Monarch butterfly populations are crashing — but we can choose to do something about it

Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are some of the most iconic insects around. But they are uniquely threatened and earlier this month, Mexico’s Commission for National Protected Areas announced that the number of monarch butterflies has dropped to frighteningly low levels. The monarch butterfly population returning to their winter habitats fell by 59% this year, making it the second lowest level since scientists started keeping records....

Originally posted on salon.com

Hexagon heaven: Scientists reveal bees and wasps use the same math to build their nests

Hexagons are mutually associated with bees and wasps, as both insect species build their nests using this humble six-sided shape. Anyone who stumbles upon a bee or wasp nest in nature will be greeted by rows and rows of dozens of tiny symmetrical hexagons. But these bug aesthetics are completely functional and used by the insects to store their food and raise their young....

Originally posted on salon.com

Wasps are some of nature’s smartest, meanest and most misunderstood bugs

Wasps are some of the most misunderstood creatures on the planet, but you definitely do not want to harass them. Although the ubiquitous insects are quite pretty — northern paper wasps, for example, sport various shades of black, yellow, brown and gold on their exoskeletons — these particular wasps are also quite aggressive if they believe their colonies are being threatened....

Originally posted on salon.com