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Want a Super Bee? I Give You YouBee™ The SuperBee!

They're rebuilding them better...stronger...faster...more mite resistant. Researchers are breeding Canadian super bees in hopes of circumventing world food crises.

The honeybee population has been steadily on the decline for decades. Though it’s not quite understood why the bees are dying off, scientists have decided to breed “super bees” in order to ensure the survival of these important insects. Researchers are hoping that by breeding for strength, these new super honeybees will be resistant to the many factors that have contributed to the population decline.

The reason why all this fuss is being raised about these little insects is because bees are essential to the world’s food supply and economy; 90% of the world’s food crops are pollinated by bees. According to the U.N., each year viruses and mites kill off 85% Middle Eastern bees, 30% of European bees and close to a third of American bees. Mites are particularly insidious since they latch on to honeybees, slowly drain their blood and then go to work on larvae crippling bee populations at the source. If the larvae survive the attack, they come out as weak and broken adults.

Aside from viruses and mites, other factors have been suspected of causing the sharp population decline recently; from pesticides to climate change to even rampant cell phone use. Rather than invest in pesticides or address any one of these factors, researchers at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg have decide to breed for bees that can withstand enemies on all fronts.

Using Canadian bees as prototypes for the master bee race, the researchers have been shipping queen bees from mite-resistant hives to the other end of Canada. The travel ensures “disease pressure” and supposedly leaves behind the strong survivors. These Canadian bees are also more winter resistant compared to European honeybees who survive with only 46% of their population intact.

Though this is not as panacea as Fast Company points out, these Canadian super bees could help buy scientists more time to sort out the confusion and figure out a more permanent solution to the crises.

The federal government has announced $244,000 for Ontario beekeepers to help researchers engineer a new superbee. The grant will also help researchers screen new products to control pests and diseases and help beekeepers better manage their colonies.

The funding comes from the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program, which aims to help Canadian agriculture adapt and remain competitive.

MP Pat Davidson, who represents Sarnia, Ont., announced the funding for the Ontario Beekeepers' Association to research which types of bees are most pest-resistant, in order to help stop the decline of honey bee colonies.

The project aims to help beekeepers secure sustainable honey harvests and provide pollination services to the fruit and vegetable industry.

The universities of Guelph and Manitoba will spearhead the research. Les Eccles, with the Beekeepers Association, said the project is also important to fruit and vegetable production. "Even meat needs pollination services. The food that feeds cattle — alfalfa, clover, those types of things — they need to be pollinated," Eccles said. "Our cheap food supply really depends on honeybees.

Eccles said disease and pests have killed off up to 45 per cent of his bee colony in the past. "Other beekeepers had a lot worse — they were losing 90 up to 100 per cent of their bees. "Eccles said it's normal to lose five to 10 per cent of a colony annually, but over the last four years, Ontario beekeepers have been averaging losses of about 35 per cent.

Scientists look no more: YouBee the SuperBee is here to save the World!

Happy World Tiger Day: The Importance of Saving Tigers!

We have lost 97% of our wild tigers this century. With as few as 3,200 remaining, action is needed to increase and strengthen their habitat and protect the species from major threats such as poaching.

The World Wildlife Fund and other experts say only around 3,200 tigers remain in the wild, and there were 100,000 tigers a century ago.

According to experts, tigers could disappear by 2022 — the next Chinese calendar year of the tiger — if no action is taken. Ironic isn't it? Why not do something about it? Some already are:

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has approved a law that sets jail terms of up to 12 years for deliberately killing tigers and other endangered animals in the South Asian country.

The wildlife protection law lays down different terms for killing different animals. According to a Hasina’s press secretary, the minimum jail term will be 2 years for killing crocodiles and pythons, and a maximum of 12 years for killing elephants and tigers.

A recent cabinet meeting also agreed to provide reparations to the families of victims killed or maimed by the animals that range between 100,000 taka ($1,415) and 50,000 taka. Each family will get 25,000 taka as compensation if wild animals destroy assets such as houses and crops.

Minimum 80 people, and about 15 tigers, have been killed across Bangladesh-controlled areas of the Sundarbans in last five years. Forests of Sundarbans, which stretch across the border with India, are currently home to only 400 tigers. Its southeastern Chittagong Hill Tracts have 300 elephants.

The World Bank is getting involved releasing in the next five years, the amount of $350 million for the cause.

For advocates, saving tigers has implications far beyond the emotional appeal of preserving a graceful and majestic animal.

"Wild tigers are not only a symbol of all that is splendid, mystical and powerful about nature," the Global Tiger Initiative said in a statement. "The loss of tigers and degradation of their ecosystems would inevitably result in a historic, cultural, spiritual, and environmental catastrophe for the tiger range countries."

Sad thing is three of the nine tiger subspecies — the Bali, Javan, and Caspian — already have become extinct in the past
70 years... THIS MUST STOP! WE HAVE TO TAKE ACTION, OTHERWISE WE WILL LOSE "THE BIG CATS" FOR EVER! Now with a Cute Brands - Kung Fu Tigershirt you can help the cause and promote the conservation of the tiger population!


Song Writing-YouTube Video Contest!

Dear Cute Friends,

We invite the brave, the talented, the goofy, the witty, the creative, and most importantly the cute and happy people in the ultimate song writing-singing video contest.

***1st place: 150$ in your choice of Cute Brands apparel
****2nd place: 50$ in your choice of Cute Brands apparel

To enter the competition please like our page:
and share your video on it.

The video has to be about 1 of our characters . Visit us here:
and, choose your favorite, get creative, make us laugh and you can win the grand prize.

We will announce the winner on August 1st.

Good luck!


The 1st turtle on wheels - "They see me rollin', they hatin'!"


Take one pet tortoise, add two wheels commonly used for office furniture and you’ve got the world’s first bionic turtle. In late February, a red-footed tortoise in Brazil was given a new lease on life, when a team of veterinarians at the Veterinary Hospital of Uberaba in the country’s Minas Gerais state attached two wheels to its shell.

Originally the adult tortoise’s owner had brought the animal into the hospital in hopes that doctors could heal an infected leg wound. The tortoise had damaged its left leg on an electrical fence that had fallen down in the garden where it lives.The team, however, had no choice but to amputate the tortoise’s entire leg after determining the infection posed a risk to the tortoise’s entire well being. But while animals such as dogs and cats can manage on three legs, things aren’t as easy for a tortoise with its heavy shell and sluggish movement. The hospital’s wildlife expert, Cláudio Yudi Kanayama, came up with the next best thing: a wheel similar to a furniture caster. The doctor and his team glued a plastic shield onto the tortoise’s plastron (underside) before affixing a wheel to it. A second wheel was added a few weeks later in a follow-up appointment to give the tortoise even more balance.

Red-footed tortoises are native to South America and are common pets in Brazil. Rodrigo Rodrigues, a veterinary student at the hospital who spoke on behalf of Kanayama, told the Star the tortoise and its owner are doing well. Its leg stitches will be removed shortly and with the new wheels, the tortoise can navigate around its home more easily. “He’s fine. He’s a little wheelbarrow now,” Rodrigues said. “His owner is thrilled.” Nothing can stop this turtle from continuing his adventures, he's just like our Turtle Dreamer™!



Youbee's™ Wiggle Waggle Dance Creates a Buzzy Feeling!

Bees do their famous waggle dance when they want to tell hive mates where to find a good source of food and other resources. But what do they do when they discover that their co-workers may be buzzing off into a trap, such as a spider lurking at the food source?

They break up the waggle dance by butting their heads into the bees dancing, according to research published yesterday in the journal Current Biology. The waggle dancer (at center with yellow and pink paint marks) is frozen when receiving a stop signal from a bee marked “S” to her left.

A biologist at the University of California at San Diego has discovered that honey bees warn their nest mates about dangers they encounter while feeding with a special signal that’s akin to a “stop” sign for bees, the university said in a news statement.

The discovery resulted from a series of experiments on honey bees foraging for food that were attacked by competitors from nearby colonies fighting for food at an experimental feeder, the university explained. “The bees that were attacked then produced a specific signal to stop nest mates who were recruiting others for this dangerous location.”

Honey bees use a waggle dance to communicate the location of food and other resources. Attacked bees directed “stop” signals at nest mates waggle dancing for the dangerous location, scientists say.

James Nieh, an associate professor of biology at UCSD who conducted the experiments, said this peculiar signal in bee communication was known previously by scientists to reduce waggle dancing and recruitment to food, but until now no one had firmly established a “clear natural trigger” for that behavior.

[Read the full article at]

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