Bee Mystery Solved, Toddlers Online, and The Original Justin Bieber

10.09.10 7 years ago 2 Comments

In the past four years, twenty to forty percent of bee colonies in the U.S. have succumbed to colony collapse.  Now Army scientists in Maryland and entomologists at two Montana universities have identified a virus (invertebrate iridescent virus type 6) and a fungus (Nosema apis) that work together to kill colonies.  Every killed colony studied by Dr. Bromenshenk’s team was found to be infected with both IIV type 6 and Nosema.  Both diseases affect the bees’ digestive systems and thrive in cool, damp weather.  The team is recommending the use of antifungal agents to prevent colony collapse, especially in hives already infected with IVV type 6. We’re recommending handing out bee condoms.

In a study of 2,200 mothers conducted by AVG, it was found that 92% of children under age two have some kind of online presence. Many have this online presence before they’re even born, with a third of U.S. parents putting sonograms on the web. Among all countries studied, 7% of babies and toddlers have an email address and 100% of them get emails from nonexistent women who want to meet in their area. Five percent of babies and toddlers have their own profile on a social network, probably so their mom can send herself gifts on Farmville.  The mothers were asked if they were concerned about the information available online about their children; on average they were “moderately concerned”.  We’ll ask them again in eighteen years when searching their kid’s name brings up a sonogram picture next to passed-out, Sharpie-graffiti-faced party pics.

Meanwhile in Florida, a Jacksonville resident named Justin Bieber has been kicked off Facebook for “using a fake name”.  He has also had to change his phone number and list it in his wife’s name, but a fan website found that number as well.  He gets up to ten fan letters a day and up to fifty phone messages every couple hours. Usually his phone is unplugged. He says there’s one upside to this whole thing: people don’t mispronounce his last name anymore.  So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.


  • Honey bee colony decline linked to the combination of a fungus and a virus. (NYT)
  • Here’s the full research article on the fungus/virus combo. (PLoS ONE)
  • The frequency of online presence in children of different parts of the world (Mashable)
  • Justin Bieber kicked off Facebook (FirstCoastNews via BioTV)



  • Here’s a perfectly normal sentence: “A railway company in western Japan said it is offering spots on a train to be conducted by an African penguin.” (UPI)
  • An episode of “The Office” just became reality. One man has drowned and another is left with minor injuries after their GPS told them to drive into Spain’s largest reservoir. (TheDailyWhat)
  • This is somehow not an article from The Onion:  a group of Weezer fans who think the band has gone downhill are trying to raise $10 million, which they intend to offer the band to convince them to stop making music.  They’ve raised $1,833 so far. (Guardian)



  • Here’s an awesome internet argument to start on your mom’s Facebook wall: does a single sperm contain 37.5Mb or 720Mb of data?  Either way, that’s a lot of terabytes in every, um, “transfer”. (Buzzfeed)
  • 92% of U.S. toddlers might have an online presence, but only 77.4% of North Americans are online, and only 1.9 billion people worldwide. (Visualoop)
  • Americans who don’t use the internet were asked why.  I’m assuming they were asked via Pony Express or perhaps a telegraph operator with a handlebar mustache took the message.  Because they’re old, you see. (SAI)


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