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Pat Shingleton: "Honeybees and Grunting"

4 years 4 months 2 weeks ago Friday, May 12 2017 May 12, 2017 May 12, 2017 4:10 AM May 12, 2017 in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton:

Beekeepers were puzzled as to the vast depletion of their colonies over the last ten years. Some have diminished 30% as previous theories targeted mites and viruses for the reduction.  NBC Nightly News reported that a new clue is being considered in this mystery.  Honeybees pollinate crops and are as fundamental to food production as water or sunlight.  Recent Springtime seasons have discovered an unusual amount of dead bees, found piled and layered under existing hives. Others, still living, cannot fly and appear to be stunned and incapacitated. Researchers at Purdue University suggest honeybees may be victims of an insecticide placed on corn kernels to prevent the seeds from sticking together when planted. Experts believe there’s enough toxic material on a single kernel of corn to kill hundreds of thousands of honeybees. From bees to worms...Growing up in Western Pennsylvania, a fishing trip to Conquenessing Creek or Hereford Manor Lake was rare.  A shower could bring out the "night-crawlers."  These were large earthworms that didn't like the wet.  If the shower didn't happen, the garden hose did.  We'd wet down a section of the yard around 7 p.m. and gather the night-crawlers.  In Florida's Apalachicola National Forest some folks still use the art of "grunting."  By rubbing a curved steel bar over a wooden stake in the ground, it creates a strange sound.  As it vibrates the ground it irritates the worms, driving them to the surface. Thousands of earthworms pour out of the ground becoming prime fishing bait. For local grunters, 5,000 worms in three hours can bring in $1,000 a week.  So if you're grunting or fishing this weekend, expect some excellent weather.

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