UPDATED: Can we talk about this Cheerios thing?

A very interesting thing has happened this week*! Cheerios, a cereal maker if you weren’t familiar, has started a new “conservation” initiative to “save the bees”! My liberal usage of quotation marks demonstrates how mixed my feelings are on this effort. I find it fascinating. Of course, it has generated a huge controversy in my […]

Links to share

Moar photos: https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2016/12/top-25-news-photos-of-2016/509516/ I have thoughts on this but shouldn’t share them haha (disclaimer: I’m a cyclist): http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/16/505877101/britains-transport-secretary-doors-cyclist-as-seen-in-video I should do a post on Wolbachia: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/12/when-an-animals-sex-is-set-by-a-microbe/510737/ OMG, I just found out about this pitcher plant that thrives on tree shrew poo…did you know about this and not tell me?!  Amazing…article and paper Speaking of pitcher […]

Links to share

FEATHERED DINOSAUR TAIIILLLLL (If you didn’t already know this, you heard it here first!): http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/12/feathered-dinosaur-tail-amber-theropod-myanmar-burma-cretaceous/ Australian photo contest: http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/science-environment/2016/12/ecology-in-action-2016-photography-winners-announced?adbsc=social_20161201_68391176&adbid=10154118445703339&adbpl=fb&adbpr=100614418338 Four periodic elements named! http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/01/science/periodic-table-new-elements.html?_r=1 Marine pollinators…tiny crustaceans (i.e. arthropods I like to call ocean insects) pollinate sea grasses: http://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-just-discovered-there-are-bees-in-the-oceans (PS I resent them being called bees) Dumbledore means bumblebee! http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-dum1.htm All the awesome things bees do: […]

Bees are vegan wasps…except these bees

When I’m talking to a broad audience of people who may or may not have experience with bees, I generally introduced them as “vegan wasps”. From an evolutionary perspective, this is true: i.e. bees are wasps that started collecting pollen instead of insect prey as the main protein source to provision their offspring. It also […]

Sweat bees, syrphid flies, drought, and humidity

All in a summer’s field work! This field season has been very rough because of epic drought coupled with record heat and humidity, which led to plagues of sweat bees (especially the tiny subgenus Dialictus) and hordes of syrphid flies of nightmare proportions, all of which adore sweaty, sweaty field biologists. I’ve never been particularly […]

Links to share

Colors in nature! http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-36674573 Why do sunflowers turn with the sun? http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/08/05/488891151/the-mystery-of-why-sunflowers-turn-to-follow-the-sun-solved I’ve always thought this about fax machines: http://www.theonion.com/article/report-fax-machines-still-pretty-impressive-if-you-21256 Yes! Let’s make observing insects fun for everyone! Why not? 🙂 http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/08/06/488830352/the-app-that-aims-to-gamify-biology-has-amateurs-discovering-new-speciesf Mound building spiders?! Yes, please: http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/environmental/disassembling-the-mason-spider-s-mound/article_3a6d7d98-4ff3-59f0-91ad-4f2516da929b.html Yay kakapos! http://www.earthtouchnews.com/conservation/success-stories/baby-boom-for-one-of-the-worlds-rarest-parrots How caddisflies build their cases: Sparkly butt spiders! (again no blue pigment, just structural […]

Bees use tiny hairs to sense electric fields

I will have a “links to share” post soon (they’re building up in my drafts box), but I had to have a post just for this NPR article on how bees detect electric fields. I wrote about the importance of electricity in plant-pollinator interactions last year; this is a follow up study elucidating the mechanism […]