The state of the bees. "For the past seven years, as has been widely reported, honeybees have been dying at an alarming rate. Yet today there are slightly more hives in the country than before the die-offs began. That’s because beekeeping families like the Brownings have moved beyond panic and begun quietly adjusting to a strenuous way of doing business, one that requires constant monitoring, treatment, supplemental feeding, rapid replacement of dead hives, and grudging participation in an agricultural system that grows increasingly inhospitable to the bees it needs to survive."
Some of the real monsters of the mite world live in soil, where one can find predatory mites armed with a medieval arsenal of mouthparts. Some have jaws with sharklike teeth; others bear smooth blades that snap together with tremendous force; still others stab with sharp and deadly sabers. These beasts stalk the tunnels of worms and the tiny holes between grains of sand.Not to mention the hairs of your eye lashes...
- Everyone has mites.
- Humans host (at least) two mite species that aren’t closely related to each other.
- Mites can tell us about the historical divergence of human populations.
Demodex mites are tiny arachnids that live in hair follicles on your face. Recent research in Ireland indicates that they may also be a major contributing factor to rosacea. [more inside]
“They’re not aggressive, they’re just defensive, they only ever rear up if they feel threatened, they don’t go looking for trouble,” said Brett. grooming a funnel-web spider (via)
Pollination Pets for the Garden. The UK bee population has almost halved in the last 10 years due mainly to the spread of a mite called Varroa from Asia. The loss of such a large proportion of the bee population has implications for agriculture, horticulture and nature, bees pollinate the majority of plants with no intervention from man, there isn't a more reliable fertilisation method. However an Oxford company has come up with a simple kit to attract Mason bees to nest in your garden requiring no effort and no protective clothing, they're pretty docile too, so it's unlikely you'll get stung. BTW, the US is affected too.