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Mon Mar 3, 2014, 01:33 PM

How Bees Harvest Plastic Waste for Building Materials

By Sam Brasch on March 3, 2014

In a study published in the journal Ecosphere, a team at the University of Guelph in Ontario discovered bees making their homes out of bits of plastic waste.

Itís an encouraging finding for J. Scott Maclvor, the lead author on the paper and a student at York University, because it shows the bees adapting to an environment dominated by humans and their piles of junk.

Of the many synthetic materials humans have thrown to the wind, plastic proves especially vexing. Itís strong, durable and cheap, meaning that consumers are all too willing to send it to a landfill, leave it on the side walk or mix beads of it into cosmetic products bound for waterways. Some of those plastic compounds can linger in ecosystems for decades.

Still, only a handful of animals have been seen putting the material to use. Geese, swans and other birds take pieces of plastics for their nests. The study only cites one other sting-less bee making off with some wet paint, presumably to freshen up her hive.

more
http://modernfarmer.com/2014/03/study-find-bees-learned-recycle-plastic/

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