Science

The Salt
5:12 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Bee Deaths May Have Reached A Crisis Point For Crops

A bee inspector checks on a frame of bees to assess the colony strength near Turlock, Calif., in February. More than 30 percent of America's bee colonies died off over the winter.
Gosia Wozniacka AP

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 9:56 pm

According to a new survey of America's beekeepers, almost a third of the country's honeybee colonies did not make it through the winter.

That's been the case, in fact, almost every year since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began this annual survey, six years ago.

Over the past six years, on average, 30 percent of all the honeybee colonies in the U.S. died off over the winter. The worst year was five years ago. Last year was the best: Just 22 percent of the colonies died.

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Asia
4:37 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Are Those North Korean Long-Range Missiles For Real?

What appears to be a missile is carried during a mass military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, on April 15, 2012. Some analysts say the half-dozen missiles showcased at the military parade were fakes.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 9:56 pm

When President Obama met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday, one item was high on the agenda: how to handle North Korea, which has in recent months threatened to strike both countries.

Obama called such threats "a dead end."

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Environment
3:53 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Filling In The Gap On Climate Education In Classrooms

Cy Maramangalam gives a presentation about climate change for the Alliance for Climate Education.
Courtesy of Alliance for Climate Education

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 1:50 pm

The auditorium at James Blake High School in Silver Spring, Md., is packed when Cy Maramangalam strolls onstage, sporting jeans and a shaved head.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:53 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Our Very Normal Solar System Isn't Normal Anymore

Robert Krulwich NPR

Some things you just count on. Like if we ever meet a space alien, it should have eyes (and maybe a head). Like somewhere out there, there are planets like ours. Like we have an ordinary solar system — "ordinary" because you know what it looks like ...

It's got a sun in the middle, little planets on the inside, bigger ones farther out. That's what most of them should look like, no?

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Animals
2:04 am
Tue May 7, 2013

This Bat Knows How To Drink

The Pallas' long-tongued bat.
B. G. Thomson Science Source

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 2:15 pm

Imagine it's a hot day, and you're craving some cold lemonade. Someone offers you a glass, but with one condition: You can drink it only using your tongue, with no lips touching the glass. No straw.

You might have a problem.

But many animals — bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and bats — have tongues specifically designed to do this. All drink nectar from flowers using only their tongues.

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