Insects

7:42am

Thu May 9, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Moths That Drive Cars (Really)

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:07 am

YouTube

What you are about to see — and I'm not making this up — is a moth driving a car.

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4:12pm

Tue May 7, 2013
The Salt

Bee Deaths May Have Reached A Crisis Point For Crops

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 8:56 pm

A bee inspector checks on a frame of bees to assess the colony strength near Turlock, Calif., in February. More than 30 percent of America's bee colonies died off over the winter.
Gosia Wozniacka AP

According to a new survey of America's beekeepers, almost a third of the country's honeybee colonies did not make it through the winter.

That's been the case, in fact, almost every year since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began this annual survey, six years ago.

Over the past six years, on average, 30 percent of all the honeybee colonies in the U.S. died off over the winter. The worst year was five years ago. Last year was the best: Just 22 percent of the colonies died.

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2:37pm

Thu May 2, 2013
Research News

Of Flybots And Bug Eyes: Insects Inspire Inventors

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:49 pm

These robotic flies, which were built in a Harvard lab, can flap their wings independently of each other and fly around while tethered to a power and control wire.
Kevin Ma, Pakpong Chirarattananon AAAS/Science

A smartphone can tell you where to get a cup of coffee, but it can't go get the coffee for you. Engineers would like to build little machines that can do stuff. They would be useful for a lot more than coffee, if we could figure out how to make them work.

But the rules of mechanics change at small scales. Friction becomes dominant; turbulence can upend a small airplane.

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2:40pm

Mon April 29, 2013
The Two-Way

Europe Bans Pesticides In Move To Protect Honey Bees

Beekeepers demonstrate at the EU headquarters in Brussels Monday, as lawmakers vote on whether to ban pesticides blamed for killing bees.
Georges Gobet AFP/Getty Images

Three popular pesticides will soon be illegal in the European Union, where officials hope the change helps restore populations of honey bees, vital to crop production, to healthy levels. The new ban will be enacted in December.

"I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over €22 billion ($28.8 billion) annually to European agriculture, are protected," said EU Health and Consumer Commissioner Tonio Borg.

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5:08am

Thu April 25, 2013
Around the Nation

Lady Bugs Protect Mall Of America's Greenery

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Minnesota's Mall of America is home to some 500 stores, a theme park and now some 72,000 ladybugs. Third graders released them inside the shopping center this week. Ladybugs protect the mall's 30,000 plants by eating aphids. Some mall-goers worried the bugs might descend on the food court, but a spokesman says the mall has released the ladybugs for years, and there's been no ladybug takeover yet. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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