biology zoology blog bee insects honey

Bee Prospectors

Bee Prospectors can be paid for their services in sugar water

Not only was I good as a child in distinguishing (by taste) different kinds of tea, like Ceylon broken orange pekoe, Assam orange pekoe or Darjeeling flowery orange pekoe (well, my grandfather was a tea merchant), I also had a good tongue for different kinds of honey – and I still have my favourites. Actually for hundreds or even thousands of years (the bee is said to have been mentioned in the Bible at least 40 times) the medicinal qualities of honey have been appreciated by humans around the world and many a folk remedy incorporates this sticky insect product. —>—>

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biology zoology blog goldfish environment

The worst Environment on Earth

Is the goldfish bowl the worst environment on Earth?

People have frequently asked me: “You have travelled all over the world and seen so much – which is the worst place for an animal to live?” What can I reply? A fish won’t last long on dry land; an earthworm would be very unhappy in the desert; a penguin would hate the tropical jungle, and a hummingbird might answer “Scotland”. Seriously, if you are adapted to a place or an environment, you’ll find that place to your liking; if not, you’ll curse it. —>—>

biology zoology insects pearl mussels

Pearl Mussels in Peril

Is there any help for pearl mussels?

We hear and read so much about plants and animal species being threatened by extinction, but not all species make headlines, like for instance the freshwater pearl mussel with the beautiful name Margaritifera margaritifera. Not only oysters and other marine molluscs produce pearls: the freshwater pearl mussel of the holarctic region on both sides of the Atlantic has for centuries yielded valuable wild pearls, too. But the times when these bog mussels were literally plastering the beds of fast flowing streams of areas poor in nutrients and calcium are nearly over – and that despite the fact that this animal can probably reach an age of 200 or even more years. —>—>