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Reports On Wildfires In The Western U.S.; Technology`s Role In Monitoring The Health Of Insects; Robot "Dogs" Aiding The Military. Aired 4-4:10a ET
Aired September 14, 2020 - 04:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz reporting from a remote location this week because our normal bookshelf spot was all booked up. And
to start things off on CNN 10, we`re heading out West where large wildfires have been reported in 12 states.
From Alaska to California, to New Mexico to Montana and every state in between, more than 4.5 million acres have burned according to the National
Interagency Fire Center. It says that more than 30,000 firefighters and supporting workers have been deployed to the West to fight the blazes. At
least 33 people have died in the region and officials say dozens more are missing. California seems to be the hardest hit state at this point.
It`s the site of 24 wildfires but 12 or more have been reported in each state of Idaho, Oregon and Washington. These satellite images show you how
the cities of Talent and Phoenix, Oregon have been devastated. Long-time viewer Michael Torenson (ph) tells us that thousands have been evacuated in
southern Oregon, half a million people statewide have been told they may have to evacuate.
Like California, Oregon is no stranger to wildfires. The state`s governor says they typically destroy half a million acres each year but she adds
that more than a million acres were lost in this past week alone.
And neighboring Washington is struggling with its second worst wildfires in state history according to its governor. Miles away from the fires
themselves, there are problems in the air. Major League Baseball and the National Football League were monitoring air quality yesterday in advance
of games played out West. Clean air centers have been opened in parts of California to give relief to people who have nowhere else to go. The
problem can be seen as well as felt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s like the apocalypse right now. It`s like nighttime in the daytime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re saying it`s coming all the way from Oregon which is hundreds of miles away.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 11:15 in the morning and it`s like the middle of the night almost.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these insects has the shortest life span? Firefly, Honeybee, Termite or Cicada. Of these options, the worker honeybee
has the shortest lifespan at around 40 days.
But what an important 40 days that is. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has credited pollinators, including bees, for playing a role in about a
third of our food supply. For decades, bee colonies have been decreasing in America though they`ve been growing elsewhere.
From the middle of the last century until now, U.S. bee colonies have declined from about 6 million to less than 3 million. But worldwide
colonies have increased from less than 50 million to more than 90 million and those include the one in Ireland we`re about to visit which is using
modern technology to help an ancient practice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a centuries old tradition and not for the faint hearted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Getting a little excited now. They don`t want anyone to touch their honey.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Regular hive inspections are necessary to see if it`s healthy, that the queen is alive allowing the colony to grow. With up to
50,000 bees in each box, examinations can take several hours and can be labor intensive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re such a magnificent creature. Collectively, these little creatures are so important to the survival of our planet, to
economies. I just think that we -- we should be protecting them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See the honeybee is not a mere honey producer. One-third of all the world`s food crop production like almonds and avocados depend on
pollinators. Pollination from insects, mainly bees, contribute up to $181 billion worth to the agri food industry annually.
But whole colonies are being ravaged by diseases and the use of pesticides and fungicides in farming. Last year in the United States, bee keepers lost
43 percent of their colonies. The good news though is that SmartBee technology could be coming to the rescue. High up in the Wicklow Mountains,
about an hour south of Dublin in Ireland, Simon Lynch (ph) has been part of a testing ground for new emerging SmartBee technology over the last two
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is our queen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A small Internet connected sensor has been placed under the roof of the hive where it measures temperature, humidity, sound and
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re got beehives here in Ireland, in the UK, and South Africa, over in the USA and what we`ve been doing for the last two
years is collecting data from these beehives, building a giant beehive database.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Irish start up ApisProtect claims its sensors can help reduce losses and improve the health of honeybees worldwide by alerting
beekeepers immediately if there`s a problem in the hive. The technology allows beekeepers like Simon (ph) to remotely monitor their hives so that
they can more quickly and more easily check whether there`s a problem. It`s hoped that this technology will allow commercial beekeepers to upscale
their business ensuring more pollination and more food for a growing, global population.
See, pollination is one of the most important, biological processes on our planet. When bees go out to forage, they collect nectar and pollen to bring
back to their colony. As it lands on a flower, the bee gets covered in pollen, a dust like substance produced by the flower that contains the male
As the bee moves from flower to flower, the pollen falls off hopefully dusting the female reproductive structure that fertilizes the plant`s
reproductive organs kick starting the production of seeds and new plants. Beekeeping may be an historic tradition but smart technology hopes to
ensure it has a fruitful future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: From bees to dogs, we`re moving up the food chain today. There are records of canines having been used in warfare for thousands of years and
these four-legged helpers recently participated in a military exercise in Nevada. Technically they`re known as autonomous, unmanned ground vehicles,
UGVs but we like to call them robot "dogs".
They`re equipped with a number of sensors and radios and they`re mission in this exercise was to scout for threats outside a cargo plane before the
human troops came out and were exposed to danger. So they`re not attack vehicles, they`re information gathering ones. We don`t know the cost. But
the electronics network, Engadget reported that the company that makes these robot "dogs" was trying to develop a similar quadruped (ph) at a
price point of $1,500.
If you`ve ever wondered how fast do Emperor penguins walk, the answer is not very but they can keep up with people. At least this one did while
following a group of expeditioners in Antarctica.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) catch up buddy. See. Yes. I know. I know. Come on.
AZUZ: The researcher who recorded this video told Storyful that every time he talked to the penguin, the animal responded.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make sure to keep up buddy. Hey. Yep.
AZUZ: So that`s how they went, having a nice conversation as the penguin slid along on its belly. The Australian Antarctic Program says sometimes
Emperor penguins just want to tag along. Well why no? He`s "king". He`s having a "royally" good time and if the ice sheet is like a red carpet, he
should totally "pengwin" the title for best supporting "octor". OK. We know penguins aren`t technically "octs" but we can still "oct" like
if for the sake of a really good "punguin". I`m Carl Azuz. Tok, Alaska is where we wrap up today`s show. Shout out to the students of Tok School.
That`s all for today`s edition of CNN.