supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park could cause an "ultra-catastrophe," warns an extinction events writer.
- The full eruption of the volcano last happened 640,000 years ago.
- The blast could kill billions and make United States uninhabitable.
Just before I turned 60, I discovered that sharing my story by drawing could be an effective way to both alleviate my symptoms and combat that stigma.
I've lived much of my life with anxiety and depression, including the negative feelings – shame and self-doubt – that seduced me into believing the stigma around mental illness: that people knew I wasn't good enough; that they would avoid me because I was different or unstable; and that I had to find a way to make them like me.
A joint study by two England universities explores the link between sex and cognitive function with some surprising differences in male and female outcomes in old age.
- A joint study by the universities of Coventry and Oxford in England has linked sexual activity with higher cognitive abilities in older age.
- The results of this study suggest there are significant associations between sexual activity and number sequencing/word recall in men. In women, however, there was a significant association between sexual activity in word recall alone - number sequencing was not impacted.
- The differences in testosterone (the male sex hormone) and oxytocin (a predominantly female hormone) may factor into why the male cognitive level changes much more during sexual activity in older age.
Mathematicians studied 100 billion tweets to help computer algorithms better understand our colloquial digital communication.