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What a Buzz!

Honey Bee

Right out of Champaign, Ill., comes a research story about honey bees on coke. Cocaine. University of Illinois entomology and neuroscience professor Gene Robinson and his colleagues have found that honey bees on cocaine dance more. "In a study...

Honey Bee
Honey Bee

GATHERING NECTAR--This honey bee at the University of California, Davis, is gathering nectar on Cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens). Newly published research from the University of Illinois finds that honey bees on cocaine dance more, and that the bees are motivated by feelings of reward. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, December 29, 2008 at 6:12 PM

Not Brotherly Love

Dead bees

'Tis the season for brotherly love, but not in the bee hive. As the honey-gathering season ends and the weather turns colder, the worker bees (infertile females) push their brothers--the drones--out of the hive. Drones are of no use to the colony in the...

Dead bees
Dead bees

DEAD BEES--Drones are pushed out of the hive, cold and hungry, as the honey-gathering season ends and the weather turns colder. Some of these bees are drones (males) and some are worker bees (infertile females). This photo was taken Dec. 20, 2008. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, December 26, 2008 at 6:49 PM
Tags: dead bees (3), drones (8), winter (11), worker bees (5)

Christmas Cheer

Honey Bee

I always thought the red-hot poker was primarily red. Not. This one in the Storer Gardens at the University of California, Davis, was mostly yellow. It was Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008, five days before Christmas, and a lone honey bee, packed with pollen,...

Honey Bee
Honey Bee

BEELINE--A pollen-packed honey bee makes a beeline for a red-hot poker, variety "Christmas Cheer," in the Storer Gardens at UC Davis. The date: Dec. 20, five days before Christmas. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Red-Hot Poker in Storer Gardens
Red-Hot Poker in Storer Gardens

RED-HOT POKER--The red-hot poker, variety "Christmas Cheer," brightens the Storer Gardens at UC Davis. A bench awaits visitors. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, December 25, 2008 at 7:02 AM

Christmas Bug

Ladybug on gardener's glove

If there ever were a Christmas bug, it would be the ladybug, aka lady beetle. The insects (family Coccinellidae) are brightly colored and spread joy in the garden when they feast on aphids. Last summer we enjoyed watching them hanging out and hooking...

Ladybug on gardener's glove
Ladybug on gardener's glove

LADYBUG--You should treat the ladybug with kid gloves; it's a beneficial insect. Here a ladybug, aka lady beetle, crawls on a gardener's glove. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Christmas bug
Christmas bug

CHRISTMAS BUG--The ladybug is the perfect Christmas bug--she's brightly colored and spreads joy in the garden when she devours aphids. This one heads for the garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2008 at 1:31 PM

Superman, Meet the Super Girls

Honey Bee

You're sitting around discussing the importance of honey bees. The points include: they give us honey, they pollinate agricultural crops, and they serve as an example of a well-organized society. But wait, there's more. They scare off plant...

Honey Bee
Honey Bee

A HONEY OF A BEE--Newly published research in the journal Current Biology finds that the buzz of honey bee wings scares off plant predators, like caterpillars. This bee is gathering nectar from a guara. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at 3:23 PM

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