Have you wondered about the buzz in the air this week? Why the world seems to tingle with the excitement of little wings and millions of jointed legs?
No? Well, you're probably on the wrong drugs.
Anyway. This week is National Pollinator Week here in the U.S., where we take time to appreciate the fact that many plants wouldn't be able to have sex and set fruit if not for the multitudes of animals that visit their flowers.
I know. It's June 21-27- the week you've all been waiting for. The Moths! The Flies! The Bees! The Butterflies! Even the Bats, and the Birds!
Many local groups are organizing events to celebrate the importance of pollinators- you can find a list here (scroll down). Here in Champaign-Urbana we've got an all-day Pollinator Discovery Day planned for Saturday, June 26th, at the UI's Pollinatarium. If you'll read the schedule, you'll see that I'll be there. Giving not one, but TWO insect photography workshops, one at 9:00am, and another at 1:00pm.
But what's this?
Across the pond there are more bug festivities! Not to be outdone by the obnoxiously loud Americans, the Brits have countered with a concurrent National Insect Week. The excitement! They are hunting stag beetles, and planting insect gardens!
But the main weaponry employed by the U.K. in this inter-continental skirmish is bug blogging, and to this end they have recruited some fine entomologists, from 11 year old bug expert Rachel McLeod to paleontologist Sam Heads to dipterist Peter Cranston . Plus, many others. It's a veritable bug-blogging extravaganza- you'd better check it out before it crawls under a rock for another year.
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Wow! That Rachel really seems to know what she's talking about. I'm jealous, she's a prodigy! It's great showing adults that cockroaches, and most insects, are for the most part much better alive than dead.
Thanks for the links Alex. The blogathon continues. I don't know how you do it but clearly a (good) picture is worth a thousand words ..
I think it was Rachel who I met a few years ago at a Blattodea Culture Group meeting. I got some nice roaches from her that were happily breeding away in her care and which I have since failed to get a single nymph out of!
Hi Paleodave, email me, and I'll give you some tips. What species was it I gave you? Gromphadorhina oblonganota or Lucihormetica subscincta? So many people talking about me! It's awesome!
Great to see some attention being paid to insects, if only for a week.
Rachel is amazing.
You're quite the celebrity, Rachel! For anyone interested (and who wouldn't be?!), this is the group of cockroach geeks I'm proud to call myself a member of:
That's a very tiny Rachel in the middle and I'm in the white shirt next to her.