Mysterious Bee Die-Off Accelerates

imagesThe number of the so-far unexplained honeybee deaths in the US rose at a significant and "troubling" rate last year, according to a government report. The summer deaths have for the first time outnumbered the winter ones.

Thousands of beekeepers reported losses of 42.1 percent of their colonies in the 12-month period that ended in April, according to the annual survey released by the Bee Informed Partnership and largely funded by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). That number is more than double the 18.7 percent yearly loss that the USDA considers to be economically sustainable.

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Organic Can Feed The World

no-gmo1"We all have things that drive us crazy," wrote Steve Kopperud in a blog post this fall for Brownfield, an organization that disseminates agricultural news online and through radio broadcasts. Kopperud, who is a lobbyist for agribusiness interests in Washington, D.C., then got downright personal: "Firmly ensconced at the top of my list are people who consider themselves experts on an issue when judging by what they say and do, they're sitting high in an ivory tower somewhere contemplating only the 'wouldn't-it-be-nice' aspects."

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California's Water Shortage Is Terrifying

California Drought LakeThe maps come from a new paper in Nature Climate Change by NASA water scientist James Famiglietti. "California's Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins have lost roughly 15 cubic kilometers of total water per year since 2011," he writes. That's "more water than all 38 million Californians use for domestic and municipal supplies annually—over half of which is due to groundwater pumping in the Central Valley."

Famiglietti uses satellite data to measure how much water people are sucking out of the globe's aquifers, and summarized his research in his new paper.

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California Drought: Stealing Fire Hydrant Water

fire hydrant water stealingAs California's drought drags on, officials are cracking down on thieves who wrench open fire hydrants and ignore or tamper with meters to access one of the state's precious commodities — water.

In some cases, wells dry up and scofflaws start stealing water from hydrants. In other cases, trucks in need of water for dust control and construction tap hydrants without using meters that charge them. Sometimes people just help themselves to water from natural resources.

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Nestle Continues Stealing Water During Drought

Nestle DroughtThe city of Sacramento is in the fourth year of a record drought – yet the Nestlé Corporation continues to bottle city water to sell back to the public at a big profit, local activists charge.

The Nestlé Water Bottling Plant in Sacramento is the target of a major press conference on Tuesday, March 17, by a water coalition that claims the company is draining up to 80 million gallons of water a year from Sacramento aquifers during the drought.

The coalition, the crunchnestle alliance, says that City Hall has made this use of the water supply possible through a "corporate welfare giveaway," according to a press advisory.

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