Worth a read.


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From The Guardian.


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Michael Batley holding a bee
Michael Batley of the Australian Museum is one of fewer than five bee taxonomists in Australia.(ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)



Taxonomists are the “map makers of nature”, tasked with naming new plant and animal species, but it is a dying art.

Key points:

  • Taxonomy is the discipline of identifying and naming newly discovered animals or plants
  • There are only four bee taxonomists in Australia
  • Scientists estimate there are at least 1,000 Australian bee species yet to be discovered and named

For specialties like Australian bees there are just four taxonomists left, and no one to pass on their knowledge and skills to.

Michael Batley has been a bee taxonomist for the past 20 years and a volunteer with the Australian Museum.

In that time he has named 40 new species of bees.

Among his favourites are Leioproctus glendaeLeioproctus gibber and the Euryglossula scalaris which he discovered in the Northern Territory in 2016.

“I always find something new,” Mr Batley said.

“On an average bee-chasing trip I could find up to 100 specimens in a day to analyse.

“Not all will be new, unnamed species but they could be a new record, a new place the bee has been seen, or a male or female bee that hasn’t been seen before.”

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And we are still using Glyphosate in this Shire.



Rampant destruction of forests ‘will unleash more pandemics’

HIV spread from chimpanzees and gorillas that were slaughtered for bushmeat in west Africa.

HIV spread from chimpanzees and gorillas that were slaughtered for bushmeat in west Africa. Photograph: agefotostock/Alamy

Researchers to tell UN that loss of biodiversity enables rapid spread of new diseases from animals to humans

Robin McKieSun 30 Aug 2020 16.03 AEST



Scientists are to warn world leaders that increasing numbers of deadly new pandemics will afflict the planet if levels of deforestation and biodiversity loss continue at their current catastrophic rates.

A UN summit on biodiversity, scheduled to be held in New York next month, will be told by conservationists and biologists there is now clear evidence of a strong link between environmental destruction and the increased emergence of deadly new diseases such as Covid-19.Cost of preventing next pandemic ‘equal to just 2% of Covid-19 economic damage’Read more

Rampant deforestation, uncontrolled expansion of farming and the building of mines in remote regions – as well as the exploitation of wild animals as sources of food, traditional medicines and exotic pets – are creating a “perfect storm” for the spillover of diseases from wildlife to people, delegates will be told.Advertisement

Almost a third of all emerging diseases have originated through the process of land use change, it is claimed. As a result, five or six new epidemics a year could soon affect Earth’s population.

“There are now a who


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Mount Everest.


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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German drugs and pesticides group Bayer said on Thursday it will pay around $1.6 billion to settle the majority of U.S. claims involving its Essure birth-control device.

The agreement follows a $10.9 billion settlement in June of U.S. lawsuits claiming the company’s weedkiller Roundup caused cancer.

Bayer said the Essure settlement is for around 90% of the nearly 39,000 claims by women alleging injury from the devices and that it was in discussion with counsel for the remaining plaintiffs.

“There is no admission of wrongdoing or liability by Bayer in the settlement agreements,” Bayer said.

Women have claimed in lawsuits that the device, which is implanted in the fallopian tubes to permanently block the passage of eggs to the uterus, could pierce the tubes, and that the device’s metal parts could become dislodged and migrate to other parts of the body.

Bayer said in 2018 that it would phase out the birth control product in the United States, a decision which the company said was due to declining sales of the implantable device and not based on safety concerns.

(Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Chris Reese, Kirsten Donovan)

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Tree Tomato Chutney.


At last I have finally made the Tree Tomato ( Tamarillo ) Chutney.

3 kilos tree tomatoes, scooped out of their skins with a teaspoon.

3 large onions, garlic optional.

4 apples, peeled, cored and chunked.

2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger or tablespoon of dried.

1 teaspoon (5 ml ) each of salt and pepper.

1 tablespoon ( 20 ml) of chilli powder or 6 bell chillies, finally chopped with seed to get the heat.

3  ( approx 750 grammes ) cups of brown or white sugar.

3  (750 ml ) of cider or white vinegar.

Place and combine all ingredients into large pot or boiler. Slowly bring to the boil stirring occasionally. Once to the boil reduce heat to a gentle simmer. I place a couple of glass marbles ( my Mother taught me this ) into the pot to prevent the mixture catching. After 60 to 90 minutes and after observing the texture of…

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Monarchs and Tamarillos.

Watched 2 monarch butter flies this morning as I harvested tamarillos.


When regular food supplies diminish, the tree tomato or tamarillo will provide much dietary value. Eating fresh from the shrub, when red, its delicious. Like a pineapple and a banana was one description of its taste.





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