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[翻译]新闻传真 - 科学家称空气污染对蜜蜂造成威胁

来源:慢速英语   时间:2013-11-04 12:44:19

From VOA Learning English this is As It Is.

Welcome back. I’m Caty Weaver. Today, we go to a school near Washington where meals are being served up fresh and healthy.

今天,我们来到华盛顿郡附近的一所学校,他们的供餐新鲜、健康。

But first, we talk about the health of a very good friend to farmers: the honeybee. Pollution from diesel-powered vehicles could be harming the insect’s sense of smell.

不过首先,我们来谈论农民的好朋友——蜜蜂——的健康。燃油车辆造成的污染会损害这种昆虫的嗅觉。

Bees are important to human beings. The insects pollinate about 70 percent of the world’s food crops. But honeybees are in real trouble. Each year, about one-third of bee hive populations are destroyed by a mysterious disease called colony collapse disorder.

蜜蜂对人类来说很重要。这种昆虫能够为世界上 70%的粮食作物传播花粉。但蜜蜂现在面临真正的麻烦。每年,蜂箱内都有1/3 的蜜蜂被一种叫做“蜂群衰竭失调”的神秘疾病所伤害。

Scientists have found several reasons for the falling number of honeybees -- from poor hive care to parasitic organisms. But a new study suggests that air pollution also might be a cause. Avi Arditti reports.

科学家发现蜜蜂数量减少的若干原因,从蜂箱维护不善到寄生生物。但一项新的研究显示,空气污染也可能是原因之一。

Air Pollution: Honeybee Hazard

空气污染:蜜蜂的灾难

Imagine a honeybee’s world: the insect depends on its eyesight and sharp sense of smell to pollinate plants.

想象蜜蜂的世界:这种昆虫依靠自己的视力和敏锐的嗅觉为植物授粉。

“Now, it’s faced with a sea of chemistry every time it goes out on a foraging expedition. So what it has to do is decipher and discern between those different chemicals to home in on the plants that it knows are going to give it the best reward in terms of nectar and pollen.”

“现在,每当它们外出觅食,它们就要面对化学物质的海洋。而它们要做的就是从植物上辨别出不同化学物质和那些能给自己带来最好回报的花蜜、花粉,把它们带回巢中。”

That is Tracey Newman, a neurobiologist at Britain’s University of Southampton. She served as lead investigator of the new study.

这位是英国南安普顿大学的神经生物学家 Tracey Newman。她担任这项新研究的主要研究人员。

She says the honeybee uses smell to find, identify and recognize the flowers they like. She says her team wanted to learn how pollutants might affect that process. Their study asks this question:

她说,蜜蜂通过嗅觉来发现、分辨和识别它们所喜爱的花。她说,她的团队想了解污染如何影响这一过程。他们的研究提出了这样的问题:

“If you have flowers and flower volatiles – flower perfumes – coming off an environment that is polluted, is the bee compromised in any way in its ability or its effectiveness to find the flowers that it’s looking for? And in particular, what we wanted to know is not the direct impact on the bee itself, but on the flower chemistry that the bee is having to find.”

“如果花和花香来自受污染的环境,蜜蜂能否通过自己的能力以某种方式发现自己所寻找的花?特别是,我们想知道的不是对蜜蜂自身的直接影响,而是对蜜蜂所寻找的花粉物质的影响。”

Bees find these flowers by memorizing scents in the environment. The researchers used honeybees in controlled laboratory experiments. The bees were taught to link the smell of rapeseed flowers with nectar. Then, Ms. Newman says, the researchers added diesel exhaust to the mix. They wanted to see how well the bees could identify the smell in the polluted air.

蜜蜂通过记忆环境中的气味来找到这些花。研究人员在可控制的室内实验中使用蜜蜂,让它们将油菜花的气味和花粉联系起来。然后,Newman 女士说,研究人员向混合物中添加柴油废气。他们想了解蜜蜂在受污染气体中辨别气味的能力。

“And (we) saw marked changes in the responses of the bees to that new, newly altered scent. The response rate in the bees went down to only a quarter of the original learned response.”

“我们发现蜜蜂对这种新气味的反应有显著改变。蜜蜂产生反应的比例下降到了原先的反应的 1/4。”

The scientist says nitric oxides in diesel fuel waste reacted with chemicals from the flower and changed or destroyed them. That process puts already troubled beehives even more at risk. Ms. Newman says the influence of diesel exhaust had never before been noted in connection with honeybee health, until now.

科学家称,柴油燃料废物中的氮氧化合物与花粉中的化学物质发生反应,改变或破坏了它们。这一过程已经对蜂房产生了很大的影响。Newman 女士说,柴油废气的影响在此之前从未被拿来与蜜蜂的健康联系在一起。

“However, if you think of a situation, which isn’t hard to imagine, where a bee is dealing with viral infections, mite infections, all the other stresses it has to deal with, another thing that makes it harder for the bee to work in its environment, so adds to that list of stresses, is likely to have detrimental consequences.”

“然而,如果你考虑一个不难想象的场景,一个蜜蜂正在应对病毒感染、螨虫感染或所有其他需要应对的困扰,而另一个困扰从环境中出现,使蜜蜂更难工作,这就很可能产生不利后果了。”

Tracey Newman and her team have begun field studies to see if they can reach similar findings in the wild. Their report was published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

Tracey Newman 和她的团队已经开始了现场研究,看看他们能否在野外得到相似的结果。他们的报告发表在《自然》期刊的科学报告上。

I’m Avi Arditti.

You are listening to As It Is, from VOA Learning English.

Students Enjoy Fresh Food from Local Farms

学生享用来自当地农场的新鲜食物

Now we go to Hagerstown, Maryland, where school children enjoy locally-grown fruit made with the help of local bees! The students are part of a growing movement to get schools to use local farm produce.

下面我们来到马里兰州的黑格斯敦,这里的学生享受到了在当地蜜蜂帮助下种植的水果!这些学生来自一个正在发展的运动,要求学校使用本地农场的产品。

We recently visited the Ruth Ann Monroe Primary School during lunch. The students lined up for a serving of roast pork. The meat came from a local farm.

我们最近在午饭时间到访了露丝•安•门罗小学。学生们排队领取烤猪肉。这些猪肉来自一个当地农场。

Jeffrey Proulx leads the food and nutrition services department for all the public schools in Washington County, Maryland.

Jeffrey Proulx 主管马里兰州华盛顿郡所有公立学校的食品和营养服务部门。

“We’ve also got local apples. Today’s feature is a Golden, or a Yellow Delicious. This is from an orchard here in Smithsburg, from Rinehart Orchards.”

“我们还有本地苹果。今天的特色是金冠苹果。它们来自史密斯伯格的一个果园,莱因哈特果园。”

Rinehart Orchards supplies about 85 percent of the apples for the County’s schools. The business is part of a growing number of farm-to-school partnerships in the United States.

莱因哈特果园为该郡 85% 的学校供应苹果。该业务是在美国不断增加的农场-学校合作项目的一部分。

American public schools feed more than 30 million boys and girls a day. About 20 million of them come from poor families. They depend on federal money for their school meals.

美国公立学校每天为 3000 万男孩女孩提供食物。他们中有大约 2000 万来自贫困家庭。他们依靠联邦资金提供的学校餐。

Jeffrey Proulx says most schools do not cook fresh meals anymore.

Jeffrey Proulx 说,多数学校不再做新鲜膳食。

“We have gone to, really, box-to-oven products. Fully processed, prepared items that are more heat-and-serve. So, we are definitely taking a stretch back to our roots, which is, actually, cooking food.”

“我们不再有真正的烘烤制品。提供的都是经过完全处理的‘加热即食’的东西。因此,我们实际上是在回到我们的根本,也就是真正的烹饪食物。”

Many experts say processed school meals are adding to the nation’s childhood obesity problem. But new government rules aim to make school food healthier. Mr. Proulx says fresh foods make it easier to lower the levels of salt and fat in a child’s diet.

很多专家称,经过加工的学校供餐增加了全国儿童的肥胖问题。而新的政府政策旨在让学校食物更健康。Proulx 先生说,新鲜的食物更易于降低儿童餐饮中盐分和脂肪的标准。

“The way to reach those levels is to prepare it ourselves, and to really control what is in the product by sourcing it ourselves.”

“达到这些标准的方法就是我们自己准备,并且通过自己供货来真正控制产品中的含量。”

And buying from nearby farms also helps the local economy, says orchards owner J.D. Rinehart.

果园所有者 J.D. Rinehart 说,从附近的农场购买还可以帮助当地经济。

“That enables us to update our facilities, to buy equipment locally. Keeping the money right here in the region is huge, not only for us but for the people that benefit from us purchasing.”

“这使得我们可以更新自己的设施,自己购买设备。把资金保留在本地区是很可观的,不仅仅是为我们,也是为了那些从采购中受益的人。”

Mr. Rinehart says it also just makes good business sense.

Rinehart 先生说,这还使生意更好做。

“Your transportation cost is low. And you don’t have to go to use a broker or a seller that will take a commission off of you.”

“你的运输成本很低。你不需要通过中间人或零售商,他们会从你那里拿走回扣。”

Money stays in the local economy and school kids get fresh food. It is easy to see why farm-to-school programs have spread fast. In 1997, six American states had such programs. Now all 50 states include them.

资金留给了当地经济,而学生得到了新鲜食物。这就很容易理解为什么农场-学校项目传播很快。1997 年,美国有 6 个州拥有这种项目,而现在所有 50 个州都有了。

But the United States is not the world leader in the movement. Carmen Burbano is with the World Food Program. She says Brazil is the biggest farm-to-school success. It is linked to the “zero-hunger” anti-poverty policy of former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva.

但美国并不是这项运动的世界引领者。Carmen Burbano 在世界粮食计划署工作。她说,巴西的农场-学校项目获得了最大的成功。这与前总统路易斯•伊纳西奥•卢拉•达席尔瓦的“零饥饿”反贫困政策有关。

“One of the cornerstones of that plan was the school feeding program. But in 2009, they realized that this program, which was costing the government quite a bit of money, could also help to connect that program with family farmers.”

“这项计划的基石之一就是校园供餐计划。但在 2009 年,他们意识到这个有些耗费政府资金的项目还可以将其与农户结合起来。”

The program now requires that 30 percent of school meals come from local farmers. It has been so successful that Brazil is now helping several African countries set up their own programs to help young students and farmers.

该计划现在要求 30%的学校供餐来自当地农户。它在巴西非常成功,现在还帮助非洲国家创立了他们自己的项目帮助年轻学生和农户。

And that’s As It Is for today.

I’m Caty Weaver. Thanks for listening. What would you like to hear about on our show? Let us know. Go to our website, www.voanews.cn.