Saturday, March 31, 2012

NYBG: Much to Savor, and Worry About, Amid Mild Winter’s Early Blooms

Published: February 26, 2012

At the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, an experimental plot was in full flower on a recent February afternoon, as the thermometer edged toward 60.

“This is the earliest I’ve seen all of these things in flower,” said Todd Forrest, the garden’s vice president for horticulture and living collections. “The ground isn’t even frozen. That’s shocking.”

Friday, March 30, 2012

Latest buzz on bee decline: Studies blame pesticides

Updated: Friday, March 30, 2012 1:49 PM
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A common class of pesticide is causing problems for honeybees and bumblebees, important species already in trouble, two studies suggest. But the findings don't explain all the reasons behind a long-running bee decline, and other experts found one of the studies less than convincing. The new research suggests the chemicals used in the pesticide -- designed to attack the central nervous system of insects -- reduces the weight and number of
queens in bumblebee hives. These pesticides also cause honeybees to become disoriented and fail to return to their hives, the researchers concluded. The two studies were published online Thursday in the journal Science. Just last week activists filed a petition with more than a million signatures asking the government to ban the class of pesticides called neonicotinoids. The
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it is re-evaluating the chemicals and is seeking scientific help.

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