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Our Native Flying ‘Cheetos’: Bee Basics from the USDA Forest Service

001-000-04765-5“The world as we know it would not exist if there were no bees to pollinate the earth’s 250,000 flowering plants.”

A sobering sentence straight out of Bee Basics: An Introduction to Our Native Bees, a joint publication from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service and the Pollinator Partnership. Authors Beatriz Moisset, Ph.D. and Stephen Buchmann, Ph.D. provide a concise primer on the fundamentals and cyclical heritage of our ‘varied and valuable’ native bees.

You may know that bees are sociable, resourceful, and resilient. But did you know that some species are downright parasitically opportunistic? The cuckoo bee is a member of the exclusively parasitic Apidae family. Once it scouts out a potential host site, it furtively waits out of view until the nest is vacated. Then, in a one-two-punch move, the cuckoo bee takes up residence and its young eventually shovel down up any pollen, nectar, and larva in sight.

Buchmann’s highly detailed illustrations of these pixie pollinators show how each species’ morphology is engineered for precise pollination. Bees use wing vibration to shake off a pollen-packed anther like a polaroid picture. This “buzz pollination” is a popular dance in bee social circles. The southeastern blueberry bee uses the same technology to gorge itself on blueberry pollen. Another pollination prodigy is the megachilid bee. Gathering so much puffy yellow pollen on its abdomen, it resembles, as the authors amusingly write, “flying ‘Cheetos’ snacks coming in for a landing.”

beesorwasps

Can you identify a bee from a wasp? Excerpt from publication. Click image to enlarge.

The publication also details the homemaker behaviors of bees. The metallic-colored sweat bee is the consummate DIY designer. Nesting itself in the underside of freely-available detritus tree bark, it uses a saliva-pollen amalgam to lovingly tile the interior of its egg chambers. Some domesticating mother bees though the use of mass provisioning—storing up enough food in their brood cell nursery to sustain each larvae for the entirety of their development. New moms, take note!

Bee Basics is a great compliment to citizen science efforts to enrich and sustain a pollinator-friendly ecosystem. It concludes with a ecological call to action. The list of worrisome environmental realities are extensive: honey bee die-offs, shrinking native ranges, pesticide use, fungal infestations, and more. Protecting the ecosystem well-being of these minuscule pollinators requires a concerted conservation effort and a respect for the priceless services they provide. Bees have more than paid their dues to this planet. And for that, we are indebted.

How do I obtain this publication?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Office of Public Affairs. 

Filed under: Agriculture, Department of Agriculture, Environment, Teachers and teaching
Source: Government BookTalk

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New Works from the U.S. Army War College: Rivalries, Resurgence and Security Implications in the Middle East

Several publications published by the U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute address issues relating to regional security, international relations, political science, and foreign policy in the Middle East and Central Asia.

008-000-01116-8The Resurgence of Al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq by Azeem Ibrahim

This text takes a look at Al-Qaeda’s loss of leadership and prominence as it pivoted from Afghanistan to Syria as well as the origins of ISIS in Syria. With ISIS holding strong in Syria, Al-Qaeda moved to Iraq for a resurgence in power until it met ISIS forces.

ISIS forces emerged in April 2013 under the leadership of Al-Baghdadi, who played a key role in establishing the Al NusrahFront and converging it with what later became the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).  Al-Baghadadi, who claims to be a descendent of the Prophet Muhammad, has been described as a “philosopher jihadi”—something quite different from other al-Qaeda leaders.

The Saudi-Iranian Rivalry and the Future of Middle East Security by W. Andrew Terrill

008-000-01076-5Our allies within Saudi Arabia play a key role to the stability of the Gulf states and the Middle East writ large.  In this effort, Saudi Arabia has its challenges with neighboring Iran.  Saudi Arabia is a conservative Sunni Muslim Arab state while Iran is the leading Shi’ite state. The rivalry between Riyadh and Tehran is reflected in how the two powers exercise political influence and defend their interests in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, and beyond. The 2011 wave of pro-democracy and anti-regime protests, known as the “Arab Spring,” introduced new considerations for both Saudi Arabia and Iran within the framework of their regional priorities. The Saudi-Iranian rivalry therefore is likely to intensify as a central feature in the Middle Eastern security landscape, expanding into both the Gulf region and the Arab-Israeli theater.

Turkey’s New Regional Security Role: Implications for the United States by Richard Weitz

008-000-01120-6This book provides a historical view of the U.S.-Turkey bilateral relationship.  America keeps a watchful eye on Turkey and its dealings in Iran’s nuclear position, Israeli-Palestine relations, and trade agreements between both countries.

All of these books may appeal to political scientists, and students writing research papers for public policy, history, military science, international relations, and global studies classes at the high-school level and above.

 

 

How do I obtain these publications?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: This week’s blog contributor is Maureen Whelan, Senior Marketing Team Leader for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office in Washington, DC. Maureen oversees print and digital content dissemination strategy and manages third party free and paid content distribution through platforms and vendors, such as Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble.com, Google Play eBookstore, Ebscohost databases, Overdrive, and more.

Filed under: Army War College, Department of Defense, Iraq, Middle East
Source: Government BookTalk

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September 13: Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day

What do you think is the only job in the world that is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and no pay? I am sure you guessed it; parenthood. Although well worth it, being a parent is a hard, tiring job. Parents often find themselves bogged down after going through a full day of work to come home to work another full time shift; taking care of your children. As adults, it is recognized how busy and time consuming parenthood is. Parents do not ask for pity while doing their duty, but it is always nice to give parents a break every now and then. Parents must find time to play with their children, help them with homework, pick out their clothes, bathe them, and feed them, among many other things.

Parents often travel home every day asking themselves “what will we have for dinner tonight?” (And if they don’t ask themselves that, their kids will remind them really fast) Then depending on what they decide on, they then have to get the ingredients. Cooking a good, healthy dinner for a family can take a good amount of time and energy depending on the dish. I’m sure if kids, let’s say at the age of 10, fully recognized all the things that really goes into being a parent they would find themselves maybe asking “what can I help with to give my parent a little rest?”

017-001-00572-0I’m sure parents often find themselves saying “I really wish my kids knew how to cook.” Well that wish may not be too far off. The National Heart and Lung Institute presents Deliciously Healthy Family Meals (Cookbook) as a cookbook designed for families and parents that want to keep cooking a family affair. The book includes many kid-friendly recipes that are pretty easy to grasp without needing much assistance from a parent. Not only are these recipes and tips kid-friendly, but also heart-healthy. It is loaded with tips on meal planning, meal preparation, and nutritional facts to keep obesity and other health issues at bay. Deliciously Healthy Family Meals (Cookbook) also starts to teach children how to be self-sufficient by learning how to cook quality meals for themselves. Life skills and quality experience that will stay with them forever.

How do I obtain Deliciously Healthy Family Meals (Cookbook)?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Avery Poole is a Summer Intern in GPO’s  Publication and Information Sales office.

Filed under: Children, Department of Health & Human Services, Family, Parenting
Source: Government BookTalk

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