Nations at War: National Insect Week? National Pollinator Week?

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.


More like this

Speaking of bug horror movies: If you can make it to Champaign-Urbana this weekend, the 2010 Insect Fear Film Festival will feature The Black Scorpion (1957) and Ice Crawlers (2003). The grad students are assembling art displays, face painting, and an impressively large arthropod petting zoo. The'…
Birds, bees, bats, butterflies and other species that pollinate North American plant life are steadily vanishing, according to a study released recently by the National Research Council. This "demonstrably downward" trend could damage dozens of commercially important crops, scientists warned, since…
This is an article from the Christian Science Monitor: "What's happening to the bees?: Suddenly, the bees farmers and growers rely on are vanishing. Researchers are scrambling to find out why." Worth a read. Here's why we might care: While staple crops like wheat and corn are pollinated by wind…
For those of you accessible to central Illinois, I will be hosting a free insect photography workshop next Sunday at the University of Illinois Pollinatarium.  The workshop is offered in celebration of the 3rd annual National Pollinator Week. Details are as follows: Insect Photography Workshop…

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 ..

By pete cranston (not verified) on 22 Jun 2010 #permalink

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!

By palaeodave (not verified) on 23 Jun 2010 #permalink

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!

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.

By palaeodave (not verified) on 29 Jun 2010 #permalink