An interview with entomologist May Berenbaum about bees and more

Some buzz about bugs: In a recent “Science Talk” podcast, May Berenbaum, an entomologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (and one of the ‘go to’ experts on bees for the mass media), discusses bees, insects and films about Earth-invading insects. One of her research team’s interesting recent finding is that when bees eat their natural foods of pollen, honey and ‘bee bread’ (a fermented mixture of honey and pollen), certain bodily functions are turned on (“upregulate, including detoxification functions. When bees are fed HFCS or sugar water (during the winter, for example), these functions aren’t activated, perhaps weakening bees’ ability to remove ingested contaminents. On a lighter note, Berenbaum also talks about the “Insect Fear Film Festival” that she helps run at the University of Illinois (which the Ethicurean who is an alum of U of I never attended, regrettably), the misguided strategies of invading extraterristrial insects and spiders in the movies, and the X-files character that was loosely based on her. The audio file is currently available for download or streaming, with a complete transcript to be posted in the near future. (Scientific American)

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