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  • David Miller/ABC News(NORWICH, N.Y.) -- It can be hard to see how important honeybees are to daily life. Just by looking at fully grown oranges, apples and almonds, the honeybee wouldn’t necessarily get marquee credit for their growth.But, bees pollinate around 70 percent of the world’s crops, according to Cornell University, and without them, there’s no easy way to pollinate the fresh foods that need to be grown and harvested.The vast farming operations around the country keep bees in high demand almost year-round and it’s up to commercial bee keepers to make sure farmers have their pollinators.One of those beekeepers, Chuck Kutik, rents his bees out across the country, throughout the year. He said there's one crop that demands more bees than any other -– almonds. In the winter, Kutik, and commercial beekeepers throughout the country, send the majority of the nation's commercial bees to pollinate almonds blossoms.Kutik loads his bees on flatbed trucks that hold 112 palates of beehives and sends them on a multi-day, cross-country journey.Truck drivers have to continue moving throughout the day, only stopping at night, in order to maintain cool temperatures for the bees. If it’s too warm they will be tempted to fly out of their hives.The bees will spend several weeks pollinating the bright white almond blooms. When they are done, they will be taken to the next farm, to a new crop on the east coast.Almond farmer and beekeeper Ryan Cosyns tells us that the price of pollination rental for almonds has nearly doubled since 2005, which is directly related to the increased acreage devoted to almonds.A single hive from Kutik’s farm rented for as much as $200 in 2017, to a California almond farmer.But as the demand for bees has gone up, keeping honeybees healthy has also become more and more of a challenge.According to the USDA, Between 2015 and 2016 the nation's beekeepers lost 44 percent of their colonies."The consensus in the scientific community now is that it's not any single factor that is driving losses of bees," said Scott McArt, an associate professor in the Department of Entymology at Cornell University. "It's multiple factors."He said those factors can include pesticides, insecticides, loss of habitat and climate change.However, as honeybees are dying the overall population of bees has gone up."This is something that a lot of people don’t necessarily understand," said Emma Mullen, an associate in the Department of Entymology at Cornell University, "because if you do track the number of colonies that are in New York or the U.S., they do tend to increase. So what they’ll do is they’ll split their colonies and in that way they can continue to replace the colonies that were lost and grow their operation."In the springtime, beekeepers can take a hive that is thriving and split them, creating two from one. Kutik predicted he would create 6,000 new hives in the spring.When the bees return home to Kutik’s farm, there is still more work to be done; that's when oney production starts. But farmers in the U.S. cannot produce enough honey to meet the total demand across the country.“We only produce, I don't know what it is, 120 million or 140 million pounds of honey in the U.S.," Kutik said. "I think the consumption is 300 [million pounds]. The consumption is way more than we can produce."With so much work to be done by American beekeepers and their bees, can the industry keep up with demand?In this episode of “Food Forecast,” Ginger Zee tags along the route of the bees to the almonds groves of California and talks to the beekeepers along the way.
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  • CVS Pharmacy(WOONSOCKIT, R.I.) -- Drug chain giant CVS Pharmacy announced Monday it will take new steps toward letting customers know when an image used on social media or in marketing and in-store materials has been digitally altered.The company is also making a commitment, starting in April, to not materially alter beauty imagery it creates for its stores, website and marketing materials for social media.The company’s president, Helean Foulkes, said she recognized that CVS has a responsibility as a retail business whose “costumers predominantly are women.”“The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established,” Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy and executive vice president of CVS Health, said in a statement. “As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”The company is introducing a CVS Beauty Mark watermark – a circle with a heart-like shape at the center -- that will appear on all imagery in its stores that has not been “materially altered.”CVS defines materially altered as “changing or enhancing a person’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles or any other individual characteristics.”Customers will begin to see the CVS Beauty Mark on products in April. CVS expects 80 percent of the images in stores to be compliant by 2019, a company spokeswoman told ABC News.By 2020, brand partners will be required to use imagery that is not materially altered or will have to include a disclaimer on the imagery that labels it "digitally modified."CVS Pharmacy has over 9,700 locations. The company made headlines in 2014 when it announced it would stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products, becoming the first national pharmacy chain to do so.The chain has also committed to removing certain "chemicals of concern" from all store brand beauty and personal care items.CVS's latest move follows Getty Images, which announced last year it would no longer accept photos of models' body shapes that have been retouched.The American stock photo agency said it modified its Creative Stills Submission Requirements after a French law that requires clients to disclose whether photos of models have been altered to make them larger or thinner.Changes to hair color, nose shape and retouching of skin or blemishes are still acceptable and are "outside the scope of this new law," according to Getty's website.CVS said it will work with "key brand partners and industry experts" on guidelines to ensure the coming changes are transparent and consistent.The move drew praise from Girls Inc., a nonprofit organization that serves girls ages 6-18 at more than 1,400 sites across the U.S., according to its website. The organization has partnered with CVS on the transparency initiative."As the national nonprofit dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, Girls Inc. is honored to be a partner in CVS Pharmacy’s movement to counter limiting stereotypes too often faced by girls and women," Girls Inc. President and CEO Judy Vredenburgh said in a statement released by CVS. "Allowing diversity and natural beauty to shine will have an immensely positive impact on girls."Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Boston Museum of Fine Arts (BOSTON) --  You've heard of drug-sniffing dogs. But bug-sniffing dogs? Yes, they are part of the canine workforce too.On Wednesday, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts introduced its newest employee: Riley, a Weimaraner puppy, who is being trained to sniff out bugs and other critters that could potentially damage valuable artwork at the museum, reported ABC affiliate WCVB.The museum's deputy director, Katie Getchell, told The Boston Globe that insects are an ongoing concern for museums. Riley will add another layer and help sniff out pests that humans can't see."Weimaraners are incredibly smart and have a powerful sense of smell," said Nicki Luongo, director of the museum's protective services department, at a press conference Wednesday. Riley won't live at the museum, either. He will live with Luongo instead.Although Riley seemed to relish the attention he received at his first work event, the museum said visitors won't see the pup roaming the halls along with the Monets and Rembrandts. He will be used behind the scenes.And it seems like Riley was born to do this work.The American Kennel Club said Weimaraners have "good scenting ability, courage and intelligence" and are "excellent game hunters."Even if the hunt is for bugs.
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  • ABCNews.com(HOUSTON) -- Sometime after Hurricane Harvey hit in August, the owner of La Casa Bakery and Café in Houston found himself in dire straits.The shop had survived the floods but business had tanked. Trinidad Garza, the baker and owner, told his wife that he was preparing to sell it.His daughter Jackie Garza, 18, distraught that her father, a longtime baker, planned to get rid of the family business, came up with an idea.On Dec. 6, Jackie Garza posted a video online of Trinidad Garza in the bakery and shared it on Twitter, telling people about her father's situation."He's been thinking of closing, but I can't let that happen," she said.She implored those on Twitter to spread the word about La Casa Bakery and Café. Just one retweet, she said, “could bring in a potential customer.”The result of that social media post was overwhelming."By the time, I was at work, I was like '1,000 [retweets]?" Jackie Garza told ABC News affiliate KTRK-TV. "I didn't think it was going to grow."But grow it did. There were thousands of retweets and soon people were lined up outside the bakery, even posting their trips to Twitter."I heard that the store owner was thinking about closing it down," Chantile Hermosilla, a first-time customer, said. "I was like, 'Oh, I kinda don't want that to happen.'"Trinidad Garza, in his 70s, said he was incredibly grateful -– and a little surprised."I didn’t even know to use it," he said about Twitter.For now, he doesn't have to worry about learning –- his daughter Jackie Garza has created several social media accounts for the bakery.The Garzas are busy keeping up with the demand at their bakery and happy to be back at work.ABC News' affiliate KTRK-TV contributed to this story.
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  • ABCNews.com(SAN MATEO, Calif.) -- YouTube has finally released a statement about star Logan Paul’s controversial video posted last month, which included images of a body of someone who had apparently killed themselves in Japan’s “suicide forest,” apologizing for the company's lack of communication during the week-long outrage.The statement, which was tweeted from YouTube’s main account on Tuesday, comes one week after Paul shared the video with his 15 million subscribers. In the release, the company expressed that it was upset about the video, stating, “Suicide is not a joke, nor should it ever be a driving force for views.”YouTube acknowledged that it had taken a long time to respond, but said they had been listening to everyone’s comments. The statement also indicated there may be changes in YouTube policies.“We know that the actions of one creator can affect the entire community, so we’ll have more to share soon on steps we’re taking to ensure a video like this is never circulated again,” the statement reads.On Jan. 3, three days after posting the video, Paul announced on Twitter that he was stepping away from posting videos “for now,” and “taking time to reflect.”A petition on Change.org that demanded his YouTube channel be deleted had over 450,000 signatures Wednesday morning.The controversy began when Paul posted a video Dec. 31 of him in Aokigahara, a forest near Mount Fuji, Japan, known colloquially as the "suicide forest," showing what appeared to be a body hanging from a tree.The video was viewed 6 million times before being removed from Paul's YouTube channel.Criticism followed despite two apologies by the star, one on Twitter and another by YouTube video.In Paul's first apology, he said he had wanted to raise awareness about suicide, and denied he was being controversial in order to promote his social media content."I thought I could make a positive ripple on the internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity," he said in his Twitter post."I don't expect to be forgiven. I'm simply here to apologize," he said on the more somber video apology uploaded on YouTube and Twitter Jan. 2. "None of us knew how to react or how to feel."
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