Monthly Archives: February 2012

Bees Decide

In Spring, some honey bee colonies will swarm. Worker bees will leave the hive with their queen in search of a new home. This honey bee swarm will rest in a temporary location while scouts locate a suitable new home … Continue reading

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Stinging Insects

Most people will be stung by a wasp sometime during their lifetime. Few bother to look at the stinger up close. The typical response is to swat or run away. The wasp stinger is a modification of the ovipositor, the … Continue reading

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It Takes Gall

Cynipids are tiny wasps known for their ability to create plant galls. The wasp lays its egg inside the plant tissue. The larva secretes substances that drastically alter the plant tissue for the benefit of the wasp. The outer appearance … Continue reading

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A Little Help

To grow and reproduce, plants must have some defense against herbivores that eat them. One form of defense is to call for help from other insects. As stated in the ancient proverb, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” … Continue reading

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Living With Varroa Mites

by jjneal Honey bees in the US are under stress from a variety of factors including parasites. The Varroa mite, Varroa destructor, was first detected in the US in 1987. Varroa mites, if not managed by bee keepers, can kill … Continue reading

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Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: Follow the Leader

Tent caterpillars are conspicuous because they live together in groups and create “nests of silk webbing in the crotches of trees. During the day, tent caterpillars lounge in the protective confines of the nest. At night, when predators and parasitoids … Continue reading

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Butterfly Pupae in Living Color

by jjneal Butterfly collectors have known for over a century that the background color of the environment can affect the color of the chrysalis (pupa) of some species of butterfly. The Black Swallowtail butterfly, Papilo polyxenes, has a range of … Continue reading

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