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Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

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  • #16
    Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

    Asian Parasite Killing Western Bees - Scientist

    SPAIN: July 19, 2007
    Julia Hayley
    Reuters


    MADRID - A parasite common in Asian bees has spread to Europe and the Americas and is behind the mass disappearance of honeybees in many countries, says a Spanish scientist who has been studying the phenomenon for years.

    The culprit is a microscopic parasite called nosema ceranae said Mariano Higes, who leads a team of researchers at a government-funded apiculture centre in Guadalajara, the province east of Madrid that is the heartland of Spain's honey industry.
    He and his colleagues have analysed thousands of samples from stricken hives in many countries.

    "We started in 2000 with the hypothesis that it was pesticides, but soon ruled it out," he told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

    Pesticide traces were present only in a tiny proportion of samples and bee colonies were also dying in areas many miles from cultivated land, he said.

    They then ruled out the varroa mite, which is easy to see and which was not present in most of the affected hives.

    For a long time Higes and his colleagues thought a parasite called nosema apis, common in wet weather, was killing the bees.

    "We saw the spores, but the symptoms were very different and it was happening in dry weather too."

    Then he decided to sequence the parasite's DNA and discovered it was an Asian variant, nosema ceranae. Asian honeybees are less vulnerable to it, but it can kill European bees in a matter of days in laboratory conditions.

    "Nosema ceranae is far more dangerous and lives in heat and cold. A hive can become infected in two months and the whole colony can collapse in six to 18 months," said Higes, whose team has published a number of papers on the subject.

    "We've no doubt at all it's nosema ceranae and we think 50 percent of Spanish hives are infected," he said.

    Spain, with 2.3 million hives, is home to a quarter of the European Union's bees.

    His team have also identified this parasite in bees from Austria, Slovenia and other parts of Eastern Europe and assume it has invaded from Asia over a number of years.

    Now it seems to have crossed the Atlantic and is present in Canada and Argentina, he said. The Spanish researchers have not tested samples from the United States, where bees have also gone missing.

    Treatment for nosema ceranae is effective and cheap -- 1 euro (US$1.4) a hive twice a year -- but beekeepers first have to be convinced the parasite is the problem.

    Another theory points a finger at mobile phone aerials, but Higes notes bees use the angle of the sun to navigate and not electromagnetic frequencies.

    Other elements, such as drought or misapplied treatments, may play a part in lowering bees' resistance, but Higes is convinced the Asian parasite is the chief assassin.

    http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsst...3163/story.htm
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    • #17
      Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

      Originally posted by neelu View Post
      What a dumb, screwed up nation! Feeding bees corn syrup and protein supplements??? What a messed up food chain we have!!! Have the almond growers gone nuts?
      very messed up, its all about how much money they can make , i found out recently that a bee in its whole liftime produces one teaspoon full of honey subhanAllah thats nothing huh, its what we put on one slice of toast... so imagine how many lifetimes worth it took to just fill one jar of honey on a supermarket shelf subhanAllah we are so spoilt ...and we dont even appreciate natural things, and try to corrupt them with their science, thinking they know better, and just mess up the whole natural cycle of things.
      "O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do." [An-Nisa 4:135]

      The Prophet :saw: said:

      "Whosoever leaves off obedience and separates from the Jamaa'ah and dies, he dies a death of jaahiliyyah. Whoever fights under the banner of the blind, becoming angry for 'asabiyyah (nationalism/tribalism/partisanship) or calling to 'asabiyyah, or assisting 'asabiyyah, then dies, he dies a death of jaahiliyyah."

      muslim

      Narrated 'Abdullah:

      The Prophet, said, "Abusing a Muslim is Fusuq (evil doing) and killing him is Kufr (disbelief)." sahih bukhari


      "Creeping upon you is the diseases of those people before you: envy and hatred. And hatred is the thing that shaves. I do not say it shaves the hair but it shaves the religion!

      By the One in whose Hand is my soul, you will not enter paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Certainly, let me inform you of that which may establish such things: spread the greetings and peace among yourselves."

      [Recorded by Imam Ahmad and Al-Tirmidhi]

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      • #18
        Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

        Eerie saga of the vanishing bees

        Paul Sheehan
        August 20, 2007

        Almost everyone loves bees. And everyone needs bees. They are not merely picturesque. When bees began to disappear from the landscape - and in America and Europe they are disappearing in their billions - it is an alarm signal. Today bees are telling us something, and we need to listen.

        Bees are not just disappearing in large numbers, they are vanishing. Entire colonies of honey bees have been deserting freshly made honey and newly hatched eggs, leaving behind no bodies, no signs of struggle, no evidence of the usual insect predators. Hundreds of apiarists have been coming upon scenes similar to the boat found drifting in open water, with food on the table, no signs of distress, no lifeboat missing, and no occupants.

        The recent phenomenon of the missing bees has been given a name: colony collapse disorder. Because bees play a key role in the landscape, they are a critical indicator of general environmental health. As one of Australia's leading bee experts, Doug Somerville, of the NSW Department of Primary Industry, told me on Friday: "Honey bees are the 'canaries in the coalmine' of the environment."

        I was alerted to the significance of colony collapse disorder by Elizabeth Kolbert, whose superb writing about global warming for The New Yorker was collected in a book, Field Notes From a Catastrophe. In a recent piece in The New Yorker, she told the story of David Hackenberg, a lumbering, beanie-wearing commercial beekeeper in Pennsylvania. Last November he become the first person to raise a public alarm about the disappearance of bees. When Hackenberg began to flip open his hives, he was confronted by something eerie.

        "The more he saw, the weirder the situation looked," Kolbert wrote. "The frames all had honey in them, indicating that there had been plenty of food. They were filled with young larvae, or brood, meaning that the bees, usually fiercely maternal, had abandoned their young. There were no signs of moths or other pests that normally invade sick colonies. And Hackenberg couldn't find any dead bees."

        As soon as he went public, other beekeepers from around the US began reporting the same experience. None knew the cause. When scientists began dissecting bees from collapsing hives, what they found was disturbing. Kolbert writes: "Normally, if you cut open a bee its innards, viewed under a microscope, will appear white. Hackenberg's bees were filled with black scar tissue. They seemed to be suffering not so much from any particular ailment as from just about every ailment."

        The blackened tissue of Hackenberg's bees proved to be typical in bees collected from colony collapse disorder hives across 36 American states and Europe. The cause remains undefined, nor is there a reliable estimate of how many hives have been wiped out by the disorder. What is known is that the commercial honey industry in the US is in distress. This has begun to flow through to American agriculture, where the use of a single species introduced from Europe - the western honey bee - has become crucial to the production of apples, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, cucumbers, watermelons, pumpkins, almonds and other crops.

        Hackenberg has said his business will not survive this winter if colony collapse disorder hits his honey bees again. He has kept his business alive by restocking with bees imported from Australia. This raises the obvious question: what about Australia's bees?

        "There are no cases of [colony collapse disorder] in Australia at all," Dave Britton, an entomologist at the Australian Museum, told me. "It is a northern hemisphere phenomenon." He added that there has been some "very creative" speculation about the causes of the colony collapses. Scientists are divided over whether colony collapse disorder is a grave threat or a transitory one. What is not in dispute is that the genetic analysis of adult bees taken from collapsing hives in America has produced alarming results. The bees tend to be infected with every known bee virus, plus new pathogens never seen before.

        "What has been chucked at the American honey bee is a collection of things which, taken on their own, bees can stand up to, but collectively sends them into stress and they just give up," Doug Somerville told me. "The difference between North America and Australia is that we rely very heavily on native flora, especially eucalyptus, for our honey production, whereas they rely extremely heavily on agricultural crops. That means their bees' interface with chemicals is much heavier."

        It will be no surprise, then, if the underlying cause of colony collapse disorder proves to be the same environmental evil that has already caused so much damage to the American food chain - the systemic use of chemicals - which compounds the loss of biodiversity caused by factory farming.

        Although colony collapse disorder is absent from Australia, local scientists and honey-growers are worried. What they fear is something else, the varroa mite, a parasite that has caused havoc to bee populations overseas, including the US, and is now spreading south from Asia. "It's not here, but we're pretty convinced it's coming," Mark Greco, of the University of Western Sydney, told me.

        Greco believes this threat, plus the experience in the US, where the wild honey bee population has been replaced by the mass introduction of a single species, should be a wake-up call to Australia. "It's high time we looked to Australian native honey bees to pollinate our crops." The other experts I spoke to agree with him.

        At least we have native bees, and honey bees feeding on native flora. In the US, where wild honey bees were once common and diverse, there is now only a single, dominant introduced species. If this population of western honey bees were to dramatically decline, there is no obvious replacement to cross-pollinate the landscape.

        http://www.smh.com.au/news/environme...e#contentSwap1
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        • #19
          Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

          Virus blamed for mystery of the vanishing beeshttp://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle2402659.ece
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          • #20
            Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

            Beekeepers deny virus claims

            September 07, 2007

            The group representing Tasmanian beekeepers has backed the national organisation over claims Australian bees are to blame for a virus killing bees in the United States.

            American researchers say Australian bees exported to the US could be responsible for the virus known as Colony Collapse Disorder which has decimated local colonies.

            Julian Wolfagen from the Tasmanian Beekeepers Association believes commercial interests in the US are behind the claim.

            "I can't see any plausable reason why - particularly as Australia is comparatively disease-free particularly when compared to the United States - that we could have some malaise that we're not aware of, because we don't have any CCD symptoms here in Australia.

            "Why should it then pop up with our bees in the USA? Not likely," Mr Wolfagen said.

            http://abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/...ction=business
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            • #21
              Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

              Ice cream crisis as bees buzz off

              John Sterlicchi, US correspondent
              guardian.co.ukwww.burtsbees.comFlying offAustralia on the attackresearch programme designed to save the insect.

              Back in America all eyes are nowadays on California's almond trees, which represent a $2.5bn industry. The pink and white blossoms have started to appear and the concern is whether there are the tens of thousands bees needed to pollinate the crop.

              "The almonds are in bloom right now in California and we are hearing there are some significant die-offs. It's worrisome," said professor Cox-Foster.

              http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...s&feed=science
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              • #22
                Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

                Honey bees 'wiped out in 10 years'http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...nimalbehaviour
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                • #23
                  Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

                  1.1 Million Bee Colonies Dead This Year ...

                  Analysis: What We've Learned to Date About Colony Collapse Disorder

                  5.3.2008
                  By Kim Flottum

                  The information provided here was generated by a survey conducted by the Apiary Inspectors of America. They took the survey in January and February this year, and in the process, gathered information from 18% of the colonies in the U.S.

                  The survey found that about 35% of all the colonies in the U.S. died last winter. Of those that died, 71% died of natural causes, 29% from symptoms that are suspect colony collapse disorder. Doing the math that comes to at least 10% of all the bees in the U.S. last year died of Colony Collapse Disorder. I believe that is a significant number of colonies.

                  Unfortunately, the survey had to be conducted early on to get numbers to congress and the surveyers weren’t able to count the bees still under snow banks in the north. Now that the snow has mostly melted, the losses there have been found to be staggering, but it’s not known yet what proportion, if any, died of CCD. In any event, the losses now are estimated, by my survey this week anyway, to be, instead of 35%, closer to 44% of all the U.S. bees died last winter. Again, doing the math, that comes to 1.1 million colonies, just shy of what’s needed for almond pollination next spring. Hmmmm....

                  This survey, conducted by the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) in collaboration with the USDA-ARS Beltsville Bee Lab was done to not only count dead beehives, but to help determine the distribution of various bee parasites and pathogens. Preliminary results from this survey reveal:
                  1. Nosema (a gastrointestinal disease) levels tended to be higher in colonies collected from CCD-suspect apiaries
                  2. Average varroa mite-infestation levels over all sampled colonies were approaching critical levels (9.5 mites/100 bees), but levels did not differ between colonies in CCD-suspect and non-CCD suspect apiaries.
                  3. Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV) was found in 9 of the 11 states sampled, and in 47% of all sampled colonies.


                  The last of these finding begs the question, "What should beekeepers do who are or suspect their colonies are infected with IAPV?" To answer this question a review of both published and the most current data from multiple research efforts is in order.

                  What do we know about IAPV as of May, 2008?

                  What is IAPV's linkage to CCD?
                  • As published in September 2007 (Cox-Foster et al, Science, 2007)
                  • Among pathogens, IAPV is the most consistent indicator of CCD
                  • Kasmir Bee Virus (KBV), Nosema apis, and Nosema ceranae are also indicators of CCD
                  • Additional "stress" factors may be needed to activate IAPV
                  • No cause and effect between IAPV and CCD was demonstrated


                  How many strains of IAPV exist in the US?
                  • At least two strains, or "families", of IAPV are present in the United States (Journal of Virology, in Press)
                  • One lineage is most prevalent in apiaries from the eastern and northwestern U.S. and probably was present before importation of Australian bees into the US in 2005.
                  • The second strain is more frequent in sampled colonies from the western U.S. This strain matches more closely to several isolates sequenced to date from Australian package bees.
                  • The strain of IAPV found in Israel that defined this newly described species, is distinct from those in the US and Australia.
                  • Extensive variation in the genetic sequence of the virus suggests that the virus is rapidly changing in the U.S. or has been present as multiple lineages for some time.


                  What happens to IAPV infected colonies?
                  • On-going research in Israel and the U.S. supports the assertion that IAPV can impact adult bee health and result in rapid mortality of infected bees.
                  • Not all colonies with IAPV are in poor health
                  • Some colonies that have IAPV can "clear" their infection to below detectable levels over time; this is perhaps due to resistance in these colonies to either varroa and/or viruses


                  How can IAPV be transmitted?
                  • IAPV can move from uninfected to infected colonies within an apiary
                  • While not demonstrated for IAPV, other bee viruses (DWV, SBV, BQCV) can be brought to colonies on forger pollen loads, suggesting an outside reservoir for some bee viruses (Singh, et al, poster at Eastern Branch ESA, 2008, from PSU)
                  • IAPV has been detected in non-apis bees in the vicinity of IAPV positive colonies in 2007. (Singh, et al, poster at Eastern Branch ESA, 2008, from PSU)


                  How widespread is IAPV in the US?
                  • As of Fall, 2007, IAPV was found in at least 19 states; and thus, the virus is widespread.
                  • IAPV has been present in the US since at least 2002 (Chen and Evans, 2007).
                  • IAPV seemed to have a more limited distribution in 2004 than at present (Cox-Foster et al 2007).


                  Considering all these factors, undue concern over IAPV detection is not warranted. While IAPV's role in colony losses remains a priority in ongoing research, we do know that high levels of other common bee viruses, such as KBV, DWV, and ABPV, have also been linked with certain incidences of high colony mortality or decline in worker numbers. We also know that nearly all bee colonies are infected with at least one type of virus and that all these viruses are potentially pathogenic.

                  http://www.thedailygreen.com/environ...ist=dgr&kw=ist
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                  • #24
                    Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

                    Where are these stories coming from? I had to dodge two bees already this afternoon so what's this shortage they're going on about? Maybe the bees and wasps have left their colonies to come on holiday over HERE!
                    The Lyme Disease pandemic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5u73ME4sVU

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                    • #25
                      Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

                      Air Pollution Impedes Bees' Ability to Find Flowers

                      By Juliet Eilperin
                      Washington Post Staff Writer
                      Monday, May 5, 2008

                      Air pollution interferes with the ability of bees and other insects to follow the scent of flowers to their source, undermining the essential process of pollination, a study by three University of Virginia researchers suggests.

                      Their findings may help unlock part of the mystery surrounding the current pollination crisis that is affecting a wide variety of crops. Scientists are seeking to determine why honeybees and bumblebees are dying off in the United States and in other countries, and the new study indicates that emissions from power plants and automobiles may play a part in the insects' demise.

                      Scientists already knew that scent-bearing hydrocarbon molecules released by flowers can be destroyed when they come into contact with ozone and other pollutants. Environmental sciences professor Jose D. Fuentes at the University of Virginia -- working with graduate students Quinn S. McFrederick and James C. Kathilankal -- used a mathematical model to determine how flowers' scents travel with the wind and how quickly they come into contact with pollutants that can destroy them. They described their results in the March issue of the journal Atmospheric Environment.

                      In the prevailing conditions before the 1800s, the researchers calculated that a flower's scent could travel between 3,280 feet and 4,000 feet, Fuentes said in an interview, but today, that scent might travel 650 feet to 1,000 feet in highly polluted areas such as the District of Columbia, Los Angeles or Houston.

                      "That's where we basically have all the problems," Fuentes said, adding that ozone levels are particularly high during summer. "The impacts of pollution on pollinator activity are pronounced during the summer months."

                      This phenomenon triggers a cycle, the authors noted, in which the pollinators have trouble finding sufficient food, and as a result their populations decline. That, in turn, translates into decreased pollination and keeps flowering plants, including many fruits and vegetables, from proliferating.

                      Fuentes said scientists now have a more sophisticated understanding of the signals for which insects are searching, and that air pollution rapidly eliminates as much as 90 percent of flowers' aroma.

                      "We now know what the pollinators are looking for when they're actually looking for the flowers," he said.

                      Most bees have poor eyesight, which makes scent particularly important, the researchers wrote.

                      Since 2006, honeybee colonies in the United States have been suffering from a widespread phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder (CCD), in which adult worker bees abandon an otherwise-healthy hive.

                      John P. Burand, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst who is studying bee colony collapses, said the effects of air pollution described in the new study are probably not directly related to that phenomenon. But, he added in an e-mail: "There is no doubt that air pollution and air quality is having an effect on bees and other pollinators. It appears there is more than one factor that is contributing to the CCD phenomenon we are seeing with bees, and certainly air pollution in some fashion may be playing a role."

                      Burand, working with two other University of Massachusetts researchers and an insect ecologist at the University of Maine at Orono, just received a $150,000, three-year grant from the Agriculture Department to analyze microbes carried by bees that pollinate apples, squash and pumpkins. They are working with colleagues to compare the bacteria, viruses and fungi in healthy bee colonies with those in dysfunctional hives.

                      Richard Poirot, an air-quality planner at Vermont's Department of Environmental Conservation who helps advise the federal government on its national ozone standards, said it makes sense that the chemical reaction of floral hydrocarbons and pollutants such as ozone would reduce the power of a flower's scent and affect the insects that depend on those aromas.

                      "It does make sense that it certainly would be another stress factor" on pollinators, Poirot said, though he added that pollinators are declining for an array of reasons not related to pollution. "The question is, how significant is it?"

                      Timothy H. Tear, a senior scientist at the advocacy group the Nature Conservancy who studies the impact of air pollution on ecosystems, said the recent study confirms the extent of ozone's effects on habitats up and down the East Coast.

                      "We know that ozone levels continue to be high and go well beyond EPA standards for public health," Tear said. "What's been pretty consistent is the more we look at air pollution's impacts on natural resources, the more we find those impacts to be."

                      Tear and his colleagues have recently completed a survey of how atmospheric pollution is affecting biodiversity in the Eastern United States and concluded that high levels of ozone can decrease forest growth by as much as 30 percent.


                      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...050401737.html
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                      • #26
                        Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

                        this is so sad :( we benefit from honey so much subhan'Allah...wonder why they're suddenly starting to 'die' out like this..does that mean they're going to become extinct one day?
                        :love:"And whosoever is conscious of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Indeed Allah has sent a measure for all things." (Quran: 65/2-3)

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                        • #27
                          Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

                          Survey: 36% of bee hives lost in U.S.http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science...ive-loss_N.htm
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                          • #28
                            Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

                            BEE EMERGENCY

                            Unexplained Mass Die-Off Hits German Hives

                            By Andrew Curry
                            May 09, 2008

                            Blaming the PesticidesThe Canary in the Coal MineWith material from AFP

                            http://www.spiegel.de/international/...552556,00.html
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                            • #29
                              Re: After being declared endangered, honey bees are making a comeback

                              Jersey Bees Are Back

                              June 19, 2008

                              RIVERTON, N.J. - June 19, 2008 (WPVI) -- After being declared endangered, honey bees are making a comeback in certain parts of South Jersey.

                              It's sweet news to beekeepers like Seth Belson of Cherry Hill, the president of the South Jersey Beekeepers Assn.

                              After years of having their populations decimated by mites and the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder, it looks like honeybees are coming back.

                              "Normally when you see a swarm it's Mother Nature's way of telling you that they're doing well," said Belson.

                              This spring beekeepers like Belson have been capturing swarms of bees that have broken off from their hives and are finding their way into buildings, homes, trees and backyards.

                              Rev. Richard Wrede of Christ Episcopal Church in Riverton says bees have descended on his church. These are just a fraction of the thousands he says have been buzzing around lately making their hives behind the walls of the parish hall to the point where it's seeping through and dripping onto the floor.

                              "I like to think of this as a place where people can enjoy the sweetness of the Lord but that was supposed to be more theological and figurative than literal," said Rev. Wrede.

                              Seeing a swarm in your house or on your property can be scary, but this may be the sweetest you'll ever see the bees. They're full of honey and not very aggressive because they're not defending a home--they're looking for one.

                              "They're absolutely at their most gentle. Their goal is to find a home. It's nothing but a staging point," said Belson.

                              Things have slowed down, but if you see a swarm of bees don't spray them with anything. Leave them alone and they'll likely leave in a couple days. If they're in the house like they are at Christ Church that's a different story--you may need to call a beekeeper like Seth to safely evict them.

                              http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?se...cal&id=6215911

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                              • #30
                                Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

                                the perils of penelope pitstop :)

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