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Bryan Cranston
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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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Baby bees hatch with damaged brains thanks to pesticides

Study finds that a colony's exposure to pesticides impairs offspring.

Image source: Gill, et al/Tonio_75/Shutterstock/Big Think
  • Pesticide contamination in bee hives damages the learning capabilities of offspring, according to a recently published study.
  • A key area of the affected bees' brains never correctly develops after pesticide exposure.
  • Early impairment appears to be irreversible and is likely a factor in falling bee populations.
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Honeybees just had a record winter die-off

2018's winter was particularly harsh on U.S. honeybees. What's causing bee populations to plummet, and what can we do about it?

Photo credit: Damien TUPINIER on Unsplash
  • Since 2006, the Bee Informed Partnership has conducted a survey on U.S. beekeepers. The most recent survey shows that the 2018 winter resulted in the biggest die-off since the survey began, with a loss of 37.7 percent.
  • This die-off is part of a larger trend. Bee populations have been falling for decades.
  • The reasons why are multifaceted and compound on one another.
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Active ingredient in Roundup found in 95% of studied beers and wines

The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.

(MsMaria/Shutterstock)
  • U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
  • A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
  • Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
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Surprising behavior of bees during total solar eclipses discovered

A buzzworthy study looks at the strange actions of bees.

  • Scientists recorded the activities of bees during the 2017 total solar eclipse.
  • They found that bees completely stopped flying and buzzing.
  • A team of professional and citizen scientists was involved.
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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.

 

The rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) has suffered a 90% decline over the last 20 years. (Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo/ Flickr)

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