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Sweet Little Panda Bear Lullaby!

Such a cute and catchy song that you can sing to the special panda in your life!!



(Bloomberg) -- The mysterious deaths of billions of honeybees since 2006 that have harmed the U.S. agricultural industry may be caused by a common fungus and a previously unknown virus, University of Montana researchers say. The virus, Invertebrate Iridescent Virus, or IIV6, seems to work together with the Nosema fungus to kill the bees, said the researchers, Colin Henderson and Jerry Bromenshenk, in findings published in the online science journal PLoS ONE. The bee disease known as Colony Collapse Disorder first appeared in 2006 and causes entire hives to die off without explanation.

Honeybees pollinate $15 billion of U.S. crops each year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and companies such as General Mills Inc. and Clorox Co. use pollinated crops in their products. Scientists had looked toward viruses and fungal infections as a cause of the disorder. The disease has been reported in at least 35 states and been found in Europe, Asia and South America.“We have a strong suspect, I’m convinced we have what it is,” Henderson, an associate professor at the university’s College of Technology, said yesterday in a telephone interview.

Since the first outbreak in 2006, the disorder has showed up in 26 percent to 36 percent of hives each year, according to a survey released in April by the Department of Agriculture. The primary indication of colony collapse is whether hives were found empty. The disorder is characterized by a massive flight of bees, which don’t return to their hives to die.

Pollinated Products

Bees are essential for the health of pollinator-dependent crops such as almonds and blueberries. Fruit-pollinated products are found in items such as Haagen-Dazs ice cream from Minneapolis-based General Mills. Lip balm made by Burt’s Bees Inc., a unit of Oakland, California-based Clorox, contains wax from the honeycombs of beehives.

Henderson and Bromenshenk began looking into the cause of the bee disorder in 2006, when the first cases appeared. They found Nosema, a single-celled fungus that was already well known, and uncovered a suspicious DNA virus, IIV6, that “nobody had looked for,” Henderson said. “That pattern of those two showed up about 100 percent in the first infected colonies that we found,” Henderson said. When a second outbreak of the mysterious illness hit, the scientists collected more samples, and again the virus and the fungus appeared in the dead bees.

Then came more evidence. One of the bee colonies kept by the University of Montana researchers got the disease, and for the first time, scientists we were able to track the malady from beginning to end, Henderson said.

Military Help

The tool to dig up the surprise virus from the dead bees came from a U.S. Department of Defense program meant to monitor disease outbreaks in people, specifically from biological weapons. The Defense Department technology essentially took ground up bee parts and pulled out chains of proteins, some of which may have been the virus infecting the bees. Henderson and Bromenshenk compared the discoveries against a giant database of known proteins funded by the National Science Foundation. “We just looked for everything,” Henderson said. What they found was IIV6, a virus that was common in moths though it wasn’t known to exist in bees.

Having identified the virus and the fungus, the researchers tested bees in the lab. First they infected the bees with the fungus alone, and some died, though not as many as with Colony Collapse Disorder. Then they infected some with just the virus, with the same result. When the combination of virus and fungus was used, the results resembled the deadly disorder that had been wiping out hives across the country, the researchers said.The next step will be to test the theory in the field to see if it proves true, Henderson said.“The real closure of the circle for us is to take the two pathogens to inoculate a colony, see it collapse, then pull out the pathogens again,” he said. That will allow scientists to be sure they have identified the cause, he said.


Butterfly Legends!

"People have been fascinated with butterflies for thousands of years.  Fossil records for butterflies and moths date back nearly 65 million years… Butterflies have long been a symbol of beauty, and therefore, they’ve been the subject of a plethora of myths and folklore. Here are just a few:

  • Early Native American legends reveal stories of butterflies carrying various wishes to the Great Spirit. The Shoshone Indians believed that the Great Spirit blew the breath of life into pebbles, which then became butterflies.
  • The Blackfoot Indians believed that butterflies brought them their dreams while they were sleeping.  It was custom for a Blackfoot woman to embroider a butterfly on a small piece of buckskin.  Then she would tie this piece in her child’s hair when she wanted him or her to go to sleep.  At the same time she would sing a lullaby to the child.  This was her way of asking a butterfly to come and fly about to put the child asleep.
  • Hopi Indians used butterfly images on much of their prehistoric pottery, and they even performed a special butterfly dance.  The spirit of the butterfly has been widely used in the Hopi Indian’s kachina figures.  Kachinas are the spirit essence of everything in the real world.  They represent game, plants, food, insects, birds and even death.
  • Native American Zuni tribesmen believed that butterflies could predict the weather.  White butterflies indicated the onset of summer.  They also believed that if the first butterfly of the season was white, that foreshadowed a rainy summer, especially if the butterfly flew out of the southwest.  A dark butterfly meant the summer would be full of stormy weather, while a yellow butterfly predicted sunny weather.
  • Among many Mexican Indian tribes butterflies were a symbol of Earth’s fertility.  Born out of a caterpillar in a chrysalis, butterflies became a symbol of rebirth, regeneration and joy."
  • Papago Tribe - If anyone desires a wish to come true they must first capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it. Since a butterfly can make no sound, the butterfly can not reveal the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit who hears and sees all. In gratitude for giving the beautiful butterfly its freedom, the Great Spirit always grants the wish. So, according to legend, by making a wish and giving the butterfly its freedom, the wish will be taken to the heavens and be granted
  • ... and many more. Butterfly legends are amazing, I continue to be deeply fascinated with them. If you ever wondered how it would feel to be a butterfly I invite you to listen: Rajaton-Butterfly. Ahh the song is perfect... it really makes you imagine the innocent life of a butterfly. Ever since life is too short we have to live each day at maximum intensity like the butterfly does. A good soul is a beautiful butterfly, therefore I believe we all could have a wonderful butterfly inside. Our character Hi Butterflyretains all the positivity, purity, mistery and beauty of a gentle butterfly. Wear Hi Butterfly proud, because you are indeed a gorgeous butterfly!


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    panda cub tree




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