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» October 20, 2006 «
Amid renewed attention to the plight of bees and other pollinators, California beekeepers work to improve the health of their hives. They are treating hives to control pests that weaken bees' ability to pollinate crops. Beekeepers from across the nation converge on California each February for the almond bloom, and many other crops depend on bees for pollination. A National Research Council report raised concerns this week about declining populations of pollinators.
Treatments to eradicate red imported fire ants from several Stanislaus County properties began yesterday (Thursday). State inspectors say almost every tree in a 20-acre almond orchard has ant colonies, and adjacent ranchettes have also been infested. Authorities say the fire ants have bitten several people. Inspectors continue to check nearby properties and expect to find more colonies. Eradicating the fire ants can take several years.
With the cold-and-flu season approaching, strawberry marketers have been promoting their fruit as a source of vitamin C. Nutritionists say a diet rich in vitamin C can reduce one's chances of catching a cold. The California Strawberry Commission says a serving of eight medium-sized strawberries provides the recommended daily amount of vitamin C. The commission says farmers have introduced new varieties that make more strawberries available in the fall and winter.
Years of conflict, on top of years of drought, have crippled agriculture in Afghanistan. Researchers from the University of California say they will work on a project to improve livestock production there. Specialists from UC Davis and Texas A&M will cooperate, on a program to help Afghan livestock herders track the availability of forage for their animals. The project aims to provide the herders with early warning of potential feed shortages.Top