Agriculture
Chicken Eggs as Drug Factories
Silk’s superpowers
New Gene Fights Potato Blight
Amphibians
Salamanders
Newts
Frogs and Toads
Animals
Elephant Mimics
Fishy Sounds
Staying Away from Sick Lobsters
Behavior
From dipping to fishing
Brainy bees know two from three
Pipefish power from mom
Birds
Dodos
Condors
Seagulls
Chemistry and Materials
Salt secrets
Atom Hauler
Heaviest named element is official
Computers
Hubble trouble doubled
New twists for phantom limbs
Programming with Alice
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Watery Fate for Nature's Gliders
Ferocious Growth Spurts
Dinosaur Eggs-citement
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Wave of Destruction
A Dire Shortage of Water
Environment
Fishing for Fun Takes Toll
The Down Side of Keeping Clean
Island Extinctions
Finding the Past
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
Of Lice and Old Clothes
Fish
Lampreys
Eels
Pygmy Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Packing Fat
A Taste for Cheese
Eat Out, Eat Smart
GSAT English Rules
Capitalization Rules
Problems with Prepositions
Who vs. Whom
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Mathematics
Detecting True Art
Monkeys Count
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Human Body
Gut Microbes and Weight
Football Scrapes and Nasty Infections
Surviving Olympic Heat
Invertebrates
Daddy Long Legs
Snails
Wasps
Mammals
Raccoons
Seal
African Wild Dog
Parents
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Children and Media
Physics
Thinner Air, Less Splatter
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Electric Backpack
Plants
Flower family knows its roots
Farms sprout in cities
The algae invasion
Reptiles
Komodo Dragons
Iguanas
Crocodiles
Space and Astronomy
Evidence of a Wet Mars
A Dead Star's Dusty Ring
Intruder Alert: Sweeping Space for Dust
Technology and Engineering
Model Plane Flies the Atlantic
Slip Sliming Away
A Micro-Dose of Your Own Medicine
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
Pronouns
What is a Noun
Transportation
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Weather
Where rivers run uphill
A Dire Shortage of Water
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™