bugs

It’s Time to Talk About Bugs

White-lined sphinx moth from Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that insects take up the most space on the taxonomic web of life? Did you know that about 75% of flowering plants are pollinated by insects? You might have also heard that insect biodiversity is on the decline. Sadly, what you may have hear is right. In a paper published in the Journal ‘Biological Conservation’lead authors Francisco Sánchez-Bayo and Kris A.G.Wyckhuys state “almost half of insect species are rapidly declining and a third are being threatened with extinction”.

Can you imagine a world without insects? To some it may sound like a dream come true but insects are integral to the functioning of our world! From the food we eat to the waste we excrete, we have insects to thanks (we would literally be swimming in detritus if not for decomposers!). Tune into this episode where we show these important little creatures some well-deserved attention!

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Checking out bugs with Peter Heule: Q&A with the Royal Alberta Museum’s live animal supervisor

Terra Informer Olivia deBourcier interviewed Peter Heule, a live animals supervisor at the Royal Alberta Museum, about bugs. Originally aired on The Gateway Presents, we’ll hear about butterfly migration, what animal science is all about, how kids understand bugs better than grown ups think, and what a wild world there is left to discover!

The Good News: The Big Bee!

In light of the bad news about insect populations, there is hope! Recently, the world’s BIGGEST BEE, thought extinct for 38 years, has been found alive on the Indonesian islands of the North Moluccas. As long as an adult thumb, with jaws like a stag beetle and four times larger than a honeybee this dinosaur of a bee continues to be threatened, particularly by deforestation for agriculture, but the very fact that it persists suggests that extinction is not inevitable! Hannah Cunningham explains in this ecobabble the ways that we can all help pollinators keep on keeping on!

From planning what you plant, building bee hotels (a simple DIY bee hotel) to reducing your use of pesticides, there are many ways you can make your world more pollinator friendly

Related Links

National Geographic

The Guardian

Fundrive: Studying, and Eating, Insects

On Halloween night, Terra Informa went LIVE for our Fundrive episode and helped the station surpass its $105,000 fundraising goal! Thanks so much to our amazing donors! If you missed hearing the show live, or just loved it so much that you need to listen to it again, we’ve got you covered. And the best part? This episode is all about bugs.

First, we chatted with University of Alberta palaeontology grad student Emily Moore about giant Mesozoic Era insects. Then we jump from the distant past into the future, where crickets could become a significant source of sustainable protein. We spoke with Silvia Ronzani and Claudio La Rocca of Camola Sustainable Bakery, who use cricket flour in all their baked goods including their delicious bugscotti. Grossed out? Intrigued? Listen here:

Download episode here.

Download program log here.

Photo by: Max Pixel.

Them’s The Eats

Hawkers' Market in Edmonton (Photo credit: Trevor Chow-Fraser)

Hawkers’ Market in Edmonton. Photo: Trevor Chow-Fraser.

This week we’re all about FOOD. First off, we’re questioning our food. What does it mean to eat the way we do? Next, it’s about seeing what alternatives could appear—or crawl—onto our plates. And last but not least, we’re on the ground to check out an experiment: what happens when street food goes indoors.

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