VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
Category archives for Insects
When I was a child, I found that insects were like marvelous animals full of colors and shapes. While studying and learning about them, I also discovered that they had really interesting behaviors. Now as an iLCP Emerging League Photographer and biologist, I have been photographing insects for the last decade, showing how amazing they are, and highlighting what we could lose if we don’t do something right now.
Honey Bees are just one of many bee species important for pollination. Stingless bees, some 500 odd species of them, provide valuable pollination services for crops in tropical and neo-tropical areas, and produce distinctive honey that is used in traditional medicines.
Two years ago, biochemist Federica Bertocchini’s scientific work and beekeeping hobby collided into a major discovery: That wax worms are capable of breaking down plastic.
Kakamega forest played a central role in the Beenomics project for several days. Located in the northwest of Kenya near Uganda, this stretch of rainforest covers about twice the area of Pittsburgh, but is a small relic of a vast tropical forest that once stretched across the continent.
In Kisii, beekeeping is not a hobby. It is an important pillar of the community, not just for the valuable honey it produces, but also the role that bees play in the ecosystem—a role whose function and dynamics are keenly felt by everyone in the region.
Honeybee hives in East Africa seem more resilient than their American and European counterparts, even when faced with similar pathogens. The buzzing question is, Why?
In a cinema on the harbour in Bristol, we were shown two images: one of an urban fox standing on a stone wall in suburbia, ears pricked, head low, amber eyes staring at the camera, and the other, of an endangered Bornean orangutan climbing a tree deep in the rain forest of Gunung Palung…
Oh yeah, I forgot about that… The beginning of any field study includes at least a few remedial lessons. For weeks before I start climbing, I wake up in the middle of the night in a panic that I have forgotten all my knots. I look over old gear lists trying to figure out what…
On Tetiaroa Marlon Brando wanted to “to maintain the natural beauty of the atoll setting” and as our expedition draws to a close we too are marvelling at the natural marine and terrestrial beauty of the atoll.
“Why? What if….? How does this happen?” I asked a simple question in June 2014, when I stepped out of our lime-green LandCruiser (lovingly named “Kermit”) and into the Kenyan savanna. For the last decade, biologists and ranchers and natural historians have noticed the creeping invasion by the big-headed ant (Pheidole megacephala), but…
Ants are one of the best hitchhikers in the world. This is so true that in the Pacific, it’s hard to unravel whether the ants on even remote motu are native or ancient introductions with original voyagers.
Today I was stung by a livid South American wasp for the 70th time. But it’ll all be worth it if I can learn what drives the startling social relationships of these amazing insects.
In the shadow of Mt. Kenya, everyone has a story about a small, shiny ant that steals their cooking oil and sugar. When the seasonal rains come, they retreat into their underground nests, but they strike with full force during the dry months. The “big-headed ants” (Pheidole megacephala, which literally means “big head”) don’t bite or…
“How many species of bees do you think there are?” I realize at this moment that I can only think of about three, which is clearly the wrong answer. JD Herndon and Houston Guy, entomologists who have come up to Washington State from Utah, wait patiently with little grins on their faces. They know most…
Explorer and National Geographic grantee Chris Bashinelli visited rural Uganda to do a cultural exchange with small-scale farmers. He decided to face his fear of bees by going right into an apiary filled with venomous bees.