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America’s bees are rapidly vanishing from our farmlands, and that’s bad news for farmers
We may not be fond of our pollinating bug brethren, but bees are buzzing off at alarming rates, and we should be worried. A new study published by scientists at the University of Vermont maps the decline of the bee population and its potential to seriously impact agriculture-heavy regions of the United States. The study was discussed at length at the recent American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in Boston.
"This study provides the first national picture of wild bees and their impacts on pollination," Taylor Ricketts, director of University of Vermont's Gund Institute for Ecological Economics told Phys.org. He noted that $3 billion of the United states economy depends on growing crops that have been pollinated by bees. "Wild bees are a precious natural resource we should celebrate and protect.”
If the bee population continues to decline continues, 139 counties will be at risk, severely impacting U.S. crop production and farmers' costs. Areas most at risk include California, the Pacific Northwest, the upper Midwest and Great Plains, west Texas, and the Mississippi River valley. The crops that most depend on bee pollination include almonds, blueberries, apples, pumpkins, watermelons, and pears.
This weekend’s rainstorm was only the start of an abnormally wet pattern that will elevate the flood risk in the eastern United States into the end of the month.
The southeastern United States is facing the risk for damaging thunderstorms this weekend.
A pattern of persistent downpours, beginning with a rainstorm this weekend is likely to disrupt travel, hinder outdoor plans and projects and put summer heat on hold in the Northeast into early August.
Gusty winds caused blowing dust to sweep across the Las Vegas area on Saturday, creating dangerous conditions for travelers.
Near-record heat will set the stage for a heightened risk of wildfires in the southwestern United States, including Southern California, this week.
The intense record heat baking the south-central United States is expected to get trimmed back early this week, but a sweep of refreshing air is not on the horizon.
A deadly heat wave is expected to continue into early week across Japan as Ampil bypasses the region to the south.
An uptick in monsoon rainfall is expected to heighten the flood threat across eastern and northern India this week.