Honeybees on honey comb in hive

Bee colonies are beset by pathogens and parasites, which can in some cases severely reduce their productivity. Help may be at hand from a seemingly unlikely source: cannabis.

Honeybee immunity could be supported to supplementing their diet with hemp extract, according to new research from Poland. …


Two dancing praying mantis

We, the writers of Insects and That, spend a fair bit of time trawling academic papers, searching for something that could work as an accessible tale of insects, and/or human relationships with them.

It’s very rare that a paper is just sitting there, without any need for creative interpretation. But…


Originally published in It Was All a Zine, June 2021

All the small towns of England. All the short walks into fields sown with seeds of doubt, primed to sprout. All the bodies buried amidst mossy soil and roots of trees engraved with the names of lovers not so much…


Wildfire engulfs forest

There are a good number of insects that have the word ‘fire’ in their common name. …


Ants drinking puddle of water
Hydration is important when you’re doing another creature’s work. Photo: gamagapix from Pixabay

Ants: famously hardworking, loyal and abundant. Qualities that are good for the success of the giant family that constitutes a colony, but also looked upon fondly by those who would seek to exploit them. …


Clothes moth on surface
Not guilty? It looks a bit sheepish. Photo: Olaf Leillinger

Forensic entomology is not for the faint-hearted. While insect-related evidence has been known to be used in the odd civil case, for the most part, it’s about creating a narrative around human death, often in grisly circumstances, based on insect feeding and reproduction on, in and around cadavers.

It requires…


Scarab beetles mating
Let’s get it on. Photo: Bernard Dupont/ Wikimedia Commons

Insects would appear to be strong subscribers to the mantra of ‘fake it ’til you make it’, whether that’s non-threatening species evolving to share the colours or patterns of those that are, those that hoodwink other insects into sharing their brooding locations, or those that fake the aesthetics of their…


Dragonfly in shadow

The fact there are just so damn many insects can feel daunting — I imagine even to seasoned entomologists at times. But at risk of seeming like I’m quoting directly from a sunset motivational meme, with abundance comes great opportunity.

As just a small hint of such possibilities, a friend…


OPEN PEN ISSUE TWENTY

Photo http://www.grungetextures.com/

It’s not all bad, we can still see the sky. That’s a plus.

Reds and greys everywhere. I like to imagine the collections of pigeon shit up top; the smell of it close up.

‘If You Can’t Wall Them, Wall Them’ was the slogan they went…


Fruit fly on damaged raspberry
Photo: Hannah Burrack, North Carolina State University, Bugwood.org

When a pest gets an abbreviation, you know it’s serious. Such is the case with Drosophila suzukii, spotted-wing drosophila, or more commonly-known, simply SWD.

It’s a name extremely familiar to growers of soft fruit, but no so much by the general population — aside from the time it enjoyed a…

Gary Hartley

Writer of different things. Come for the insects, stay for the odd literary works, or vice versa. @garyfromleeds https://medium.com/insectsandthat

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