Unlike most bees, which hibernate during colder months, honey bees remain active all winter long despite the freezing temperatures.
A honey bee colony’s ability to survive the winter depends on their food stores of honey. Once the colony begins to run out of honey, the worker bees force the useless drones from the hive, to maintain the food store.
As temperatures drop, the honey bee workers form a cluster around the queen and brood, keeping them warm. Bees on the inside of the cluster can feed on the stored honey. If surrounding temperatures rise, the bees on the outside of the group separate a bit, to allow more air flow. As temperatures fall, the cluster tightens, and the outer bees pull together.
As it gets colder, the worker bees actively [ ... ]
The aardvark's outsize snout is tailor-made to house a foot-long, sticky tongue that's the perfect tool for extracting termites from their mound nests. Bush-meat hunters are fond of eating aardvarks, but the "antbear" (Orycteropus afer) is still relatively common across sub-Saharan Africa.
Take a good look at this if your stomach didn't already turn: this photo is a mother centipede protecting her young.
The creatures appears to be an Amazonian giant centipede (Scolopendra gigantean), which is the largest existing species of centipede in the world, reaching over 30 cm (12 in) in length. It is known to eat lizards, frogs, birds, mice, and even bats, catching them in midflight, as well as rodents and spiders.
Sorry, in advance, if it gives you nightmares [ ... ]
Army ants (Eciton hamatum, shown above) can form living bridges without any oversight from a "lead" ant and with a clear cost-benefit ratio. The ants will create a path up to the point when too many workers are being diverted from collecting food and prey. Bridges will be the length of 10 to 20 ants - only a few centimeters, but swarms form several bridges a day, which save collective energy and maximize foraging time. The ants exhibit a level of collective intelligence that could provide new insights into animal behavior.
The world's worst pain comes from bullet ant venom (shown above). According to Wikipedia, the pain caused by this insect's sting is purported to be greater than that of any other hymenopteran, and is ranked as the most painful according to the Schmidt sting pain index, given a '4+" rating, above the tarantula hawk wasp and, according to some victims, equal to being shot, hence the name of the insect. It is described as causing "waves of burning, throbbing, all-consuming pain that continues unabated for up to 24 hours'. The pain is immediate and unlike even the worst physical injuries where your brain eventually has enough of it and blocks out the signal from the offending body part, it does not let go for a good long while.
The long-lasting search and debate around the size and identity of the world's smallest free-living insect seems to have now ended with the precise measurement and second record of the featherwing beetle species (Scydosella musawasensis). Described in 1999, representatives of this minute beetle have recently been retrieved once again from fungus in Colombia. The smallest individual measured the astounding 0.325 mm.
Saharan silver ants live in sands that get as hot as 70°C, but the ants themselves can't get any hotter than 53.6°C. To survive, they've developed a hairy and silvery coating that reflects most of the light that hits them - and keeps them from getting cooked!
Barry from Bee Movie has taught us that without bees, we won't survive. These pollinators may terrify us when they are swarming around out at the park, but they are more terrifying if they were not around.
What is happening to our bees with domestication? What have we lost? What are we trying to restore?
The answers to these questions are in this video. Check it out
According to a new study published in the journal PLOS One, it was found that identical twins are equally attractive to mosquitoes than fraternal - or non-identical - twins. This correlation lead researchers to conclude that mosquitoes might be making preferential choices based on differences in our DNA.
What causes this preferences? While it may be nice to believe that that mosquitoes are attracted to "sweeter blood", it's not true at all. Female mosquitoes - the ones that bite, in order to get protein necessary for egg development - are actually drawn to us by chemical signals related to body odour. [ ... ]
Belonging to the class Arachnida, Amblypygids, also known as whip spiders or tailless whip scorpions, form a separate order of arachnids alongside the spiders, scorpions, and others. The name "amblypygid" means "blunt rump", a reference to a lack of the flagellum ("tail"). They are harmless to humans, and possess no silk glands or venomous fangs. They rarely bite if threatened, but can grab fingers with pedipalps (thorn-like appendages), resulting in thorn-like puncture injury.
Nicknamed ‘goldenbugs’, this pretty little molten gold beetle is the golden tortoise beetle (Charidotella sexpunctata). It grows to around 5.0 to 7.0 mm in length and favour foods such as sweet potato and morning glory. Strangely, it can completely change colour while having sex.
The green wings of luna moths, with their elegant, long tails, aren't just about style. New research finds they also help save the insects from becoming bat snacks by creating a distracting acoustic signal, which causes these predators to zero in on the wings rather than more vital body parts.
A parasitic worm called Onchocerca volvulus affects 25 million people around the world in one of the most revolting ways possible. The larvae of this tiny worm, found in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, can live for more than 10 years in a person’s skin, and that’s not even the worst part - they often make their way into their eyes.
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