Agriculture
Keeping Bugs Away from Food
Flush-Free Fertilizer
New Gene Fights Potato Blight
Amphibians
Tree Frogs
Poison Dart Frogs
Salamanders and Newts
Animals
Cool Penguins
Return of the Lost Limbs
Spotting the World's Leggiest Animal
Behavior
Why Cats Nap and Whales Snooze
World’s largest lizard is venomous too
Swedish Rhapsody
Birds
Cassowaries
Parakeets
Quails
Chemistry and Materials
Spinning Clay into Cotton
Bang, Sparkle, Burst, and Boom
Cold, colder and coldest ice
Computers
A Classroom of the Mind
Games with a Purpose
The Shape of the Internet
Dinosaurs and Fossils
South America's sticky tar pits
Dino Bite Leaves a Tooth
Dino-bite!
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Undersea Vent System Active for Ages
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
Environment
Fishing for Fun Takes Toll
What is groundwater
Lessons from a Lonely Tortoise
Finding the Past
Words of the Distant Past
Stone Age Sole Survivors
Prehistoric Trips to the Dentist
Fish
Whale Sharks
Seahorses
Freshwater Fish
Food and Nutrition
Chew for Health
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
Building a Food Pyramid
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. Whom
Whoever vs. Whomever
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Math and our number sense: PassGSAT.com
Play for Science
Human Body
Flu Patrol
The tell-tale bacteria
Sleeping Soundly for a Longer Life
Invertebrates
Horseshoe Crabs
Moths
Centipedes
Mammals
Platypus
Elk
Gazelle
Parents
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Physics
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Powering Ball Lightning
Plants
A Change in Leaf Color
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Plants Travel Wind Highways
Reptiles
Alligators
Snapping Turtles
Gila Monsters
Space and Astronomy
Unveiling Titan
Evidence of a Wet Mars
Black Holes That Burp
Technology and Engineering
A Satellite of Your Own
Slip Sliming Away
Toy Challenge
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Charged cars that would charge
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Middle school science adventures
Weather
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Warmest Year on Record
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Add your Article

A Microbe Nanny for Young Wasps

Most parents would never consider putting a baby in a crib full of bees. Some wasp moms, however, do just that. It may sound like child abuse to you. Strangely enough, for the wasps known as beewolves, the behavior actually helps their young survive.

But wait. There’s more. After laying their eggs, female European beewolves also leave spots of white goo near the eggs. This goo is full of protective bacteria.

Scientists have long known about the curious behavior of beewolves. Before a female wasp lays her eggs, she digs a chambered burrow in the sand. Then, she goes out, stings a honeybee so it can’t move, and brings it back to the hole—again and again.

The wasp mom puts between one and five bees in each of the burrow’s chambers. After that, she lays an egg in each chamber and adds a glob of goo that comes out of her antennae. When the babies hatch, they eat the bees, which are paralyzed but still alive.

Scientists from the University of Würzburg, Germany, wanted to know what was in the goo. Using special, high-definition microscopes and genetic techniques, they found a new species of bacteria on the wasp’s antennae. The bacteria belong to a group called Streptomyces. These bacteria end up in the wasp’s goo.

The scientists propose that the bacteria in the goo protect baby wasps from diseases while they spend 4 to 9 months in their chambers. The chambers are warm and humid, perfect breeding grounds for killer germs.

To test this idea, the researchers used a thin glass rectangle to separate 15 baby wasps from their globs of goo. The babies couldn’t crawl on the slime or eat it. Only one baby from this group lived to adulthood. On the other hand, out of 18 babies that had access to their goo, 15 survived.

It’s possible that insect-bacteria relationships like this are common. So far, researchers have found one other example.

Warning: Don’t try this on baby brothers and sisters at home. Bees and bacteria may work for infant wasps, but for little people, warm milk and clean diapers are better bets.—E. Sohn

A Microbe Nanny for Young Wasps
A Microbe Nanny for Young Wasps








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™