Bee-Friendly Lawns and Cockroaches

Published on July 4th 2019

Bee-Friendly Lawns

Minnesota state will pay its residents to keep more bee-friendly lawns.
Tim Walz, Governor of Minnesota, signed a series of bills amongst which one was the provision of 900,000 USD for helping homeowners populate their lawns with bee-friendly plants.
The initiative aims to help the rusty patched bumblebee, Bombus affinis, survive.
The bee species, previously well established in the upper Midwest and parts of Canada, has experienced a decline in population by almost 90%.
Native plants such as grasses, creeping thyme and dutch white clover, could help the bees not just as a source of nourishment, but as potential habitat.
Scientists at the University of Minnesota say that small actions, such as letting lawns grow a little longer, can already aid pollinators.
"We want you to still be able to have that family picnic, we want you to be able to have a catch on the lawn," James Wolfin, a graduate student who works at the University of Minnesota's Bee Lab, says, "and we want you to put a little bit of food there to support the pollinators."


Cockroaches have become harder to kill, and soon 'almost impossible', according to new research.
Scientists at the Purdue University in Indiana spent six months trying to eradicate German cockroaches (Blattella germanica L.), one of the most common species of household cockroach in the US, Australia and Europe, from three low-rise apartment buildings in Illinois and Indiana. They used three different types of pesticides in various application forms.
They found that cockroaches were able to develop a "cross-resistance" to multiple types of pesticide, meaning that those which survived the spraying would go on to survive other eradication attempts even if a different class of pesticide was used.
"We would see resistance increase four- or six-fold in just one generation," the study's lead author Michael Scharf said. "We didn't have a clue that something like that could happen this fast."
"Cockroaches developing resistance to multiple classes of insecticides at once will make controlling these pests almost impossible with chemicals alone," Scharf said.
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