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Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

What happens behind the scenes at the Museum? Why is it important to preserve the 70 million specimens in the collections? And how relevant is the research of Museum scientists to today’s challenges, like biodiversity loss and the spread of tropical disease?

The BBC documentary, Museum of Life, will answer these questions, and many more.

The series will be shown on BBC Two at 8pm for 6 weeks, from Thursday 18th March.

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‘Enter the alien and dangerous world of Northumbrian wood ants. Peter France takes an extraordinary journey across the seasons.’ Episode 1 on iPlayer here.

Details of episodes 2-5 here.

Each episode is only available for 7 days.

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It is rare for any species of animal to regularly kill its own in combat. However, male Dawson’s bees, one of the world’s largest bee species, are so aggressive that they kill each other en masse in a bid to mate with females.

The bees enter a frenzy of fighting, and by the time their deadly combat is over, every male bee is either killed or has perished. The extreme behaviour, which can lead to even females being killed, is caught on film by a BBC natural history crew.

Dawson’s bees (Amegilla dawsoni) are large burrowing bees that nest in the baked soil of the Australian outback.

[Read full article] (includes great footage from the BBC series Life)

ETA: Amegillas form a genus of large bees that has around 250 species. Some of its members are important agricultural pollinators in Australia and other tropical and sub-tropical areas. The blue-banded bee uses vibration to obtain pollen (buzz pollination). The beautifully named teddy bear bee is also a species of amegilla.

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A couple of interesting video talks from TED. Credit to Bug Girl for links to these.

Dennis vanEngelsdorp: a plea for bees.

Deborah Gordon: How do ants know what to do?

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A video of paper wasps (Polistinae) at the nest

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The following film segment is from the documentary ‘Ants: Nature’s Secret Power’ which I came across on Myrmecos blog.

Anyone know if this documentary happens to be available on DVD (Region 2: UK)?

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