Combes

Social Bee-stortion: Exploring Pesticide’s Effects on Pollinators

November 08, 2018
Quick Summary
  • Researchers observed the effects of imidacloprid, a pesticide, on bumblebee behaviors within the hive
  • To study this hidden world, they outfitted bumblebees with tiny QR code tags and tracked individuals with video
  • They found imidacloprid disrupts nest behavior, causing reduced growth in exposed colonies 

A pesticide banned in the European Union but still in use in the United States is proving to have detrimental effects on pollinators.

Flight Turbulence: New Study Explores How Flies Navigate Unstable Convective Air

October 26, 2018
Quick Summary
  • A new study provides detailed data on how insects navigate convection cells
  • These flights required insects to invest more time and energy, with around 34% failing to maintain flight trajectory
  • The study highlights challenges insects might face in urban environments, where surface temperatures soar

When insects migrate over vast distances, many take advantage of a natural phenomenon called thermal convection, which causes flow movement when air at

Training a Bee to Fly Upwind: Stacey Combes’ Research Reveals the Complex Biomechanics that Help Insects Survive

March 14, 2018

Associate Professor Stacey Combes has long been fascinated by how animals move. In her lab, she uses high-speed imaging at 1,000 to 5,000 frames per second to reveal the behaviors and physiological traits that shape insect behavior and survival. One thing she’s learned is that bees, which are critically important pollinators, are actually quite clumsy.