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 crane fly is the world's most misunderstood insect that looks like a mosquito, but is actually a fly. Although it might look like the daddy longlegs of mosquitos, it is actually harmless and doesn't suck your blood. In fact, some sources suggest that this insect eats other bugs and mosquitoes larvae, acting as natural form of pest control.
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.
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.
Some bugs, such as water scorpions, long-toed water beetle and predaceous diving beetles (shown below) use the molecular properties of water to create miniature scuba diving tanks and spacesuits. The cohesive forces between water molecules essentially makes water molecules "stick" together, allowing bubbles to form against a wall of tension. These little insects are small enough to take advantage of this, by trapping a bubble in their outer wings or tiny bristles on their shell.
The pitcher plant, much like the Venus flytrap, is a carnivorous plant that survives by digesting insects. It's sweet nectar entices insects to feed off it, though this may come at a cost as they risk falling into a deadly pool of acid at the bottom of the pitcher plant's bucket-shaped leaf.
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.
The most venomous caterpillar in the U.S., known as the furry puss caterpillar (Megalopyge opercularis) sent many people in the eastern U.S. to the hospital last September. While these insects may look soft, their outer comb-over hides small, extremely toxic spines that stick in your skin.
The average termite queen will produce 30,000 eggs PER DAY. And considering these morbidly obese baby-making machines will often live till they're 20 years old, that means 219,000,000 eggs in single a lifetime.
These pretty little insects are blue-banded bees, native to Australia. They use a special technique called 'buzz pollination', which involves vibrating their bodies to shake particles of pollen free from flowers. Crops such as tomatoes, blueberries, eggplants and chillies rely on it.
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