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Saturday, June 22, 2024

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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

Honey Bee Colonies Remain “Relatively Stable” Despite Multiple Threats

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Tuesday, July 11, 2023   

Parasites and extreme weather led to the loss of nearly half of America's managed honey bee colonies over the past year, according to a new survey. However, researchers' preliminary findings reveal that despite colonies experiencing the second-highest death rate on record, the overall population remains "relatively stable."

Heather Achilles of the New Hampshire Beekeepers Association said while the Northeast is currently experiencing high rainfall, years of severe drought can also impact the bees' food supply.

"If the flowers are stressed they still may blossom but they may not put out pollen or they may not put out nectar, or if they do it may not be as nutritious so that affects the bees," she explained.

Honey bees are vital to our food supply, pollinating more than 100 different crops, including vegetables, berries and nuts. Achilles added both commercial and backyard beekeepers are learning to better manage their colonies with the assumption that a certain percentage will be lost.

Pesticides and a parasite known as the varroa mite are also wreaking havoc on the nation's bee colonies, making them more susceptible to viruses and disease. People can help by not spraying chemicals on their yards, keeping a variety of blossoming plants - including dandelions, and some water in the yard, Achilles said.

"Bees like water that's a little dirty," she explained. "It has different minerals in it so leaving a source of water can also be helpful for the bees."

Research shows that bees with a diverse diet of flowers are better able to survive exposure to pesticides and disease. Achilles said leaving old wood or bricks around the yard can also provide helpful spots for bees to build nests.


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The 2024 Summer U.S. Conference of Mayors in Kansas City, Mo., will be under the leadership of its president, Mayor Hillary Schieve of Reno, Nev., and host Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
(SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Stock)

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