How About Them Apples?

Source: GizaDeathStar.com
Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.
March 24, 2017

Over the years of watching and reporting on the GMO issue on this website, one of the things that many brought to my attention by sharing various articles and studies, is the apparent linkage between CCD (colony collapse disorder), as the populations of honey bees colonies and other pollinators have dramatically declined since the introduction of GMO foods and the heavy pesticides they involve. As a result, I have also blogged about the latest gimmick to “repair” the damage: artificial drones as pollinators. It is, after all, “no big deal” if the world’s pollinator population declines or simply goes extinct, after all, they only keep most of the world’s plant life going, and most of its food supply going. No big deal, especially if one has artificial pollinators waiting in the wings. Indeed, as I’ve previously blogged, there were scientists actually seriously proposing this as a means to get around the phenomenon of colony collapse disorder.

Well, according to this article shared by Mr. T.M., it’s now actually been accomplished:

Researchers use drone to pollinate a flower

The opening paragraphs say it all:

Researchers in Japan have successfully used a tiny drone to pollinate an actual flower, a task usually accomplished by insects and animals.

The remote-controlled drone was equipped with horsehairs coated with a special gel, which the researchers say was crucial to the process.

“This is the world’s first demonstration of pollination by an artificial robotic pollinator,” said Eijiro Miyako of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan, one of the authors of the study, which was published in the journal Chem.

And, lest the connection between pollinator population collapse and the artificial pollinator is missed, the article itself makes the connection:

But many pollinators are under threat, particularly insects like bees and butterflies. They belong to a group — invertebrate pollinators — in which 40 percent of species face extinction, according to the same report.

The drone is an attempt to address this problem: “The global pollination crisis is a critical issue for the natural environment and our lives,” the authors wrote in the study.
There is, however, a catch: it’s still a long way from insect pollinators, due not only to the size of the drone, but due to the lack of artificial intelligence and independent movement in the artificial pollinator itself:

The peculiarity of this project is that it focuses on the pollination process, rather than the construction of a robotic bee.

As the authors note, “practical pollination has not yet been demonstrated with the aerial robots currently available.”

However, pollination was achieved on a very large flower, and the drone was not autonomous: “I believe that some form of artificial intelligence and GPS would be very useful for the development of such automatic machines in future,” said Miyako.

Much work remains to be done before we can emulate the complex behavior of insects and animals: “There is little chance this can replace pollinators,” said Christina Grozinger, Director of the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State University.

Hidden text: “we urgently need artificial intelligence in order to construct more efficient artificial pollinators.”

And that of course, brings me to my high octane speculation of the day: suppose such artificial intelligence was constructed. And suppose, for a moment, all those artificial pollinators were under the controlled of a networked Artificial Intelligence, coordinating it all. Who is to say that said “intelligence” would even see the need for pollinator activity, or the human and animal populations that they ultimately aid in feeding? Waves of AI pollinators could conceivably become plagues of AI locusts. If this be the case, the “technological fix” could end up being an even worse nightmare.

Of course, one could always solve the problem by the simple fix of what appears to be the basis of the pollinator problem: get rid of GMOs, and let nature do what she was designed to do.

That, of course, would be far too simple, and not issue in enough research grants and profits.

Read More At: GizaDeathStar.com
________________________________________________

About Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and “strange stuff”. His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into “alternative history and science”.

Zika Spraying Enriches Chemical Companies While Endangering Public Health

Image result for zika pesticide dangers
Source: Mercola.com
Dr. Mecola
September 14, 2016

As you may recall, the Zika virus made big headlines back in January and February when the Brazilian government blamed Zika-carrying mosquitoes for an uptick in reports of microcephaly,1,2 a condition in which babies are born with unusually small heads.

Like many other nations, the U.S. overreacted to the news by increasing states’ mosquito eradication efforts. 3 Some early models estimated that 200 million Americans, about 60 percent of the U.S. population, would become infected with Zika this summer4 — estimates that were clearly vastly overblown.

Sounds just like President Bush who 11 years ago claimed that over 200 million would not only get infected with Bird Flu but would actually die from it. They must have figured most people forgot about this and it was time for another scare to sell more chemicals and vaccines.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics5 reveal we’ve come nowhere near such numbers.

The two states with the highest rates of laboratory-confirmed Zika infections, New York and Florida, have had 625 and 507 cases respectively so far. New York accounts for 23 percent of all U.S. cases; Florida accounts for 19 percent of the total.

It’s worth noting though that the vast majority of all Zika cases in the U.S. occurred during travel elsewhere. Florida alone had 35 cases of locally acquired infections. All other states report zero locally-acquired cases.

Among the U.S. territories, Puerto Rico was worst beset, with 13,791 locally-acquired cases as of August 31, 2016. The U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa report 221 and 47 locally-acquired cases respectively.

Call for DDT Has (Fortunately) Been Left Unanswered

As the Zika scare grew to a fever pitch, groups like the Manhattan Institute and various journalists for prominent media outlets started calling for the return of DDT6 to address the mosquito problem. For example, in a June 6 article, The New York Post wrote:7

“The Zika virus outbreak makes it clearer than ever: It’s time to end the ban on DDT — a ban that was never sensible in the first place, but now is downright unjustifiable.”

Never mind the fact that DDT passes freely through the placenta during pregnancy,8 where it gains direct access to the developing fetus and its brain.9 DDT has also been linked to decreased fertility, premature delivery, Alzheimer’s10 and even microcephaly,11 making this recommendation about as ignorant as it gets.12

Fortunately, the ban on DDT has not been lifted. However, there’s no shortage of other dangerous insecticides on the market, and they’ve been heavily employed in many states.

Florida and New York Being Heavily Sprayed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPHmzZMIINs

In Miami-Dade County, Florida, the aerial spraying campaign against Zika-carrying mosquitoes has been referred to as a “blitz” that “could be one for the record books if the [CDC] records it as a success.”13 The area began spraying the insecticide Naled from low-flying planes on August 4.

Naled is banned in the European Union (EU), and when residents in Puerto Rico found out the CDC was going to use the chemical against Zika-carrying mosquitoes there, the streets filled with protesters. Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla finally forced the CDC to take the shipments back.14

Concerned residents took to the streets in Wynwood, Miami, as well, but it didn’t have much of an impact.

Neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn, New York, were doused with Duet15 and Anvil insecticides from trucks on the nights of August 31 and September 1, 2016, to combat mosquitoes known to carry either the Zika or West Nile virus (Asian Tiger, Aedes Aegypti and Culex mosquitoes).16,17 Duet has also been used in Orange County, California.18

Duet19 contains two pyrethroid pesticides, Sumithrin and Prallethrin, plus a synergistic compound called piperonyl butoxide (PBO), which boosts the effectiveness of the former two.

Sumethrin is an endocrine disruptor, neurotoxin and likely carcinogen, and PBO has been shown to be harmful to the fetal brain, causing “profound developmental defects in children exposed in utero.”

According to recent research, children living in areas exposed to annual aerial spraying of pyrethroids (such as Duet and Anvil) have a 25 percent higher risk of autism compared to areas where mosquito control is done primarily through pellets distributed on the ground.

This suggests the method of application can make a big difference when it comes to human health.20,21 In another study, exposure to pyrethroids during the third trimester increased the chances of the child having autism by 87 percent.22

Low-flying helicopters also released pellets of Altosid and VectoBac over four New York City boroughs earlier this summer, including Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and The Bronx. As noted by The Vaccine Reaction:23

“What might be of particular concern to the New York City’s residents is the ironic possibility that using these chemicals against mosquitoes to control the perceived threat of the Zika virus could actually have the effect of creating a serious local health crisis where there was previously none.

While the CDC seems convinced that Zika is behind the microcephaly cases in Brazil … other organizations such as Médicos de Pueblos Fumigados (Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Villages) of Argentina … has argued that an insect growth regulator similar to Altosid may be responsible for the microcephaly cases.”

Aerial Spraying Is Not an Effective Strategy for Controlling Zika

Many have also argued that aerial sprayings against the Zika-carrying mosquito Aedes aegypti is futile, exposing the population to toxic chemicals for no good reason.24

These tiny black and white striped mosquitoes have a very limited range of flight, and since it’s so difficult to catch them airborne, insecticidal sprays and foggers are mostly useless for controlling them.25 Reporting on recent research, WebMD writes:26

“Female mosquitoes can transmit the Zika virus to their eggs and offspring, and this may make it harder to contain outbreaks, a new lab study suggests. Control programs that focus only on adult mosquitoes may not halt Zika’s spread, the researchers warned …

‘Spraying affects adults, but it does not usually kill the immature forms — the eggs and larvae,’ said [study co-author Dr. Robert] Tesh. As a result, ‘spraying will reduce transmission, but it may not eliminate the virus’ …”

CDC Relies on Unpublished Data to Support Aerial Spraying

Curiously, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden defended the use of aerial insecticide sprayings in a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) citing a non-peer-reviewed presentation by a New Orleans mosquito control board employee named Brendan Carter.

According to Carter, aerial disbursement of “ultra-low volumes of insecticide” reduced caged Aedes aegypti by more than 90 percent in a New Orleans field trial. However, as reported by Kaiser Health News:27

“Carter earned his master’s degree in 2014 from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine … Even so, other experts in mosquito-borne diseases were unconvinced when asked about Carter’s finding as described in Frieden’s commentary for JAMA.

‘I know of no published reports that support this figure,’ said Durland Fish, [Ph.D.] a Yale University professor emeritus of microbial diseases as well as a professor of forestry and environmental studies there.

Fish worked with public officials in Dominica in 2014 to counter chikungunya virus, another disease spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. ‘This is a domestic mosquito, meaning they live inside the house — in closets, under the bed, in the sink. Spraying outside won’t be very effective,’ he said.”

Micro-Mist May Work by Entering Your Home, but Is That Wise?

Many others agree with Fish’s conclusion, noting there’s virtually no scientific evidence to support the use of aerial spraying to control Aedes mosquitoes. However, Joseph Conlon, spokesman for the American Mosquito Control Association, is not on that list.

According to Conlon, the idea that aerial spraying against Aedes mosquitoes doesn’t work is an outdated notion, since Naled can now be sprayed in a micro-fine mist, “capable of wafting into homes through screen doors and bathroom vents.”28 But what about the residents, including infants and pregnant women, inside those homes who then breathe in this super-fine mist?

Naled, an organophospate insecticide is known to interfere with cholinesterase activity, an enzyme essential for the proper working of your nervous system. Organophosphates as a group are also linked with shortened pregnancies, lowered IQ and increased risk of attention deficit disorder (ADD).29

According to the Extension Toxicology Network, “Naled is moderately to highly toxic by ingestion, inhalation and dermal adsorption. Vapors or fumes of Naled are corrosive to the mucous membranes lining the mouth, throat and lungs, and inhalation may cause severe irritation.”30

It is also readily absorbed through your skin and should be immediately washed off if contact occurs. High temperatures and/or UV light enhances its toxicity — an added concern when sprayed in hot and sunny areas like Florida.

I live in Florida full-time now and this is a significant issue for me personally. This is one of the reasons why I use my infrared sauna three times a week to help me detox not only from these admitted exposures but also from all the other ones that we have no idea of but nevertheless have exposure to.

Naled Decimates Bee Populations in South Carolina

Naled was also sprayed in Dorchester County, South Carolina, in the morning hours between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on August 28, 2016 — with devastating consequences. In one Summerville apiary, 46 hives totaling 2.5 million bees died that same morning. Many other beekeepers also claim massive losses. As reported by The Washington Post:31

“[T]o 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 … Given the current concerns of West Nile virus and Zika … Dorchester decided to try something different … 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 …”

Naled is known to be highly toxic to bees, which is why counties that use it will typically spray it at night, when honey bees are not out foraging. Provided they have sufficient warning, beekeepers can also shield their hives to prevent exposure. According to Dorchester County administrator Jason Ward, all but one beekeeper on the county’s contact list was notified of the spraying.

However, many local beekeepers were not on the county’s list to begin with, and the county only requested a more complete list from the Lowcountry Beekeepers Association after the fact. In a WCSC-TV interview, local beekeeper Juanita Stanley said: “Had I known, I would have been camping on the steps doing whatever I had to do, screaming, ‘No you can’t do this.'”

Florida Governor Has Financial Stake in Zika Mosquito Control

Considering the limited risks of Zika and the significant risks of aerial insecticides on critical pollinators like bees and human health, one wonders what’s really driving the decision process. When you start to dig, you’ll often find financial incentives. In Florida, people are now wondering whether Governor Rick Scott may have a personal stake in unleashing chemical warfare.

On June 23, 2016, Scott allocated $26.2 million in state emergency funds to combat Zika. As it turns out, an undisclosed conflict of interest could potentially have influenced this generous release of funds. According to Florida Bulldog:32

“… Rick Scott has an undisclosed financial interest in a Zika mosquito control company in which his wife, Florida First Lady Ann Scott, owns a multi-million dollar stake through a private investment firm she co-owns. The company is Mosquito Control Services LLC of Metairie, LA. According to its website,

MCS ‘is a fully-certified team of mosquito control experts — licensed throughout the Gulf Coast, including Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida’ … It is not known whether MCS, whose services include monitoring and aerial spraying, stands to benefit from Florida government funds … MCS did not respond to two requests for comment.”

Is Zika Being Hyped to Save Toxic Insecticides From Being Banned?

In a recent Health Nut News article,33 Erin Elizabeth pieces together a long list of events and players suggesting the real reason for the Zika hype may be related to the fact that the primary chemical weapons against Zika — Naled and Malathion — are both up for re-evaluation at the EPA under a special provision of the Endangered Species Act. If found to harm endangered species, they will be banned — unless there’s sufficient political pressure to keep them on the market, that is.

Moreover, the Clean Water Act stipulates you must have a NPDES permit34 in order to be “allowed” to discharge pollutants into U.S. waters. Insecticides are a significant water pollutant, and mosquito control applications that result in water discharges must have an NPDES permit, which includes limits on the discharges and has certain monitoring and reporting requirements to ensure the chemical does not hurt water quality and human health.

Should Naled and/or Malathion be found harmful to endangered species, operators would not likely be able to get an NPDES permit for the chemicals even if they somehow were not outright banned under the Endangered Species Act.

Interestingly enough, the American Mosquito Control Association has lobbied Congress to pass HR 935, which would exempt mosquito control operations from the NPDES permit requirement altogether, allowing them to discharge whatever chemical without limits, monitoring or reporting requirements.

When Congress remained unreceptive to the idea, HR 935 was suddenly renamed the “Zika Control Act.” Once Congress comes back from recess, they could potentially be forced to vote yes on this disastrous bill if there’s sufficient panic about Zika.

The Senate is also scheduled to vote on whether to set aside another $1.1 BILLION in funding to fight Zika — a virus that so far has not seriously harmed a single person in the U.S., and has not conclusively been proven responsible for the microcephaly cases in Brazil either. In short, this whole thing appears to be little more than a gift to the chemical industry at the expense of public health. As noted by Erin:

“The American Mosquito Control Association and the chemical companies can only benefit from huge hype and fear surrounding Zika. They NEED the populace to fear Zika so that Congress is forced to approve a terrible bill that would pollute/erode the Clean Water Act and eventually allow for Malathion and Naled [to] continue to be used despite data showing their effect on endangered species.”

Some States Now Offer Free Mosquito Repellents

In related news, in addition to boosting mosquito sprayings across entire neighborhoods, some states have decided to hand out free mosquito repellents. Universal Studios, Walt Disney World and SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, now offer free bug repellents to visitors35 and, in Texas, pregnant women on Medicaid are eligible to receive free DEET mosquito repellent at pharmacies without a prescription.36

However, DEET is by no means harmless. On the contrary, DEET has been shown to harm brain and nervous system function and is so poisonous that even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says you should wash it off your skin when you return indoors, avoid breathing it in and not spray it directly on your face. Why focus on distributing a highly toxic chemical to pregnant women rather than giving them something that’s actually safe?

Neem-based products, for example, are a viable alternative that can keep mosquitos at bay without risking your and your baby’s health. Citronella oil and geraniol can also be used, and both are safe for the whole family, including infants. Products containing either 20 percent picaridin or 30 percent oil of lemon and eucalyptus have also been shown to outperform DEET in tests.

Picaridin resembles the natural compound piperine, an essential oil in black pepper. Lemon eucalyptus oil and picaridin are not actual repellents; they primarily work by masking the environmental cues that mosquitoes use to locate their target. Side effects of both picaridin and lemon eucalyptus include potential skin or eye irritation, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states picaridin should not be used on children under age 3. Still, they’re both likely FAR safer than DEET!

Biological Warfare Is a Risky Game

Are we doing the right thing by waging war against pests with toxic chemicals? It needs to be understood that there’s a price to pay, both in human and environmental health. We’re poisoning our world, and ourselves, in the name of protecting public health. There’s something inherently wrong with that position. Some are quick to say we have no other options. But this isn’t necessarily true.

In the short term, there are safer options to guard against mosquitos than aerial insecticides and topical DEET. But we also need to take a much wider view. What’s needed is the political and societal will to make necessary changes, and this involves fully embracing ecologically sound, regenerative methods of agriculture. Why? Because when nature is in balance, pests fail to gain the upper hand. They still exist, but they’re kept in check naturally.

It may not be as effective as releasing a potent toxin, but if we keep going the way we’re headed, we’re just going to encounter more of the same problems. Is it really worth putting our children’s health and future at risk? Is it worth decimating pollinators, on which our food supply depends? I believe the answer is no, but at the very least, we need a more open discussion about what we’re doing and what the options are. We also need to implement more farsighted solutions.

Again, this is all based on the likely flawed assumption that what the media, CDC and public health authorities are saying about Zika is true. In my view, this is merely a repeat of the Bird Flu Hoax, which is a New York Times best-selling book I previously wrote. They just fast-forwarded the clock a decade and hoped they could use the fear-based tactics to push their pernicious agenda yet again.

Read More At: Mercola.com

57 Different Linked To The Rapidly Declining Bee Population

Honey bees
Source: NaturalNews.com
S. Johnson
August 11, 2016

Upwards of 57 pesticides are responsible for poisoning European honey bees and contributing to the rapidly declining bee population worldwide.

Multiple studies have confirmed that there is a strong link between herbicide use and bee deaths. Although there are various factors at play, multiple lines of research converge on herbicide use as a significant variable. So much so, that the European Union has issued a ban on the use of neonicotinoid herbicides.

A recent study focused on this link was published in the Journal of Chromatography.

Weeding through a jungle of herbicides

Researchers are faced with the challenge of trying to understand which combination of herbicides impacts honeybees in different ways. In order to examine this more quickly, researchers from the National Veterinary Research Institute in Poland have developed a way to analyze 200 pesticides at once.

“Bee health is a matter of public concern — bees are considered critically important for the environment and agriculture by pollinating more than 80% of crops and wild plants in Europe,” Tomasz Kiljanek, lead author of the study from the National Veterinary Research Institute in Poland, said in a press statement. “We wanted to develop a test for a large number of pesticides currently approved for use in the European Union to see what is poisoning the bees.”

Given the vast range of herbicides currently in use, it is hard to determine which ones are detrimental to bees. Kiljanek and his colleagues used a method known as QuEChERS – often deployed to detect the presence of herbicides in food – to investigate over 70 bee poisoning cases. Approximately 98 percent of the herbicides they analyzed were allowed to be used in the European Union.

The sting of extinction

The researchers found that 57 herbicides were present in poisoned bees. Herbicides, even in low concentrations, can impair the bees’ immune systems, enabling viruses and parasites to destroy the colony. The team hopes that their findings will broaden the knowledge of different herbicides that are dangerous to bees.

“This is just the beginning of our research on the impact of pesticides on honeybee health,” Kiljanek said.

“Honeybee poisoning incidents are the tip of the iceberg. Even at very low levels, pesticides can weaken bees’ defense systems, allowing parasites or viruses to kill the colony,” he added.

“Our results will help expand our knowledge about the influence of pesticides on honeybee health, and will provide important information for other researchers to better assess the risk connected with the mix of current used pesticides.”

Previous research centered on other factors attributed to the decline of the global bee population, like climate change and disease. It has been suggested that diesel exhaust, for example, could be altering half of the floral scents that bees use to seek flowers, which could be responsible for the death of some bees.

A United Nations alert issued last February warned that hundreds of billions of dollars worth of crops could be wasted because of the declining bee population, putting the global food supply at risk.

One out of every six species of vertebrates are facing extinction, while two out of every five bee, butterfly and pollination insects are also in grave danger, reports TechTimes.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Sources include:

ScienceDaily.com

ScienceDirect.com

TechTimes.com

Metro.co.uk

The GMO Scrapbook: The World-Wide Bee Die-Off Linked To The Rise Of…

 THE GMO SCRAPBOOK: THE WORLD-WIDE BEE DIE-OFF LINKED TO RISE OF ...
GizaDeathStar.com
Dr. Joseph P. Farrell
August 1, 2016

If you’ve been following the GMO labelling debate in various states, or for that matter, the pronouncements coming out of Dr. Goebbels’ Propaganda Ministry I.G. Farbensanto in Berlin Washington,  there’s absolutely no link between GMO use and rising cancer rates, falling crop yields, or the fact that world wide bees have been dying off.

But not so, according to this article shared by Mr. S.D., which highlights a recent study of the Royal Society:

We’re Getting Closer to Knowing Why Bees Are Dying Off Worldwide

Note that according to this article, there is a clear link between the rise of neonicotinoid use, falling bee sperm production, and the collapse of the world bee population, so essential to pollination and thus, to sustaining the human food supply:

But new research published Wednesday in Proceedings of the Royal Society B suggests at least one primary cause: neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been mostly banned in the European Union since 2013.

Neonicotinoid pesticides were found to have decreased the sperm count of male bees by nearly 40 percent, as well as cutting their lifespan.

Neonicotinoids have been widely used for decades, but in the past several years concerns have been raised about their environmental effects, leading to the restrictions for countries in the E.U. Other countries, including the U.S., only lightly regulate their use.

That is to say:

Neonicotinoids, it turns out, are a form of contraception for bees.

And, dare I ask, given a similar curious fall in human male sperm production rates over the past few decades, could there be a link here as well? And (to continue this line of high octane speculation) might that have been the goal all along, with bees simply being “collateral damage” from the assault on the real target?

Perhaps.

But there more here than meets the eye in this story. Back in the heady days of the administration of G.H.W. Bush and the first sprouting of the corruption we presently see in full bloom..

Continue Reading At: GizaDeathStar.com
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Profile photo of Joseph P. Farrell
Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and “strange stuff”. His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into “alternative history and science”.

These Beekeepers Are Saving the Forest and Producing Honey at the Same Time


Source: UndergroundReporter.org
Christina Sarich
July 20, 2016

Zimbabwe’s beekeepers won’t let you go near their forest. Hundreds of their beehives are hidden within a dense patch of forest along the river in the Mpudzi Resettlement, and the beekeepers watch out for the trees just as vehemently as their bees.

They need to, since the country’s forests have been dwindling rapidly due to tobacco farmers cutting them down for wood to cure their crop. With this practice, the bees’ habitat is also destroyed.

Now, more than 50,000 beekeepers are helping to protect the forests from overcutting in Zimbabwe, a practice that had become commonplace, not just from Tobacco farmers’ practices, but also due to frequent power outages in nearby urban and pre-urban areas.

Fortunately, the profitability of beekeeping is quickly outpacing other, more destructive habits of Zimbabweans, such as the destruction of woodlots for tobacco.

The government is also supporting the protection of these bee habitats through a program that trains beekeepers by way of the Department of Agricultural Technical and Extension Services (Agritex). Beekeepers have a great incentive to protect the forests where hives hang from trees. They can make a fair living selling beeswax, honey, and other products. Around $60 per hive per season is not an uncommon return on their investment. Furthermore, a large portion of the country’s honey comes from bees that reside in old-growth forests.

One beekeeper, Divas Matinyadze, who has 47 beehives in the Mpudzi forest, states:

“As beekeepers we jealously look after the environment because beekeeping depends on good water sources and good forage for pollen. There are lots of trees where my beehives are.”

Without the beekeepers protecting the trees for the bees, a pristine habitat would continue to be destroyed at an alarming rate. Huge tracts of land were being demolished before the government of Zimbabwe intervened. At least one fifth of the country’s 330,000 hectares (815,448 acres) of natural forest are mowed down by tobacco farmers every year, according to Zimbabwe’s Forestry Commission.

Instead, the forests of Africa are making a comeback, which supports cleaner streams and less erosion.

These small creatures, bees, are a microcosmic view of the macrocosmic health of our planet. A Yale report states that one of every three bites of food eaten worldwide depends on pollinators, especially bees, for a successful harvest. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these little winged workers pollinate 80 percent of our flowering crops, which constitute one-third of everything we eat. Plants depend on them for cross-pollination.

With bees increasingly being threatened due to corporate agricultural practices which poison them with pesticides, habitats like old-growth forests become even more vital for their survival.

This is simply a reminder that what is good for the bees is good for our ecology overall. Instead of desertification, ecological ruin, and the promotion of a cancer-crop, Zimbabwe is restoring nature’s balance by supporting the protection of bee habitats.

Matinyadze says, “These trees belong to my bees.”

He couldn’t be more right.

Read More At: UndergroundReporter.org


This article (These Beekeepers Are Saving the Forest and Producing Honey at the Same Time) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Christina Sarich and UndergroundReporter.org. If you spot a typo, please email the error and the name of the article to undergroundreporter2016@gmail.com. Image credit: Pixabay

The Transhumanist Scrapbook: Part Animal Part Machine…

“The problem here isn’t confined simply to what this little creaturoid is – is it animal? machine? – the problem begins to take on moral and ethical and jurisprudential aspects when one “upscales” this to engineered robots with human brains (or brain tissue) used to form its central processors. The inevitable result will be a philosophical discussion as to whether such hybrids are indeed conscious persons, or not.”[Emphasis added]

 THE TRANSHUMANIST SCRAPBOOK: PART ANIMAL PART MACHINE ...
Source: GizaDeathStar.com
Dr. Joseph P. Farrell
July 22, 2016

It is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain pace with technology and its moral and ethical implications. Genetic engineers have already created chimerical creatures, part one species, part another, and pigs and rats and other animals have been used to grow Dr. Moreau-like “manimals”, animals growing this or that human body part; we’ve seen glow-=in-the-dark rabbits, cloned sheep, pigs with human blood, super-mice with bits of human brains able to run labyrinths faster than their ordinary counterparts; we’ve seen robots run over toddlers and even a robot killing recently (Isaac Asimov, where are you?). And of course there is the whole transhumanist movement’s advocacy of human-machine “interfaces”.

Well, this isn’t quite a human-machine interface, but the real question is, what is it? (This article was shared by many readers here):

Scientists Create Successful Biohybrid Being Using 3-D Printing and Genetic Engineering

Note that this little creaturoid (for want of a better term), was created using both genetic engineering and three-d printing. But that isn’t the problem; the problem is this:

Like most disruption, it started with a simple idea. Kit Kevin Parker, PhD, a Harvard professor researching how to build a human heart, saw his daughter entranced by watching stingrays at the New England Aquarium in Boston. He wondered if he could engineer a muscle that could move in the same sinuous, undulating fashion. The quest for a material led to creating an artificial ray with a 3-D-printed rubber body at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard. Scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Michigan, and Stanford University’s Medical Center joined the team.

They reinforced the soft rubber body with a 3-D-printed gold skeleton so thin it functions like cartilage. Geneticists adapted rat heart cells so they could respond to light by contracting. Then, they were grown in a carefully arranged pattern on the rubber and around the gold skeleton.

And of course, this all comes with the now predictable appeal for everyone to think in terms of how wonderful all this is, and of all the potential health benefits it might bring:

Science of this type is fundamental for engineering special-purpose creations such as artificial worms that sniff out and eat cancer. Or bionic body parts for those who have suffered accidents or disease. Imagine having little swimmers in your system that rush to the site of a medical emergency such as a stroke. The promise of sensor-rich soft tissue frees robots to move more easily and yet not be cut off from needed input. Sensitized robot soft tissue could perform without the energy-sucking heaviness of metal or the artificial barrier of hard-plastic exoskeletons.

Thanks to disruptive, cross-disciplinary applied science like this, entrepreneurs in the next few years will be able to play on the border of what life is, what alive means, and what life can be.

The problem here isn’t confined simply to what this little creaturoid is – is it animal? machine? – the problem begins to take on moral and ethical and jurisprudential aspects when one “upscales” this to engineered robots with human brains (or brain tissue) used to form its central processors. The inevitable result will be a philosophical discussion as to whether such hybrids are indeed conscious persons, or not. I’ve blogged about such problems before on this site, so today I want to concentrate on yet another looming issue, one brought home by GMOs:

Over the past decades, as GMOs were introduced into the food chain, we’ve seen increasing studies that have suggested that they, and their accompanying pesticides, have disrupted the complex environmental biospheres in which all life lives: it is now clear that there is some relationship between GMo introduction and colony collapse disorder in bee and other pollinator populations; declining bee and butterfly populations have been the result, as has declining yields and cost-to-productivity ratios in GMO vs non-GMO fields. There have also been studies documenting the rise of certain types of cancers correlating to the rise of the use of glyphosate, and so on.

Continue Reading At:GizaDeathStar.com
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Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and “strange stuff”. His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into “alternative history and science”.

Court Says Cops Can’t Look At Your Phone – #GoodNewsNextWeek

Source: MediaMonarchy
James Evan Pilato
April 25, 2016

This week on #GoodNewsNextWeek: The LA Times’ must’ve been high to get punked by the Yes Men; Federal court affirms the Supreme’s decision on a warrant to look at your phone; and a Chicago college converts its football field into something useful. Notes/Links:

Story #1: Los Angeles Times Fooled by Fake Drug War Press Release
http://bit.ly/1VyE7Xd

Story #2: Court Reaffirms Cops Need a Warrant to Open Your Phone
http://bit.ly/1VP4Nn5

Story #3: Once A Football Field, Dallas Garden Supplies Organic Goodness
http://bit.ly/1YQZH77

#GoodNewsNextWeek Headlines: Portland Startup Maps Cannabis Genome To Protect Weed From Monsanto Patenting
http://bit.ly/1SvQsWc

Ortho To Drop Chemicals Linked To Bee Declines
http://bit.ly/1NNcwJN

Costco Financing Organic Farmers To Meet With High Consumer Demand 🍅
http://bit.ly/1qNSEB7

Rumsfeld Destroyed On Twitter For Being War Criminal
http://bit.ly/1WmRZCB