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insects

A Plant That Eats Bugs

28 Aug 2020

The Venus flytrap is a carnivorous plant well known for its ability to lure insects (and arachnids) into its “capture organ.” Once they enter there is no escape. The organ shuts tight and the...

Bees vs Wasps: A Case of Mistaken Identity

9 Aug 2018

As a trained entomologist (insect biologist) I am innately irked when one of my beloved insects is mis-named in public, but especially so when a beneficial one is maligned by association with a...

Is it true that some candies are coloured with insect extract?

20 Mar 2017

Yes some candies and other foods can be coloured with cochineal extract which is an approved food additive. Hernan Cortez was the first European to learn about this colourant when he became...

Critter Cuisine

20 Mar 2017

We hear a lot about food these days. Whether it is about healthy choices, food security and feeding the planet, environmental impacts of food production or the science of GMO biotechnologies,...

There ain’t no cure for the summertime buzz!

20 Mar 2017

There’s a buzz in the air these days, a loud one. I’m sure you’ve heard it but it could have easily been mistaken for a malfunctioning drone plane stuck in the trees. The sounds of summer are...

Ants in Our Homes

20 Mar 2017

There are various insecticides that will eliminate ants. Chlorpyrifos is probably the most effective and is available in a number of commercial versions containing 0.5% of the active ingredient. It...

The Bombardier Beetle and its' "Chemical Bombs"

13 Mar 2017

Based on their ability to discharge “chemical bombs” when threatened, bombardier beetles are aptly named.  Beetles are different from other insects in that while they can fly, they cannot do so...

Carmine Dye and the Cochineal Insect

15 Feb 2017

At least in a manner of speaking. When Hernan Cortez came to America in 1518 he was intrigued by the beautifully coloured Aztec fabrics, particularly the stunning reds. He asked the natives about...

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