(The Art Newspaper) The sculpture is able to absorb up to 15% of her own weight in nitrogen dioxide molecules. When it rains, the absorbed toxins are washed away as a harmless liquid, enabling the continuous ingestion of pollution from the surrounding air. Nitrogen dioxide can mask the scent of flowers, thus preventing bees from finding their food.
(Massive Science) Bees have evolved to become extremely successful pollinators, and generally have a mutually beneficial relationship with plants. But nectar-robbing is a behavior in which an insect lightly bites a small hole in the a flower’s tissues at the base of the petal to access nectar, without performing the act of pollination. It can have a profound impact on a plant’s ability to reproduce.
(University of British Columbia) Scientists are unraveling the mysteries behind a persistent problem in commercial beekeeping that is one of the leading causes of colony mortality: queen bee failure. This occurs when the queen fails to produce enough fertilized eggs to maintain the hive. New research has identified specific proteins that are activated in queen bees under different stressful conditions (extreme heat, extreme cold, and pesticide exposure) that can affect the viability of the sperm stored in the honey bee queen’s body.
(Cosmos) An interview with Australian entomologist Bryan Lessard – aka “Bry the fly guy” – about his interest in all things buggy, insects’ importance to the way the nature works, and their growing importance as part of the solution to feeding the world. Some cultures, of course, have always consumed them.
(The Columbian) People are few and far between on the Washington State University Vancouver campus these days, but a trio of graduate biology students intend to start filling the landscape with native wildflowers and the pollinators that love them. Their goal is to achieve the Bee Campus USA designation for WSUV’s 351-acre spread from the Xerces Society.
(Penn State) The Augmented and Mobile Learning Lab, part of Penn State’s College of Education, is looking for study participants to help test an educational app for iPhones and iPads. To be eligible to participate, families must meet a list of criteria.
(Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology) Researchers showed that tobacco hawkmoths lost attraction to the scent of their preferred flowers when that scent had been altered by ozone. This oxidizing pollutant thus disturbs the chemical communication between a plant and its pollinator. However, when given the chance, hawkmoths quickly learn that an unpleasantly polluted scent may lead to nutritious nectar.
(KHON2) The Hawaii Attorney General joined a multi-state coalition in an ongoing lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) improper use of the pesticide, sulfoxaflor. The Attorney General argued that due to its toxicity, sulfoxaflor poses risks to pollinators – like bees – that are essential to agriculture and the ecosystem.