Tiny parasite may contribute to declines in honey bee colonies by infecting larvae

A tiny single-celled parasite may have a greater-than expected impact on honey bee colonies, which have been undergoing mysterious declines worldwide for the past decade, researchers have discovered. Since 2006, beekeepers in North America and Europe have lost about one-third of their managed bee colonies each year due to “colony collapse disorder.” While the exact cause is unknown, scientists have speculated that pesticides, pathogens, mites and certain beekeeping practices have all contributed to this decline. —> Read More

Blue Vision’s Wave of Activists

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Ocean and Coastal advocates from across the nation and our blue world converged on Washington DC May 11-14 for an inspired week of action, education, citizen lobbying and celebration. Here’s a brief summary of what occurred at the 5th Blue Vision Summit and the 8th annual Peter Benchley Ocean Awards.
Following an all-day ‘Blue Mind’ Seminar BVS5 opened with an evening ‘Celebration of the Sea’ for more than 300 ocean citizens including Ralph Nader, Rep. Sam Farr and Legal Sea Foods CEO Roger Berkowitz who discussed how to build the ocean movement (hint, start local and build broad coalitions like with the clean-up of Boston Harbor or the California fight against offshore oil, be persistent in your organizing efforts). Explorers Fabien Cousteau and Paul Rose of Nat Geo gave lively presentations on conservation and exploration although I was jealous that Paul got to harass polar bears with camera drones while I spent the last six months organizing conference events. The evening continued with schooling behavior around the food, drink, art, photography and nine ‘Writers for the Sea’ doing book signings for works ranging from ‘War of the Whales,’ to ‘Lunch wore a Speedo.’
Tuesday’s Summit workday included ‘State of the Seas’ talks by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island (the Ocean State), NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathy Sullivan, Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson of the Waitt Institute and U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft who pulled no punches about the risks of operating in the Arctic, warning of a “black swan” incident — a disaster of historic proportion — if an oil spill or shipwreck were to occur there, because there would be no way to effectively respond to it.
This was followed by a day of conversations and panels by leading voices for the ocean such as Dr. Jeremy Jackson, NYC Councilman Donovan —> Read More

Ben And Jerry’s Just Released A New Flavor, And It Could Help Save Our Planet

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If it’s melted, it’s ruined.

That’s the cardinal rule for ice cream consumption, because there’s really nothing worse than a runny pint you accidentally put in the refrigerator instead of the freezer. But it’s also true for our planet, as melting ice sheets are expected to cause a host of problems, including rising sea levels and the downfall of the polar bears.

For Ben and Jerry’s, social issues — from marriage equality to marijuana legalization — are best addressed head on. And now, the ice cream giant is tackling climate change with its latest flavor. The new concoction, called Save Our Swirled, is a mix of raspberry ice cream, marshmallow and raspberry swirls, and has pieces of dark and white chocolate fudge thrown in.

The flavor is part of an ongoing campaign to raise public awareness about the growing scourge of climate change — which contributed to 2014 being the warmest year ever recorded, has been declared a threat to national security by President Barack Obama, and is affecting our food.

“This is what happens when ice cream is just two degrees warmer than it should be,” the narrator says in the video above, which was released in conjunction with the flavor, as images of melting ice cream fill the screen. “For Ben and Jerry’s, it’s a mess. For the planet, it’s a metaphor, because a two-degree warming of our planet’s climate would have an equally dramatic, though much more significant impact.”

Major international governing bodies have pledged to do their part to keep the global temperature from rising two degrees Celcius, but thanks to a slew of industries like coal, the world isn’t doing too well.

Ben —> Read More

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