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Sunday, August 31, 2008

NEW Photos of Hurricane Gustav hitting New Orleans; Weather.com, NewOrleans.com links

September 1st, 2008 Hurricane Gustav UPDATE

As of Monday morning, damage in New Orleans was less than expected so far, but Grand Isle is reportedly under seven feet of water, and the storm continues to move west toward western Louisiana and the northeast Texas area. Shell Beach in New Orleans is said to have a 9-foot swell this morning.

Satellite photograph of Hurricane Gustav:

Satellite image showing Hurricane Gustav approaching New Orleans Sunday night:

Satellite image of Hurricane Gustav Monday 12.20pm EDT 01SEP08:

Here is a view down a main street of New Orleans from CNN.com:

CNN photo from Monday morning in New Orleans:

Photos from New Orleans traffic cameras Sunday night as Hurricane Gustav approaches

A Sunday night photo of Causeway Blvd illustrating the calm before the storm:

Causeway Blvd Monday morning:

Photo from New Orleans traffic camera looking along Canal Boulevard Sunday night August 31, 2008:

Monday morning, Canal Blvd:

Traffic camera at Power Blvd in New Orleans Sunday night shows emerging disturbance:

New Orleans interchange 610 and I-10, Monday morning:

New Orleans Clearview Parkway Sunday night:

Old Man River Cam is located at Poydras St. and Magazine St

Old Man River Cam in New Orleans Monday morning:

Follow the paths of Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Hanna at Weather.com

New Orleans hurricane Gustav news at NewOrleans.com

Links to live cameras operating in New Orleans

Traffic Cameras in Baton Rouge Louisiana

Saturday, August 23, 2008

NRDC alleges pesticide clothianidin linked to colony collapse disorder in beehives, sues Feds

Mysterious Honey Bee Disorder Buzzes into Court

From Environmental News Service

WASHINGTON, DC, August 19, 2008 (ENS) - The nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court in Washington DC to force the federal government to disclose studies on the effect of a new pesticide on honey bees.

Studies on the pesticide, clothianidin, were ordered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from the pesticide's manufacturer, Bayer CropScience, in 2003 when the federal agency granted the company a registration for the chemical.

An NRDC bee researcher and the organization's attorneys believe that the EPA has evidence of connections between pesticides and the mysterious honey bee die-offs reported across the country called "colony collapse disorder," or CCD, that it has not made public.

The connection is important because commercial honey bees pollinate about 90 of the country's crops, valued at $15 billion. Apples, peaches, pears, pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, cherries, berries, peppers, squash, soybeans, almonds, cashews, and sunflowers all require or benefit from honey bee pollination.

The EPA has failed to respond to the NRDC's Freedom of Information Act request for agency records concerning the toxicity of pesticides to bees, prompting Monday's legal action.

"Recently approved pesticides have been implicated in massive bee die-offs and are the focus of increasing scientific scrutiny," said NRDC attorney Aaron Colangelo. "EPA should be evaluating the risks to bees before approving new pesticides, but now refuses to tell the public what it knows."

"Pesticide restrictions might be at the heart of the solution to this growing crisis, so why hide the information they should be using to make those decisions?" Calangelo asked.

At an apiary by the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania, bees fill the air as beekeepers examine hives for disease. (Photo courtesy Penn State)
The EPA has issued a fact sheet on clothianidin, one of a relatively new class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids that impact the central nervous system of insects.

Full article on ENS-Newswire.com: Natural Resources Defense Council sues government over pesticide link to CCD

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Wind Energy Investments, Windpower companies websites links

Geothermal Power Companies, Geothermal Energy Stocks

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Renewable Energy Investing News; green power website links

August 2008 links to renewable power articles in the news, recent alternative energy news, renewable power investing, recent stories on windpower, solar energy investments, geothermal energy stocks and water desalination, water purification, water technology company stocks.

Canada has huge potential for geothermal power projects

Microturbine leader Capstone (CPST) To Make Turbines Run on Solar Power

India's Titan Energy to build 2 meg grid-connected solar power plant

Clinton Foundation wants to build world's largest solar project in Gujarat, India

Solar Electric Highway Installation begins in Oregon - Environment News Service story

Forbes.com article: Analysts bullish on First Solar (FSLR), thin film solar powerhouse

Geothermal power stocks links, co-generation companies info

Solar Power company Energy stock list and analysis, from the globe and mail

Interview on The Pickens Plan in New York Times; T Boone Pickens interview

Full List of Green Energy, Water Purification and Renewable Power Stocks

Water Purification investing, water desalination stocks

Bloomberg story, wind energy leader giant Suzlon Energy (SUZL) reports higher margins

Full List of Windpower company Stocks, wind energy website links

News articles on The Pickens Plan for American Energy Independence

The T. Boone Pickens Plan, Online Commentary and Analysis

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bees native to Vancouver Island are ultra-efficient pollinators


from http://www.cvseeds.bc.ca/bees.htm

The Mason Bee can help pollinate our trees and crops


Honeybee populations on Vancouver Island are rapidly being destroyed by mites. Blue Orchard Bees (Orchard Mason Bees ­ Osmia lignaria) are native to our area and are 17 times as efficient at pollination of fruit trees as honeybees. These bees are not available to fertilize later food crops as the parent bees die in early summer.

Mason bees may well be able to take over the fruit tree pollination if we give a little help.

The bees are about 7/16” long and look like blue bottle flies except for having 4 wings rather than two. The male is a little smaller and has two longer antennae. The female has long belly hairs to hold pollen.
Cells for laying eggs


The bees emerge from their over-wintering nests in the spring after about three days of 14°C (57° F) maximum day time temperature. In nature, they generally have been in beetle-made holes or other similar narrow spaces. The males are the first to appear as they come from the outer portion of the “tube”. They feed briefly and await the females which come from the deeper part of the tube.

The natural emergence of these bees is generally around March locally, but this can vary artificially if the nests are man-made and are kept in cooler temperatures until the plum or early apple trees just begin to break into bloom. The nests are then moved to a warm location.

The females emerge 3-4 days later than the males, and fertilization occurs almost immediately. The males die soon afterwards without doing any pollination. The female gathers a little nectar and about 20 loads of pollen and builds a little pyramid inside a suitable nest site. Then a single egg is laid on its end in that mass of food. She then gathers about 10 loads of clayish soil and builds a wall which seals off the egg with its food supply. Hence the name, Mason Bee. This sequence is repeated until she has provisioned, laid, and walled-off about 30 eggs. The one female will fill two or three 6” holes with eggs.

It is useful to know that she will lay eggs into holes only to a maximum of about 6” deep. She will continue to lay eggs for only 5-6 weeks. Also, as the egg-laying process brings her to the last inch or two near the surface, she withholds sperm from the eggs she lays, thus the last eggs of one hole will develop into males, So males will begin to grow only in the area near the surface, while all the deeper laid eggs will produce females. For our purposes, it is important to understand that if we want a large majority of females to be born, shallow holes such as 3-4” deep, are almost useless—they will predominantly yield males which do not pollinate and are not needed in large quantities for population expansion. Thus, in our efforts to optimize the production of bees, it seems that 6” depth is ideal.

The newly laid eggs hatch into larvae in about three days and they devour their food for the next 25 days. Then they spin a cocoon inside of which they become adults before winter time. It is important that the nest not be moved or even vibrated much between March and the end of September (as the eggs and larvae will suffocate), at which time it can be moved to a garage or other unheated space until next spring.

Full article at:

How to Raise Orchard Mason Bees in BC

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