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Friday, September 07, 2007

The Birds & Bees and Hedgehogs and Foxes too

Its been an interesting week regarding wildlife I see driving to and from work, and for a change at work.

Going home Tuesday night a Little Owl flew in front of the car and yesterday as I turned up at one of our offices on a residential site I saw a Fox. As I left I spotted a Sparrowhawk overhead!

The daily mail has a nice report on a pair of albino brother and sister hedgehogs. There is a nice photo to go AAAAAHHHHH over. There is a fuller report in the local press but no photo! Nice story though so check it out.

I've mentioned several times about the die off of Bees in North America. The BBC is covering a story that says that genetic esearch showed that Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV) turned up regularly in hives affected by Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

Its not known if the virus is the cause. The virus appears to be strongly associated with CCD but scientists still need to determine if its the cause or just a marker of the syndrome.

IAPV was first identified in Israel, but the symptoms it produces in bees there are quite different.

No one knows whether this is down to a small genetic difference in the virus between continents, or whether IAPV is acting in concert with different environmental factors.

In 2004 the US started importing (well didn't know that!!) bees from Australia and that is the time CCD started. Australian bees have IAPV so researchers are planning to go back through historical US samples to see if the Antipodean imports really were the first carriers.

Apparently if IAPV is the cause of CCD there may be little scientists and bee-keepers can do about it.


Jan said...

Those hogs are just the cutest thing ever.

I wish I had a pound for everything I've seen over the past couple of weeks that has been dead and squashed in the road. Endless numbers of young rabbits, squirrels and hogs, it's heartbreaking.

oldcrow61 said...

Those little hogs made me go Awwww! Adorable.