Dubbed a “living fossil” by researchers, the Yao silkworm has been domesticated in virtual isolation for a millennium by the Baiku Yao ethnic group in China. New genetic research on the strain finds that the Yao silkworm is a primitive form of the domestic silkworm species Bombyx mori and more distantly related to other wild silkworm species.
When plastic debris pollutes soil ecosystems, some insects may play a role in spreading it by breaking it down into microplastic particles. A new study sheds light on this dynamic by looking at a variety of soil invertebrates and their taste for polystyrene.
In the search for new avenues to protect honey bees (Apis mellifera) from Varroa mites, researchers have identified breeds of A. mellifera that show signs of "social apoptosis," a defense mechanism common in Asian bees that are resistant to Varroa infestation.
A honey bee researcher argues that the biggest threat to honey bees is the industrial agriculture systems they're bred to support, and she urges colleagues to reframe the scope of their research on honey bee health.
A bee researcher describes the discovery of a "stopover" site in Thailand where Apis dorsata honey bee swarms gather to rest during their annual migration between highland and lowland nesting sites.