Interactive Earth Day 2020 Google Doodle gets sweet on bees

Image of Google Doodle.

(CNET) To mark this year’s Earth Day, Google partnered with The Honeybee Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting bees, to construct an interactive Doodle that features a bee going about its important business of pollinating flowers. You can use your mouse to guide the bee from flower to flower, getting pollination done and unlocking cool facts about bees and their importance to sustaining life on Earth.

Manuka honey used to make electrospun wound dressings

Image of bowl of manuka honey.

(EurekAlert/Shinshu University) Manuka honey contains multiple bioactive ingredients that aid in healing. Electrospinning is a type of fiber production that uses electrical force to draw extremely fine threads from polymer solutions. Researchers at Shinshu University in Japan have found just the right technique for spinning dressings made with manuka honey that are antimicrobial, breathable and can promote wound healing in virto.

Pollen-based ‘paper’ holds promise for new generation of natural components

Image of scientists showing pollen-based paper.

(EurekAlert/Nanyang Technological University) Scientists at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) have created a paper-like material derived from pollen that bends and curls in response to changing levels of environmental humidity. The ability of this paper made from pollen to alter its mechanical characteristics in response to external stimuli may make it useful in a wide range of applications, including soft robots, sensors, artificial muscles, and electric generators.

Photographing insects in the field: basic tips for success

Image of beetle on leaf.

(Entomology Today) If you’ve tried using a macro lens to photograph arthropods in the field, you know it can be far more challenging than shooting in the lab or studio. As the lens gets closer to the subject, a movement of even 1 millimeter can throw your target area out of focus. Here are some tricks we use to obtain sharper, more detailed, and better-composed macrophotographs in the field.

Bee Vectoring Technologies contracts with three new growers to kick-start us west coast expansion

Image of people in field.

(Yahoo Finance) Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. announced that it has closed three new grower deals with berry producers in Oregon and Washington states. These new customers will use BVT’s proprietary bee delivery system for fungicides on portions of their blueberry and raspberry crops in the upcoming growing season. These new deals also mark the first commercial use of BVT’s recently announced patent-pending computer-controlled honey bee hive dispenser system.

These tiny, plastic-munching caterpillars can clean up our world – but there’s a catch

Image of waxworm.

(USA Today) The waxworm, researchers discovered in 2017, is seemingly able to eat through common types of plastic — including polyethylene, a non-biodegradable type of plastic that is the most commonly used worldwide. Waxworms are not an end-all solution to plastic waste, however. Wax larvae are pests for bees, naturally feeding off honeycomb and running the risk of reducing their populations — and those of plants and crops.