Bug of the Day

Happy Pollinator Week! This week BotD will be featuring some of the hundreds of pollinator photos I’ve been hoarding since last year :-). This is a honeybee that got caught partying out of the hive past curfew, and ended up spending the night outside on one of my mountain mint plants (yep, insects will collect dew the same as plants if they are around til the wee hours).

After my research project on honey bee parasites started getting so much attention, UMD asked if they could put me in their advertising 😅😅 soooo Check out the new face of “Fearless Research”  at the University of Maryland! Its definitely premature for them to say that my work “Saves The Bees” but I am holding out hope that it will be the breakthrough that gets us to that answer! 

Bee glue: Honey bee (Apis mellifera), using its hind leg to collect the dark resinous sap oozing from a scarred mesquite tree. At the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, in Phoenix Arizona. 

The sticky goo, called propolis, is used by bees to patch hives or seal off unused entrances. It is used by people (who steal collect it from domesticated bees) in a variety of folk remedies, and in varnishes for string musical instruments. 

Bonus etymology: Propolis is a transliteration of the Ancient Greek πρόπολις, meaning suburb. It was applied to the bees’ gooey glue because of their apparent use of the material to extend their hives.