Bee-pocalypse Now? Nope. (Shawn Regan)

Bee-pocalypse Now? Nope. – Shawn Regan

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You’ve probably heard by now that bees are mysteriously dying. In 2006, commercial beekeepers began to witness unusually high rates of honeybee die-offs over the winter – increasing from an average of 15 percent to more than 30 percent. Everything from genetically modified crops to pesticides (even cell phones) has been blamed. The phenomenon was soon given a name: colony collapse disorder.

Ever since, the media has warned us of a “beemaggedon” or “beepocalypse” posing a “threat to our food supply.” By 2013, NPR declared that bee declines may cause “a crisis point for crops,” and the cover of Time magazine foretold of a “world without bees.” This spring, there was more bad news. Beekeepers reported losing 42.1 percent of their colonies over the last year, prompting more worrisome headlines.

Based on such reports, you might believe that honeybees are nearly gone by now. And because honeybees are such an important pollinator – they reportedly add $15 billion in value to crops and are responsible for pollinating a third of what we eat – the economic consequences must be significant.

Last year, riding the buzz over dying bees, the Obama administration announced the creation of a pollinator-health task force to develop a “federal strategy” to promote honeybees and other pollinators. Last month the task force unveiled its long-awaited plan, the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators. The plan aims to reduce honeybee-colony losses to “sustainable” levels and create 7 million acres of pollinator-friendly habitat. It also calls for more than $82 million in federal funding to address pollinator health.

But here’s something you probably haven’t heard: There are more honeybee colonies in the United States today than there were when colony collapse disorder began in 2006. In fact, according to data released in March by the Department of Agriculture, U.S. honeybee-colony numbers are now at a 20-year high. And those colonies are producing plenty of honey. U.S. honey production is also at a 10-year high.

Almost no one has reported this, but it’s true. You can browse the USDA reports yourself. Since colony collapse disorder began in 2006, there has been virtually no detectable effect on the total number of honeybee colonies in the United States. Nor has there been any significant impact on food prices or production.

How can this be? In short, commercial beekeepers have adapted to higher winter honeybee losses by actively rebuilding their colonies. This is often done by splitting healthy colonies into multiple hives and purchasing new queen bees to rebuild the lost hives. Beekeepers purchase queen bees through the mail from commercial breeders for as little as $15 to $25 and can produce new broods rather quickly. Other approaches include buying packaged bees (about $55 for 12,000 worker bees and a fertilized queen) or replacing the queen to improve the health of the hive. By doing so, beekeepers are maintaining healthy and productive colonies – all part of a robust and extensive market for pollination services.

Economists Randal Rucker and Walter Thurman have carefully documented how these pollination markets work and how they respond to problems like bee disease. As it turns out, they work pretty well. A 2012 analysis by Rucker and Thurman found almost no economic impact from colony collapse disorder. (If anything, you might be paying 2.8 cents more for a can of Smokehouse Almonds.) They conclude that beekeepers are “savvy entrepreneurs” who have proven able to “adapt quickly to changing market conditions” with almost no impact on consumers.

Rebuilding lost colonies takes extra work, but so far most beekeepers seem adept at doing so. Rucker and Thurman find that the prices for new queen bees have remained stable, even with increased demand due to higher winter losses. Pollination fees, the fees beekeepers charge farmers to provide pollination services, have increased for some crops such as almonds. But these higher pollination fees have helped beekeepers offset the additional costs of rebuilding their hives.

The White House downplays these extensive markets for pollination services. The task force makes no mention of the remarkable resilience of beekeepers. Instead, we’re told the government will address the crisis with an “all hands on deck” approach, by planting pollinator-friendly landscaping, expanding public education and outreach, and supporting more research on bee disease and potential environmental stressors. (To the disappointment of many environmental groups, the plan stops short of banning neonicotinoids, a type of pesticide some believe are contributing to bee deaths.)

This is not to deny that beekeeping faces challenges. Today, most experts believe there is no one single culprit for honeybee losses, but rather a multitude of factors. Modern agricultural practices can create stress for honeybees. Commercial beekeepers transport their colonies across the country each year to pollinate a variety of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. This can weaken honeybees and increase their susceptibility to diseases and parasites.

But this is not the first time beekeepers have dealt with bee disease, and they do not stand idly by in the face of such challenges. The Varroa mite, a blood-sucking bee parasite introduced in 1987, has been especially troublesome. Yet beekeepers have proven resilient. Somehow, without a national strategy to help them, beekeepers have maintained their colonies and continued to provide the pollination services our modern agricultural system demands.

“What are we doing on bees?” the president reportedly asked his advisers in 2013. “Are we doing enough?” With U.S. honeybee colonies now at a 20-year high, you have to wonder: Is our national pollination strategy a solution in search of a crisis?

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China’s Top Internet Provider Builds Headquarters That Look Like Starship Enterprise

Chinese Millionaire Builds Company Headquarters To Look Like The Starship Enterprise – Oddity Central

The headquarters of NetDragon Websoft – China’s most popular internet provider – looks quite conventional from the ground, but aerial footage shows that the building is actually a replica of the iconic Starship Enterprise!

NetDragon chairman Liu Dejian, a huge Star Trek fan and self-described ‘Uber Trekkie’, reportedly spent $150 million over a span of six years to construct the USS Enterprise-shaped office. When it was finally ready in 2014, he chose to remain rather low-key about it. But when a fan spotted a satellite image of the badass building – about the size of three football pitches – it eventually stirred up a social media frenzy. Drone footage was soon released online, making Star Trek fans all over the world drool with delight.

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Mashable reports that the premises looks like a mashup of the Enterprise-E, Enterprise-D, and the starship design from the J.J. Abrams reboot movies, but die hard Star Trek fans disagree – they say it looks more like the Voyager. As smashing as its exteriors are, we’re not sure if the NetDragon office mimics the Enterprise’s cool interiors as well. Some reports suggest that it has a few awesome features inside, like automatic sliding gates, 30-foot slides connecting the third floor to the first, and a giant T-Rex replica.

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Liu, whose $600 million fortune is larger than the Queen of England’s, is fondly called ‘big child’ by the Chinese media. The man is famous for indulging his employees and filling his offices with fun gadgets like pinball machines, batman toys, and segways. His obsession with Star Trek began when he was a student at the University of Kansas. So he reportedly obtained a special license from CBS, allowing him to build a replica of the spaceship.

Star Trek fans, if you aren’t able to make it to China, you can get a clear view of the office on Google Maps!

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*VIDEOS* So, You Think You Understand The Book Of Genesis – I Doubt That


CHUCK MISSLER: LECTURE – GENESIS (DAY ONE)

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CHUCK MISSLER: LECTURE – GENESIS (DAY TWO)

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CHUCK MISSLER: LECTURE – GENESIS (DAY THREE)

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CHUCK MISSLER: LECTURE – GENESIS (DAY FOUR)

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CHUCK MISSLER: LECTURE – GENESIS (DAY FIVE)

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CHUCK MISSLER: LECTURE – GENESIS (DAY SIX)

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CHUCK MISSLER: LECTURE – GENESIS (DAY SEVEN)

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*VIDEOS* The Daley Gator Videos Page – Now With Over 200 Embedded Clips!


The following is just a taste of what you’ll find at the monstrously popular DALEY GATOR VIDEOS page.

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WILD BILL: BAITING MUSLIMS?

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PHILLIP JOHNSON: DARWINISM ON TRIAL

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GRANT THOMPSON: HOW TO ESCAPE HANDCUFFS

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China Agrees To Help Iran Build Five Nuclear Power Plants

China To Build New Nuke Plants In Iran – Washington Free Beacon

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Iran announced that China has agreed to assist in the building of five new nuclear plants across the country, according to Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI).

Iran plans to enlist the Chinese in the construction of five new nuclear plants similar in size and scope to the plant currently operating near Bushehr.

Iran’s insistence on building more nuclear power plants has become a key concern for critics of the Obama administration’s diplomacy with the Islamic Republic, as these nuclear structures could potentially be used to assist its nuclear weapons program.

The Obama administration has said in the past that the construction of light water reactors such as the one in Bushehr does not violate existing United Nations restrictions or the interim accord struck with the country in 2013.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the AEOI, announced on Tuesday that Iran is pursuing at least five new nuclear power plants to produce nuclear fuel at an “industrial scale.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran plans to produce at least 190,000 SWUs (Separative Work Units) of nuclear fuel at the industrial scale, while we also think about 1,000,000 SWUs, which will be needed to fuel 5 power plants like Bushehr,” Kamalvandi was quoted as saying during an address Tuesday in Tehran at an event described by the state-controlled Fars News Agency as an “Analysis of Lausanne Statement.”

Russia has already helped to start construction of at least two plants in southern Iran, while the Chinese will assist with the rest, Kamalvandi revealed.

“This is the reason why we have inked an agreement with the Russians to construct two nuclear power plants for the generation of electricity while the Chinese will also enter this arena soon,” he was quoted as saying.

Touching on the contents of a recently agreed to framework nuclear deal with the United States, Kamalvandi said Tehran will retain the Fordow nuclear enrichment facility – a former military site – and operate more than 1,000 centrifuges there.

Nuclear research and development work also will continue and return to full capacity after around 10 years, he said.

In addition to the light water reactors, Iran plans to build “small nuclear power plants” around the Persian Gulf area for the reported purpose of desalinating water, Fars reported.

“The AEOI plans to build small power plants in the Southern parts of the country for desalination purposes. Construction of such power plants are on the agenda and will be materialized in the next few years,” Fars quoted Kamalvandi as saying.

When asked about Iranian efforts to build new nuclear reactors, the State Department has said that this type of work is still permissible under existing agreements.

“In general, the construction of light water nuclear reactors is not prohibited by U.N. Security Council resolutions, nor does it violate the [interim agreement,” a State Department official told the Washington Free Beacon in January.

“We have been clear in saying that the purpose of the negotiations with Iran is to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remains exclusively for civilian, peaceful purposes,” the official said at the time. “The talks that we have been engaged in for months involve a specific set of issues relative to closing off all possible pathways to Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb. That remains our focus.”

Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser, said that years of diplomacy with Iran have nearly unraveled a sanctions regime that brought the Iranian economy to its knees.

“Obama’s partisans like to bash Republicans as anti-diplomacy and they vilify men like [former U.N. Ambassador] John Bolton,” Rubin said. “But it was John Bolton who crafted unanimous and near unanimous U.N. Security Council Resolutions to bring Iran to its knees, while it is the likes of Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry who have unraveled multilateral pressure and opened the floodgates both to Iranian enrichment and to adversaries like China and Russia to jump in with deals that make Iranian cheating even easier.”

“For all their rhetoric and fawning press, Obama and Kerry have confirmed themselves as the real JV team in the region,” Rubin said.

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*VIDEOS* Another Taste Of What You’ll Find At The Hugely Informative DALEY GATOR VIDEOS Page


BILL WHITTLE: TAKE THEM AT THEIR WORD

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ROBERT CARTER: MULTIDIMENSIONAL GENOME POINTS TO INTELLIGENT DESIGN

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ONION NEWS NETWORK: OHIO REPLACES LETHAL INJECTION WITH HEAD-RIPPING-OFF MACHINE

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Boeing Patents Plasma Force Field Technology

Boeing Patents ‘Star Wars’-Style Force Fields – C/Net

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A new patent granted to aircraft, defense and security company Boeing is taking its cues from science fiction. Just like the glowing energy shields seen protecting troops, machines and even spacecraft in Star Wars and Star Trek, the design – named “Method and system for shockwave attenuation via electromagnetic arc” – uses energy to deflect potential damage.

As it is described, the system is not designed to prevent direct impact from shells or shrapnel; rather, it is designed to protect a target – such as a vehicle or building – from the damaging effects of shockwaves from a nearby impact.

The patent is for a shockwave attenuation system, which consists of a sensor capable of detecting a shockwave-generating explosion and an arc generator that receives the signal from the sensor to ionise a small region, producing a plasma field between the target and the explosion using lasers, electricity and microwaves.

This small plasma field would differ from the surrounding environment in temperature, density and/or composition. This would provide a buffer between the target and the explosion that would hinder the shockwaves from reaching and damaging the target.

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“Such embodiments as described above may reduce the energy density of the shockwave by creating a second medium in the path of the advancing shockwave that reflects, refracts, absorbs and deflects at least a portion of the shockwave,” the patent reads.

Because this system heats and ionises the air, it is eminently unsuitable for enveloping a target and being held in place for any length of time. That kind of force field is technically feasible – physics students last year determined that an electromagnetic field could by used to hold a plasma shield in place – but it would likely also deflect light, leaving anyone inside blind as a bat.

You can read the full specs included in Boeing’s patent on the USPTO website.

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