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Amazing space photos, courtesy of NASA: https://www.cnet.com/pictures/nasa-spitzer-telescope-celebrates-15-years-of-astounding-images/ More interesting plant pollinator interactions: Flower Mimics The Smell of Dying Honey Bees to Attract Pollinators I visited Kilarney last weekend, I wanted to see a puffin and I did not. Alas! Cream puffins: CREAM PUFFIN SWEETIE PIES On a more serious note, I mentioned to the bus […]

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I’m loving Sinead Burke right now…I heard her do a Moth story (you know I love The Moth), and this article is awesome: Sinead Burke: Why I Chose To Embrace My Differences More beautiful Irish language for the landscape, arguing that part of the loss of Irish as a language is a loss of our […]

Links to share: Pollinator papers edition

You may be thinking that robots can replace bees for crop pollination, but there are a lot of good reasons why that will not work. I know that Walmart has a patent for pollinating drones…although I do not underestimate humanity’s ability to develop new and clever technologies, if we want diversity in our diets (and […]

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Just had to share this article about wildebeests…How Noisy Males Control the Gnu’s Cycle Scary article about Candida auris infections…a fungal infection that is resistant to known medications and is very difficult to contain…and can be deadly: The Strange and Curious Case of the Deadly Superbug Yeast Ants that live inside acorns and what they […]

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This crazy project trying to develop nesting habitat for solitary, ground nesting bees: https://carnegiemuseums.org/magazine-archive/2013/summer/article-371.html A pretty exciting progression on the path to better recycle plastics! This plastic-eating bacteria naturally evolved on a dump in Japan, and scientists were able to isolate and improve the enzyme used to break down the plastic in a lab. Let’s […]

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UPDATE: I’m updating this to add this excellent article on forest bathing. Get thee to a forest! Suffering From Nature Deficit Disorder? Try Forest Bathing Are there more Hymenopteran (bees, wasps, ants) species than beetle species? Yes, probably. Also Hymenoptera FTW! Move Over, Beetles: The New Champions of Diversity Are Parasitic Wasps Shamefully, I didn’t […]

Declines in insect biomass

I had a surreal conversation with my (conservative) uncle this Christmas. It went a little like this: Me: A study in Germany this year showed a large decline in insect biomass…75% over the past thirty years or so (Hallmann et al 2017, open access). We call it the “windscreen effect“, where when you used to […]