The buzz about bumble bees

Western bumble bee (Photo by sydcannings, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Western bumble bee (Photo by sydcannings, CC BY-NC 4.0)

The western bumble bee is a medium-sized (measuring one to two centimetres in length) bumble bee, with a band of yellow hair across its thorax (the area between the head and abdomen), in line with the base of its wings. It also most often has a...

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The Friday Five: Conservation and nature stories from around the world that caught our eye this week

Eared grebe (Photo by evwalters, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Eared grebe (Photo by evwalters, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Each week, countless inspiring and informative stories are published about conservation successes or discoveries in nature and wildlife around the world. Here are some of the conservation and nature stories that caught our attention the week of...

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Tricks in disguise: Fools and facts in nature

Self-portrait of a Celebes crested macaque female (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

Self-portrait of a Celebes crested macaque female (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

A friendly exchange of practical jokes and hoaxes often poses no harm, especially on such a day as April Fools’ Day. But there are some real tricksters in nature that will fool even the most attentive eyes and ears. On April Fools’...

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Small but mighty — Migrating green darner dragonflies

Common green darner (Photo by Nancy Norman, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Common green darner (Photo by Nancy Norman, CC BY-NC 4.0)

In February when I wrote this blog, I was thinking about my “snowbird” colleagues taking vacations to escape the cold, Canadian winter. Little did I know that right around that time, a species of dragonfly was beginning to migrate...

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Meet your butterfly neighbours

Great spangled fritillary butterfly (Photo by Monica Seidel)

Great spangled fritillary butterfly (Photo by Monica Seidel)

Did you know that there are over 300 butterfly species in Canada, with 150 in Ontario alone? While most people are familiar with the iconic monarch and swallowtail butterflies, there are many other species fluttering around that would love to meet...

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Weston Family Conservation Science Fellowship Program

Sundial lupine in the oak savannah (Photo by NCC)

Sundial lupine in the oak savannah (Photo by NCC)

It’s a sunny June day with only a slight whisper of wind in the trees. I am walking slowly through an oak savannah with Angela Demarse, a master's of science candidate at the University of Guelph in Ryan Norris’s lab. We are in search...

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Reducing light pollution is a simple way to help insects

Frosted elfin butterfly (Photo by Geoff Gallice, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0, generic license, Wikimedia Commons)

Frosted elfin butterfly (Photo by Geoff Gallice, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0, generic license, Wikimedia Commons)

Have you ever noticed moths vigorously flapping around your porch light? Well, they’re probably mistaking it for the moon, according to The Guardian. And sadly, most insects trapped in this cycle are dead by morning, either from exhaustion...

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A rare encounter with a rare species

Allison Patrick stands among the tall grasses and wildflowers at NCC's property on Hog Island. (Photo by NCC)

Allison Patrick stands among the tall grasses and wildflowers at NCC's property on Hog Island. (Photo by NCC)

As a conservation biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in Fredericton, I spend each summer working in some of the most beautiful parts of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. One of my favourite areas in New Brunswick is...

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What happens to invasive species in the winter?

Second-year garlic mustard plant (Photo courtesy Invasive Species Centre)

Second-year garlic mustard plant (Photo courtesy Invasive Species Centre)

With winter arriving in Canada, the scenery of fully leafed plants and active wildlife transitions to quiet, snowy winters. With this change in seasons, invasive species may become out of sight and out of mind. But they always seem to come back...

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Don’t trust lady’s-slippers (if you’re a bee)

This honeybee was tricked into pollinating this yellow lady’s-slipper. (Photo by Steven Anderson/NCC staff)

This honeybee was tricked into pollinating this yellow lady’s-slipper. (Photo by Steven Anderson/NCC staff)

Before I began working at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), I spent six years studying the pollination of two species of lady’s-slipper orchids in Manitoba and the northern U.S. While I no longer spend all of my time thinking about...

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