Crossed Pollinators

Bee Friends Ask Lovers of Roses
& Chocolate to Help Save Colonies

A number of environmental groups have chosen this Valentine’s Day week to remind everyone in general, and lovers in particular, that the massive disappearance of bees continues on but, as far as we now know, it can still be halted.
Their timing is appropriate. This mostly shopping holiday, treasured by precious few but still feverishly cheered by many, is a major sales day for roses and chocolate, and neither will be around for the taking for too long, if pollinators are to die off.
As a matter of fact, nor will human folk, if Albert Einstein was right in his grim prediction. Whether the quote is apocryphal or not, $30 billion worth of U.S. crops face the catastrophic threat of not surviving many more winters without enough bees to assure their pollination.
If that happens, it wouldn’t be for lack of warnings, just like climate change and the annual extinction of countless flora and fauna species. The ongoing tragedy of bee Colony Collapse Disorder, which has been quickly intensifying, is a result of yet another man-made folly.
To be sure, there’s not one single cause. But what was initially blamed solely into infections caused by the Varroa and Acarapis mites, has now pointed to the conclusion that for many should’ve have been obvious all along: neonicotinoids, a lethal class of pesticides.
Used for years on corn, soy and other crops, they may not kill bees directly, or other insects that are part of the chain of pollination crucial for the survival of any crop, for that matter. But the way they act is just as damaging, entomologists say.

Between the varroa mite, now considered one of the most contagious insect viruses on the planet, and a profit-busting industry of pesticides, hope for bees is quickly dwindling. If consumers stay quiet, that is. That’s what many environmental organizations are seeking to reverse.
When neonicotinoids began showing up in bee pollen, a team of Continue reading

Police Blotter

Trafficking Tides, 18 Human
Heads & the Criminal Lennons

It’s Thursday, so this must be file-clearance day. And we get a big kick out of it. There’s always a taste of the unexpected, the gory, and the slightly jocose in those files, and we’re glad to share them with you. As for whatever happened to our sense of decorum, the hell with it.
Who knew, for instance, that there’s a black market for Tide, the laundry detergent? Or that heads are routinely shipped around the country, heaven forbid if they’d lack proper documentation. Plus: guess how many John Lennons have been busted by the Brazilian police?
There’s a reason why we insist in collecting and highlighting these news of the weird, these reports from the bowels of weary precincts, these tales of fellow comrades, caught red-handed doing what any of us could, or have in the past, or, brace yourself, may still have in store ahead of us.
Our method for this madness is simple: whenever the world threatens to drown us all yet again in heartbreak and grief, look desperately for a Continue reading