Bees fly near a thermosolar hive in Chrudim. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Why These Bumblebees are Wearing Itty-Bitty QR Codes
Researchers superglued QR codes to the backs of bumblebees to look at how worker bees know to jump in and collect food when a designated forager dies. The technique can also help researchers understand lots of other bee behaviors, including the abnormal kind that can result as populations are threatened by pesticide use.
Soup, Beer, and Soap from Food Waste? Dutch Shoppers Say Yes
The Wageningen branch of Jumbo, one of the biggest Dutch supermarket chains, and 18 additional Dutch companies have launched the Verspilling is Verrukkelijk, or “Waste is Delicious,” initiative as part of a new national program, United Against Food Waste. The government is aiming to halve the amount of food thrown away by its 17 million people to become the first country in Europe to meet this global development goal by 2030.
The Next Big Thing in Agriculture: Smart Collars for Cows
Several startups are betting that high-tech collars for livestock could render the fences obsolete, enabling farmers to round up animals more easily. Virtual-fencing startups on at least three continents are looking to sell the collars, which track an animal’s location and use audio signals and mild electric shocks to direct movement. Their products are supposed to make shifting a herd as easy as drawing a line on a smartphone app.
The USDA Says Crispr-Edited Foods Are Just as Safe as Ones Bred the Old-Fashioned Way
The USDA announced that it would no longer regulate crops that have been genetically edited. The decision only applies to crops that have had some genes taken out, or which have had genes that are endemic to the species added to them. Transgenic crops, which are modified to include DNA from other species, will still be closely monitored by the regulatory agency.
Young Saint Lucians Set to Change the Agricultural Sector
The Climate Smart Greenhouse, created by two young scientists, is going to change the reality of food production in Saint Lucia. The controlled environment allows farmers to manipulate the temperature, humidity, energy from sunlight, and atmospheric conditions. Researchers hope to create a database and consultancy program, which will inform local farmers when and how to change the conditions as well as soil nutrient content when needed.