Not strictly entomological… but still worth a look! GigaPan is a US company that creates interactive gigapixel images. This technology was developed through a collaboration of Carnegie Mellon, NASA and Google. It was developed for NASA’s rovers to capture high definition panoramas of Mars. Thankfully Jay Longson a graduate of UC Santa Cruz realised that the … Continue reading
Most entomologists will be familiar with the idea of polyethism – the idea an ant will conduct different roles inside the colony at different times in its life. This behaviour is not novel, but has recently been demonstrated on an unparalleled scale. Danielle Mersch and her colleagues tagged every single worker in six colonies of Camponotus … Continue reading
A study recently published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B suggests that honey bees may communicate using the electric fields that build up on their wings when they fly . The authors showed that electric fields change the position of the bees’ antennae. This in turn affects the sensory Johnstone’s organ the base of the … Continue reading
Not quite ants, bees or wasps, but still pretty cool. In arid, sandy soils ranging from Angola to South Africa, “fairy rings” of perennial grass species dot the landscape. These rings have inspired ecological and mythological speculation about their origins. Norbert Jürgens of the University of Hamburg in Germany has worked on these rings for years … Continue reading
I’m sure that caffeine has many positive effects for me. And it turns out that the little brains of honey bees are influenced as well. Some plants are effectively drugging the bees with caffeine. It was thought that caffeine was an anti-herbivore response. But it modifies bee brains as well. In a long-term memory experiment … Continue reading
This video shows bees mobbing a wasp present in their hive. The close-up demonstrates them generating heat by contracting their wing muscles.