New Trick Could Save Agriculture Even If All the Bees Die

Pollen Jocks

Should bees die off at a catastrophic rate, a team of scientists has a new technique they say we could use to continue to pollinate plants without them.

It turns out that soap bubbles — like the ones you might make with a kid’s toy — can carry pollen as they float around, CNET reports. After mounting bubble makers onto the bottom of drones, scientists successfully pollinated a pear orchard, suggesting a possible way to grow crops should we fail to restore bee populations.

Bubble Boys

Previous attempts to automate pollination tend to involve replacing bees with miniature robots that would fly from plan to plant like their biological counterparts. But the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology researchers behind the new study, published Wednesday in the journal iScience, found that soap bubbles were far gentler on the plants, to say nothing of the challenges of actually building mini bee-bots.

Activist Junk Science Breeds Bad Policy

Banning neonic pesticides in wildlife refuges would hurt birds, bees, other wildlife and people

Guest post by Paul Driessen, – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources recently approved HR 2854, the 2019 Protect Our Refuges Act, prohibiting the use of neonicotinoid insecticides in any of the nation’s 560 National Wildlife Refuges, some of which are the size of Delaware and even Indiana. The legislation will now be considered by the full House, while a companion bill (S 1856) makes its way through the Senate.

The legislation is unnecessary, misguided and based on embarrassingly bad science. Rather than protecting our refuges, it would force farmers to use other insecticides that truly are harmful to bees, birds and other wildlife (and even humans), or end programs to grow crops that nourish refuge inhabitants and visitors. Sadly, the forces driving it forward are par for the course on far too many ecological issues.

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For Bee Alarmists, Groundhog Day Comes in June

Paul Driessen -Re-Blogged From WUWT

Will activists finally admit their sins and break out of their pesticide-blaming time loop?

Did you think Goundhog Day only comes in February?

For anti-insecticide zealots and others in the environmentalist movement who’ve been preoccupied for years with bees and “colony collapse disorder,” it actually comes every June. That’s when the Bee Informed Partnership – a University of Maryland-based project supported by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) – releases the results of its annual survey of honeybee colony losses and health.

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Environmentalist Scare Stories – Never Mind!

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Foreword: Environmental activists always claim they merely want better public policies, to save the Earth and its endangered species. Far too often, their real goal is acquiring more money and power – by misdiagnosing and misrepresenting, exaggerating and fabricating, ecological crises. It’s the road to the hell of badpublic policy. And it’s not always paved with good intentions.

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