Backpack-toting moths can drop sensors where people can’t

Tiny sensors that weigh less than jellybeans and ride on the back of moths may help researchers study places too dangerous for people to get to.

Sarah McQuate-Washington • futurity
Oct. 12, 2020 ~5 min

insects sensors drones moths science-and-technology

Some bees are born curious while others are more single-minded – new research hints at how the hive picks which flowers to feast on

New research suggests individual bees are born with one of two learning styles – either curious or focused. Their genetic tendency has implications for how the hive works together.

Chelsea Cook, Assistant Professor in Biology, Marquette University • conversation
Oct. 5, 2020 ~7 min

genetics insects bees biology food colonies communication group-dynamics drones queen-bees information curiosity foraging nectar

These leaf droplets are great food for insects

Tiny droplets on the edges of blueberry bush leaves offer beneficial insects more than a drink, research finds.

Todd Bates-Rutgers • futurity
Sept. 29, 2020 ~4 min

conservation insects plants wasps ecosystems earth-and-environment

Monarch butterflies' spectacular migration is at risk – an ambitious new plan aims to help save it

Can a plan that brings together government and private landowners create enough habitat for monarch butterflies?

D. André Green II, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan • conversation
Sept. 18, 2020 ~9 min

conservation insects migration wildlife-conservation pollinators trump-administration endangered-species habitat butterflies endangered-species-act

New ‘soft’ tick shows up on New Jersey bats

The "soft" tick C. kelleyi parasitizes bats. Its appearance in New Jersey may signal risks to people, pets, and livestock.

Todd Bates-Rutgers • futurity
Sept. 9, 2020 ~4 min

insects bats ticks parasites health-and-medicine

Blame milkweed loss for steep monarch declines

Loss of milkweed is the most likely reason for the incredible loss of monarchs, a new study of 1.4 million butterflies shows.

Fred Love-Iowa State • futurity
Sept. 4, 2020 ~5 min

conservation insects plants butterflies earth-and-environment

Why wasps become so annoying at the end of summer

Finally we have a word to describe why wasps bother you in late summer: furlough.

Seirian Sumner, Professor of Behavioural Ecology, UCL • conversation
Aug. 27, 2020 ~7 min

insects summer interdisciplinarity wasps furloughed-wokers

‘Cyborg’ locusts could sniff out bombs

"People use pigs for finding truffles. It's a similar approach—using a biological organism—this is just a bit more sophisticated."

Brandie Jefferson-WUSTL • futurity
Aug. 20, 2020 ~7 min

insects smell senses locusts featured science-and-technology explosives

Honey bees can't practice social distancing, so they stay healthy in close quarters by working together

Life in a honey bee hive is all about cooperating for the collective good.

Phil Starks, Associate Professor of Biology, Tufts University • conversation
Aug. 14, 2020 ~9 min

covid-19 insects immune-system bees cooperation social-distancing pollinators beekeeping pathogens honeybees behavioral-ecology

Air pollution could be making honey bees sick – new study

Honey bees in the most polluted parts of an Indian city were more likely to die sooner and showed clear signs of poor health.

Mark Brown, Professor of Evolutionary Ecology & Conservation, Royal Holloway • conversation
Aug. 10, 2020 ~7 min

insects bees air-pollution india pollinators pollination honey-bees bangalore