Worker Wasps Sneak Out to Lay Their Eggs in Neighboring Nests

Image credit: Thomas Hinsche/imageBROKER/Corbis

By cadging a free ride for their offspring, female workers may boost their chances of passing on their genes

Cooperative insects like bees and wasps all pitch in for the good of the hive, raising the queen’s offspring without a thought toward producing their own, right? Not so fast—in the common wasp, about one percent of workers defect from their own hives to lay eggs in a foreign one.

Read the full article in Smithsonian.

Animal magnetic sense comes from protein that acts as a compass

Image credit: Donna Apsey/EyeEm/Getty

Quick – can you tell where north is? Animals as diverse as sea turtles, birds, worms, butterflies and wolves can, thanks to sensing Earth’s magnetic field.

But the magnet-sensing structures inside their cells that allow them to do this have evaded scientists – until now.

Read the full article in New Scientist.

Bumblebees adapt to climate change by evolving shorter tongues

Photo by Christine Carson

Two alpine bumblebee species, formerly picky eaters, are expanding their palates – by shortening their tongues.

As the climate warms, their homes near the peaks of the Rocky Mountains have fewer flowers than before. At Pennsylvania Mountain in Colorado, for example, the number of flowers the bees feed on has dropped by 60 per cent since the 1970s.

Read the full article in New Scientist.