Showing posts with label Insects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Insects. Show all posts

September 3, 2016

Millions of Dead Bees in a Nuked Looking Area After Zika Spraying





On Sunday morning, the South Carolina honey bees began to die in massive numbers.
Death came suddenly to Dorchester County, S.C. Stressed insects tried to flee their nests, only to surrender in little clumps at hive entrances. The dead worker bees littering the farms suggested that colony collapse disorder was not the culprit — in that odd phenomenon, workers vanish as though raptured, leaving a living queen and young bees behind.
Instead, the dead heaps signaled the killer was less mysterious, but no less devastating. The pattern matched acute pesticide poisoning. By one estimate, at a single apiary — Flowertown Bee Farm and Supply, in Summerville — 46 hives died on the spot, totaling about 2.5 million bees.
Walking through the farm, one Summerville woman wrote on Facebook, was “like visiting a cemetery, pure sadness.” 
A Clemson University scientist collected soil samples from Flowertown on Tuesday, according to WCBD-TV, to further investigate the cause of death. But to the bee farmers, the reason is already clear. Their bees had been poisoned by Dorchester’s own insecticide efforts, casualties in the war on disease-carrying mosquitoes.
On Sunday morning, parts of Dorchester County were sprayed with Naled, a common insecticide that kills mosquitoes on contact. The United States began using Naled in 1959, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which notes that the chemical dissipates so quickly it is not a hazard to people. That said, human exposure to Naled during spraying “should not occur.”
In parts of South Carolina, trucks trailing pesticide clouds are not an unusual sight, thanks to a mosquito-control program that also includes destroying larvae. Given the current concerns of West Nile virus and Zika — there are several dozen cases of travel-related Zika in South Carolina, though the state health department reports no one has yet acquired the disease from a local mosquito bite — Dorchester decided to try something different Sunday.

The Zika virus, explained

Play Video3:07
Everything you ever wanted to know about the Zika virus and its spread across North and South America. (Daron Taylor, Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)
It marked a departure from Dorchester County’s usual ground-based efforts. For the first time, an airplane dispensed Naled in a fine mist, raining insect death from above between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Sunday. The county says it provided plenty of warning, spreading word about the pesticide plane via a newspaper announcement Friday and a Facebook post Saturday. Local beekeepers felt differently. 
“Had I known, I would have been camping on the steps doing whatever I had to do screaming, ‘No you can’t do this,'” beekeeper Juanita Stanley said in an interview with Charleston’s WCSC-TV. Stanley told the Charleston Post and Courier that the bees are her income, but she is more devastated by the loss of the bees than her honey.
The county acknowledged the bee deaths Tuesday. “Dorchester County is aware that some beekeepers in the area that was sprayed on Sunday lost their beehives,” Jason Ward, county administrator, said in a news release. He added, according to the Charleston Post and Courier, “I am not pleased that so many bees were killed.”

Planes spray pesticides aimed at mosquitos carrying Zika in Florida

Play Video1:02
Officials in Miami are hoping pesticides sprayed from the skies will be enough to kill the mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus there. Florida health officials have identified 15 Zika cases spread by local mosquitoes. (Reuters)
Spraying Naled from the air is not unprecedented, particularly when covering areas that cannot be reached by truck. In a single year in Florida, more than 6 million acres were fumigated with the chemical, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency argued in January that the technique should be used to curb Zika in Puerto Rico. 
But the insect neurotoxin cannot discriminate between honey bees and bloodsuckers. A profile of the chemical in Cornell University’s pesticide database warned that “Naled is highly toxic to bees.”
Although the insecticide was known to kill bees, to South Carolina beekeepers spraying had not been as significant a concern as parasites, disease and other hive threats. As South Carolina Beekeepers Association President Larry Haigh told the Post and Courier in June 2015, many counties will spray at night, when honey bees do not forage for pollen. Plus, given sufficient warning, beekeepers will shield their hives and protect the bees’ food and water from contamination.
Sunday was different. Summerville resident Andrew Macke, who keeps bees as a hobby, wrote on Facebook that the hot weather left bees particularly exposed. Once temperatures exceed 90 degrees, bees may exit the nest to cool down in what is called a beard, clustering on the outside of the hive in a ball. Neither Macke nor Stanley had covered their hives.
And then came the plane. 
“They passed right over the trees three times,” Stanley said to ABC 4 News. After the plane left, the familiar buzzing stopped. The silence in its wake was like a morgue, she said.
As for the dead bees, as Stanley told the AP, her farm “looks like it’s been nuked.”
A Summerville resident started a Change.org petition calling for Dorchester County to halt aerial Naled spraying. It is unclear whether those who lost bees are pursuing other recourse. 
Update: Dorchester County administrator Jason Ward wrote to The Washington Post in a statement on Thursday, clarifying that the county sent out a press release at 9:15 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 26.
“The beekeepers that were on the county’s contact list that were in the zone to be sprayed were called with one exception. Mr. Scott Gaskins, who runs the Mosquito Control program, failed to call Mitch Yawn, Ms. Juanita Stanley’s business partner,” Ward said in the email.
“The second issue regarding beekeepers like Mr. Andrew Macke revolves around the fact that the county did not have these locations on its list. However, we have reached out to the Lowcountry Beekeepers Association and they provided us with the names and locations for other beekeepers in Dorchester County.” 
“They passed right over the trees three times,” Stanley said to ABC 4 News. After the plane left, the familiar buzzing stopped. The silence in its wake was like a morgue, she said.
As for the dead bees, as Stanley told the AP, her farm “looks like it’s been nuked.”
A Summerville resident started a Change.org petition calling for Dorchester County to halt aerial Naled spraying. It is unclear whether those who lost bees are pursuing other recourse.
Update: Dorchester County administrator Jason Ward wrote to The Washington Post in a statement on Thursday, clarifying that the county sent out a press release at 9:15 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 26.
“The beekeepers that were on the county’s contact list that were in the zone to be sprayed were called with one exception. Mr. Scott Gaskins, who runs the Mosquito Control program, failed to call Mitch Yawn, Ms. Juanita Stanley’s business partner,” Ward said in the email.
“The second issue regarding beekeepers like Mr. Andrew Macke revolves around the fact that the county did not have these locations on its list. However, we have reached out to the Lowcountry Beekeepers Association and they provided us with the names and locations for other beekeepers in Dorchester County.”

How the Zika virus affects an infant's brain

Play Video1:38
Doctors confirmed the link between the Zika virus and microcephaly in April. While the most visible sign of microcephaly is the small size of the head, its actually inside the brain where the most damage occurs.
 (Whitney Leaming, Julio Negron/The Washington Post) 

October 23, 2013

Billions of Insects Having Gay Sex by Mistaken Identity

Most insects mate the way other animals do, through direct contact of the male and female genitalia.



It’s all a case of mistaken identity, scientists researching the homosexual tendencies of billions of insects have concluded.
 Scientists are now claiming the long observed practice of insects and spiders of the same sex mating is actually accidental, despite up to 85 per cent of male insects engaging in homosexual acts. 
Instead the bugs, which have one of the strongest evolutionary drives, are in such a rush to reproduce they do not take enough time to inspect their potential mate’s gender, often leading to same-sex mating. 

The collaborative study, published by Doctor Inon Scharf of Tel Aviv University and Doctor Oliver Martin of ETH Zurich University in the journal ofBehavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, found spiders and insects have not evolved to properly discriminate in their mating choices.
They reviewed past studies of 110 species of male insects and spiders and found there is almost no evolutionary advantage to insect homosexuality, unlike birds and some mammals.

“It is unclear what role evolution plays in this curious situation. Like heterosexual behavior, it takes time and energy and can be dangerous - and it lacks the potential payoff of procreation,” the authors noted.
“Insects and spiders mate quick and dirty,” Dr. Scharf said in August, before the study was published on 21 October. “The cost of taking the time to identify the gender of mates or the cost of hesitation appears to be greater than the cost of making some mistakes.”
In the study, researchers propose that insect homosexual activity actually occurs because males carry pheromones from previous sexual activities with other females, and it is this that may also attract a male insect to another male.
"Homosexual behavior may be genomically linked to being more active, a better forager, or a better competitor," Dr Scharf added. "So even though misidentifying mates isn't a desirable trait, it's part of a package of traits that leaves the insect better adapted overall.”
HEATHER SAUL
independent.co.uk

Thanks to Youtube we can see the process on glowing insects which makes the experience more illuminating. I got a kick in listening to the researchers getting more excited than the insects watching the process:


August 16, 2013

Why Do Insects Have Gay Sex? Does it Make Them Gay? Can They go to The Olympics??

Male insects generally have gay sex by mistake: they can't tell
 the difference between a male and female until the act is done 
Credit: Reddogs Shutterstock

November 27, 2012

WPalm Bch Man Dies Choking on Roaches {Vid incl}

Is Florida having a shortage of Lobsters, shrimps or even Craw daddy’s. They are going for the roach?? Then you have the class clown he had to kick the bucket…..of roaches I imagine,  by choking on them? Don’t say it…I read your mind….not nice, but I almost with you about the, you know chocking? We never have done that in NYC. We do Hotdogs, chicken wings, beer…They once in a while find mice in the healthy organic salad bars. I wonder how they feel about bed bugs? They could make some money on that.  Eating all the bed bugs at people’s houses and apartments. Just don’t take a bunch at the same time dude!
adamfoxie*

  • Related
  • 2004 photo of Edward Archbold2004 photo of Edward Archbold
  • Original story: Man dies after bug-eating contest in Deerfield BeachOriginal story: Man dies after bug-eating contest in Deerfield Beach 


A West Palm Beach man who collapsed after a cockroach-eating contest last month choked to death on bug parts and his own vomit, the Broward County Medical Examiner ruled Monday.
Edward Archbold, 32, a canvas worker, had stuffed handfuls of roaches and worms down his throat during an Oct. 5 contest at the Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach.
Shortly after winning the prize, an expensive ivory ball python, Archbold began to retch violently and collapsed outside the store. He later died at Broward Health North Medical Center. None of the other contestants became ill, Ben Siegel said.
Medical Examiner Dr. Craig Mallak determined Archbold "died as a result of asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents."
Mallak further cited "findings of airway obstruction by the arthropod body parts." Cockroaches are members of the arthropod family.
Mallak's report noted there were no "lethal intoxicating
substances" in Archbold's system. He classified the death as an accident.
Siegel described Archbold, who won the python for a friend, as "a super nice guy."
"He was outgoing.

He was the life of the party," the shop owner said.
All contestants signed waivers accepting responsibility, and weren't allowed to drink alcohol. Siegel said three aspiring bug eaters were eliminated for bringing beer to the contest.
The bugs were not wild, but rather raised in captivity under sterile conditions, Siegel said. "They're bred for exotic pet feed and they're completely safe," he said.
After Archibold's death, theories abounded on the Internet as to what killed him: He choked on his own vomit, suffered an allergic reaction, or inhaled the insects' hard, dry shells.
Experts on insect eating advise against consuming live roaches. They're fraught with bacteria and have spiny legs.
"It's like swallowing a fish hook," said Florence Vaccarello Dunkel, associate professor of entomology at Montana State University and editor of the Food Insect Newsletter.

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