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Honey bees have been having a tough time lately. Pests and disease have plagued many hives, killing off the pollinators and forcing people looking to save the bees to get creative.

One scientist in Connecticut is now pinning his hopes on bee genes – tracking down honey bee “survivors” in the hopes of spreading their hearty DNA.

If you ever read Where’s Waldo?, you’d relate to Richard Cowles as he worked with bees.

“I call it, ‘Where’s Wanda?’” said Cowles, a scientist with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, during a recent visit to Lockwood Farm in Hamden.

As he held a frame full of busy female worker bees up to the sun, Cowles was looking for their master – the queen. It was an early step in what promises to be a months-long experiment – one Cowles hopes will ultimately breed stronger bees.

“What I am trying to do,” Cowles said, “is to find as many different sources of bees that have strong hygienic traits – good survival traits – bring them together, and then have controlled mating.”

To do that, he ordered queen bees from around the country and New England – places like Vermont and Massachusetts. They’re honey bees with “superior genetics” Cowles said may make them better able to shake off pests and disease.

But before those new queens can go into the hive, the old ones need to come out. After a few minutes of searching, research assistant Ellie Clark (pictured below on the right) spotted the elusive queen, “Wanda.”

Lately, bees like Queen Wanda have been trouble. State bee inspector Mark Creighton (the guy without the bee gear pictured above) said about half of the hives in Connecticut didn’t survive the winter – and that’s happened for the past three years.

“Some areas had significant losses, and others fared very well,” Creighton said. “Those in the drought regions – especially those that just came out of drought – they didn’t have a chance to put on adequate food reserves at the end of last year.”

Then, there’s the varroa mite. Creighton said this parasite is the number one killer of bees in Connecticut. It feeds on bees, can cripple their newborns, and spreads disease, which honey bees can pass on to other pollinators at shared flowers.

“They impact our native bees,” Creighton said. “And we want to keep all our bees healthy – not just our Apis mellifera.”

Some of the new queens of Apis mellifera – that’s the scientific name for honey bees – Cowles will place in the hives are specifically bred for their resilience to varroa. But he said shaking up hive leadership is a delicate process.

“You can’t just let her go, or they’d immediately surround her – and they’d do what’s called ‘balling’ her, which means to form a mass that will heat up the insides to lethal temperature and kill her,” Cowles said.

So a queen actually gets placed into her new hive in a tiny protective box. That allows her smell to mesmerize her subjects slowly – until the workers accept her.

And here’s where the experiment gets complicated. Like a plant breeder crossing strawberries to select for the best qualities, Cowles wants to crossbreed his bees to select for the best survivor traits.

Which means next summer, he’ll take his new virgin queens and cross their DNA with the harvested semen of lots of new male drones.

The harvest has an unhappy ending.  

“There’s a weird process,” Cowles said. “You make him buzz a whole lot. And here’s the sad part. Now, let’s see if I have the technique down. I was getting pretty good at it. You gotta start from the front of the abdomen and work your way back and, hopefully, all of a sudden, it’ll go ‘pop!’”

Cowles worked the bee between his fingers, simulating what would happen to a male drone while mating with a queen. I’ll spare you the details, but his technique worked.

For every queen Cowles inseminates in the lab, he said he’ll need about 15 or 20 drones. And he’ll have to keep track of them all, to avoid inbreeding.

From there, Cowles will share his specially-bred bees with beekeepers in the state to see how well they survive. One hope, he said, is that the project raises awareness of the importance of acquiring well-bred bees.

“Ultimately, it’s not only for the beekeepers, and for improved survival of honey bees, but it’s also to improve the overall pollinator health in the state,” he said.

Cowles and state bee inspector Creighton said they also hope to incorporate feral populations of honey bees into their breeding program, purposefully working in one more pool of strong genes – which will, hopefully, yield stronger bees.

(Image Credits: Patrick Skahill, WNPR / Wikimedia Commons / Sam Droege, USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab)

Who am I now in this world without her? 
Petty and dull with the nerve to doubt her.
What does it matter, it’s already done. 
Now I’ve got to be there for her son.

GUUUUYS! maybe people already have talked about it buttttttt!!! I was watching Book of circus and I’ve notice that in a scene there is Baron Kelvin that introduce himself to Ciel s father. As they introduce themself there is a focus on the realCiel because Vincent says : go on, first to introduce is you (I’m Italian do i don’t know the perfect translation of the sub but it means that there is more than one person that has to be introduced).
Then, the Baron turn his head on the left of Vincent where there is another child (ourCiel) and Vincent describe him as not so healthy and shy.
And they always avoid to frame both full side of Vincent!
I’m so shocked now!
2ciels theory must be true!

This probably is really confused but i had to say it to someone!

(whatever i decided to post it anyway)

(but in much shittier quality than it should be cos if it was full size it would be huge)

(but yeah fun times with limited animation)


Originally posted by painfulblisss


Characters- Sam x Reader
Summary- A few drinks can make you brave, and maybe a little horny.
Word Count- 1,203
Warnings- !!! Smut !!! NSFW under the cut, guys.
A/N- This is my first time writing any sort of smut, so be gentle (hehe) Special thanks to @impala-dreamer for her beta work, and tequila for tipsy smut ideas. This was originally going to be a smutty warmup drabble, and yet again I prove I can’t really drabble to save my life.

You giggle relentlessly, the alcohol in your system a nice buzz under your skin. Every cell feels alive and humming, and life is just a series of small joys. You watch as Sam sits on the side of his bed, dimples making a delicious appearance as you excitedly tell him about this lore book you’ve been reading.

You’d shown up at his room earlier, drinks in hand, and asked if he wanted to spend time together since Dean was out for the night. He’d agreed quickly, and it had been one of the nicest nights you’d had in awhile. As the night wore on and you’d had a few drinks in you, you couldn’t help but notice how beautiful he was. You’d always had a thing for him, sure, but tonight? He was gorgeous.

Broad shoulders and a trim waist, all firm muscle beneath his flannel. Yup, judging by the ease in which your mind turned to the gutter, you were tipsy. You watched as Sam spoke about things he liked, face lit in enthusiasm, and you couldn’t help but want to kiss him.

Keep reading

@pangur-and-grim I opened that email in class and completely forgot to reply, but these arrived today and I am IN LOVE my tall dog is perfect and lovely and my friend commentex that it would make a cute tattoo and now I can’t stop thinking about that

Also I wasn’t expecting the one of the ferret queen but it’s beautiful thank you so much!!! I’m probably going to order a couple more since my tax returns just came in and I have many pets

(I ordered these from greerstothers.com if anyone wants to get some of their own pets!!! I highly recommend it ❤❤)

Zootopia characters as Hamilton lyrics

Judy: “I practiced the law, I practically perfected it. I’ve seen injustice in the world, and I’ve corrected it!”

Nick: “Talk less. Smile more. Don’t let them know what you’re against or what you’re for…”

Bogo: “Frankly, it’s a little disquieting that you would let your ideals blind you to reality.”

Clawhauser: “Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

Finnick: “Yo I’m a tailor’s apprentice, and I got y'all knuckleheads in loco parentis.

Lionheart: “Headfirst into a political abyss! (Headfirst! Into the abyss…)

Bellwether: “I look back on where I’ve failed, and in every place I checked, the only common thread has been your disrespect.”

Gazelle: “And we just happen to be in the greatest city in the world!”

Mrs Otterton: “So long as you come home at the end of the day, that would be enough.”

Weaselton: “You have nothing! I don’t have to tell you anything at all! Unless…”

Doug: “I’d rather skip the pleasantries. Let’s go.”

Flash: “Wait for it.”