Bees

By carrying pollen from plant to plant in their quest for nectar, bees help to facilitate plant reproduction, giving bees an essential role in the sustainability of our agriculture.  Bee populations have been threatened over the last decade by a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder, where the bees leave their hives and never return.  This year, however, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) released positive … Continue reading Bees

Vines

Plants grow in interesting ways. You may have noticed that your houseplants “lean” towards the window, seeking the sunlight. This movement towards light is called phototropism. Tropism is a general term referring to any instance of growth or movement of an organism in response to the environment. Vines display another kind of tropism known as thigmotropism, meaning they respond to touch. In this set of … Continue reading Vines

Seeds of poison: new research suggests that the world’s most widely used insecticide is linked to declining bird populations

As children, we learn about one of Nature’s most beautiful and ingenious inventions:  the seed. We learn that the coat of a seed provides both protection and nutrition for the fledging plant inside. We learn later in life about the less beautiful truth of commercial seeds. Our modern-day seeds are often covered in a layer of synthetic chemicals, designed to protect the plant from pests … Continue reading Seeds of poison: new research suggests that the world’s most widely used insecticide is linked to declining bird populations