Entomology

Environment
4:52 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

NC State Study: Genetic Diversity Key To Honey Bee Survival

Honey bees
Credit David Tarpy

Honey bee populations have been struggling in recent years. New research out of NC State underlines the importance of genetic diversity as key to the honey bees' survival. The study took samples from 80 commercial colonies used to pollinate about a third of the food we eat. It found queens that mated at least seven times were nearly three times more likely to survive the season.

Read more
Environment
9:46 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Ready Or Not, Here Come The Cicadas!

A 17-year periodic cicada from the Magicicada genus, similar to the ones that will emerge in parts of North Carolina.
Credit Bruce Marlin, via Wikimedia Commons

North Carolinians in the western Triangle and Triad soon will be visited en masse by the ear-splitting song of the 17-year cicadas. Over the next ten days or so, cicadas from  a group classified as Brood II will begin emerging from the ground and begin a month-long mating frenzy. The females will lay their eggs by sawing little slits into twigs on trees and depositing their eggs into those slits. When the eggs hatch, the nymphs drop to the ground and tunnel into the soil to feed on tree roots, where they'll stay for another 17 years until they become adults.

Read more