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Category archives for Insects

Terrestrial Conservation on Tetiaroa

On Tetiaroa Marlon Brando wanted to “to maintain the natural beauty of the atoll setting” and as our expedition draws to a close we too are marvelling at the natural marine and terrestrial beauty of the atoll.

Dung Beetles: how tough are these savanna insects?

    “Why? What if….? How does this happen?” I asked a simple question in June 2014, when I stepped out of our lime-green LandCruiser (lovingly named “Kermit”) and into the Kenyan savanna. For the last decade, biologists and ranchers and natural historians have noticed the creeping invasion by the big-headed ant (Pheidole megacephala), but…

Systematically Surveying the Ants of Tetiaroa

Ants are one of the best hitchhikers in the world. This is so true that in the Pacific, it’s hard to unravel whether the ants on even remote motu are native or ancient introductions with original voyagers.

Getting Stung for Science in the Rain Forest

Today I was stung by a livid South American wasp for the 70th time. But it’ll all be worth it if I can learn what drives the startling social relationships of these amazing insects.

Tiny ants may pose a big threat for diversity in Laikipia

In the shadow of Mt. Kenya, everyone has a story about a small, shiny ant that steals their cooking oil and sugar. When the seasonal rains come, they retreat into their underground nests, but they strike with full force during the dry months. The “big-headed ants” (Pheidole megacephala, which literally means “big head”) don’t bite or…

Learning to See the Forest for the Bees at Olympic National Park

“How many species of bees do you think there are?” I realize at this moment that I can only think of about three, which is clearly the wrong answer. JD Herndon and Houston Guy, entomologists who have come up to Washington State from Utah, wait patiently with little grins on their faces. They know most…

Would You Walk Into a Room With Millions of Bees?

Explorer and National Geographic grantee Chris Bashinelli visited rural Uganda to do a cultural exchange with small-scale farmers. He decided to face his fear of bees by going right into an apiary filled with venomous bees.

The Race to Find Fish Feeds That Don’t Bankrupt the Ocean

Wild fisheries are stable at best and declining at worst. That means we need aquaculture to meet the world’s growing demand for protein. And to feed the world sustainably, the industry has to figure out how to feed farmed fish without using wild fish stocks. Fish feed stood out in our Fish 2.0 Market Report research as a huge opportunity for innovation. Most farmed fish need some form of prepared feed…

Invasive Ants Eradicated from Tiritiri Island

Ants are often an unwelcome pest species, particularly on islands, and so its great news this week that one of the world’s worst invasive ant species – the Argentine ant, has been successfully eradicated from Tiritiri Island.

Watch: Monarch Butterflies Get Tiny Radio Trackers

National Geographic grantee Martin Wikelski tries to put electronic tags on free-flying monarch butterflies for the first time ever in order to track their remarkable migration.

WATCH: Billions of Bugs Feast on Flesh and Dung in Borneo

Just in time for Halloween, follow cave ecologist and National Geographic grantee Donald McFarlane through Borneo’s “Cockroach Cave,” where every surface vibrates with cockroaches and other guano-grubbing and flesh-feasting creepy-crawlies.

Dumbledores and Bumblebees

It may interest you to know that one of this generation’s most iconic characters, Dumbledore, takes his name from an Old English term for the bumblebee. It’s easy to see why J.K. Rowling could be so inspired, bumblebees never seem incessantly busy like their honey-crazed counterparts and they tend to “bumble” along alighting among  flowers…

Divers Search for Tiny Animals in Iceland’s Fissures

“The reason I wanted to learn to dive, ” says National Geogrphic grantee Jónína Ólafsdóttir, “was because I wanted to see different areas and species that you can’t access very easily.” This far north, she’s found what she’s been looking for.

“Beyond Boundaries” Into The Wilderness

INK Talks is an inspirational conference platform committed to spreading disruptive ideas and inspiring stories from the most unexpected sources. At INK 2014, the speakers were asked to describe why and how they were going “beyond boundaries” in their own work and daily lives… Please watch and share this INK talk: https://youtu.be/Z5RLTzya0v8

March 8, 2015: Bee Stings, Tiger Farms, Deadly Sugarcane and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they survive moose and cold temperatures to win the Yukon Quest, live in the wilderness for 8 months with moth-eating bears, photograph bees, learn about Mayan achievements, investigate China’s tiger farms, understand Nicaragua’s sugarcane worker health crisis, study the sunset’s colors, myth-bust “clean coal”.