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Posts Tagged ‘Health & Environment’

The Buzz About Bees

Remember that story a few years back about the mysterious honeybee affliction known as Colony Collapse Disorder? It didn’t remain in the headlines for long but it should have: Honeybees pollinate up to 1/3 of the world’s crops. Lose them and we lose a great deal of human civilization to malnutrition.

I was reminded of this sad phenomena over the holidays when, from city to city, county to county, I kept stepping over dead and dying honeybees. Not just one, but several. Not merely one week, but several weeks in a row. Three years earlier — and what first brought CCD to my attention when I came online in search of an explanation — I took a walk in a local park and saw hundreds of bees dying on the ground. It was all I could do to keep my dog from stepping on them, a number of them still trying, fruitlessly so, to fly. A few weeks later at another park, I saw the same phenomena. The carnage became so commonplace that year that I eventually lost count.

Now here comes a late-breaking 2009 headline nearly lost amidst end-of-year festivities:

Bayer ‘Disappointed’ in Ruling on Chemical That May Harm Bees | Bloomberg.com

Bayer’s newest chemical wonder, Spirotetramat, was not on the market when CCD surfaced, but what is alarming about this story is that the EPA apparently approved it, critics allege, knowing that it could heighten or accelerate the harm to a critical link in the food chain.

Our food chain.

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Have you taken steps to assemble a disaster preparedness kit? Those with medical conditions requiring daily medications — or those with loved ones who need them — may be in for a rude awakening.

Emergency preparedness experts advise individuals and their household members to plan for a minimum of three days without access to outside sources of food, water, sanitation, utilities and transportation. Some experts take it a step further, however: Be prepared to become self reliant for up to a week. That means stocking supplies not only at home, but often at work, school or even one’s automobile. After all, you never know where you will be when disaster strikes.

Disaster preparedness literature advocates stocking necessary medications, but those who are insured and require daily medications to treat asthma, diabetes or other chronic conditions may run into an unexpected and ironic obstacle: Many health insurance companies have no provision in place to allow subscribers to obtain doctor-authorized refills for use in an emergency supply kit. (more…)

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