Lacking Pollen, Bumblebees Work to Trigger Early Flower Blooming

Valerie Varnuska is a Westbury, New York nature enthusiast who enjoys activities, such as hiking. With an interest in natural phenomena, Valerie Varnuska has an understanding of the complex interactions within biological systems.

As reported by the BBC, scientists have recently discovered a unique bumblebee behavior that causes plants to flower early. When lacking needed pollen, the bees start to nibble on plant leaves that are not yet flowering. This is accomplished with the mandibles (mouthparts) and proboscises, which results in holes of specific shapes in the leaves.

The leafy material is not eaten, as might be expected, nor is it used in building nests. Rather, the purpose seems to be to trigger an early blooming by the plant, sometimes a full month before its normal schedule. Bolstering this hypothesis, researchers have found that when bees have available pollen they do not damage the plants and this behavior is only found in bumblebees in the wild.

Exercise Improves Mood and Reduces Stress

A Westbury, NY resident, Valerie Varnuska’s interests extend to health and fitness. Some of the activities that Valerie Varnuska likes include dancing and walking.

The physiological and mental benefits associated with exercise contribute to overall wellness. Exercising helps facilitate a meditative state that occurs after an intense workout. Instead of thinking about distractions in the surrounding, people who exercise are more focused on body movements. This level of concentration results in a clearer mind and a calmer bearing. Another positive outcome of exercise includes improving one’s mood. Physical activity is associated with reducing depression, anxiety, and stress.

These outcomes occur because of two of the body’s physiological processes. Physical activity reduces the body’s stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline). At the same time, it facilitates the production of endorphins, long associated with pain relief and improved mood. Endorphins are responsible for contributing to feeling relaxed after a workout or the “runner’s high.”

Study Finds Connection to Nature Boosts Well-Being

Astronomers Construct 3-D Model of Exploded Supernova

Astronomy enthusiast Valerie Varnuska enjoys scanning the skies near her home in Westbury, NY. In addition to stargazing, Valerie Varnuska follows news reports to stay informed on the latest developments in astronomy.

In early 2020, NASA specialists recreated the now-exploded Crab Nebula by layering images transmitted by three observatories and telescopes. Once visible during the day, the Crab Nebula was named by the 19th-century astronomer Lord Rosse. The nebula, located more than 6,500 light-years from Earth, is all that remains of a collapsed supernova that imploded more than 1,000 years ago.

The particles emitted by the nebula have been picked up by various NASA instruments that measure the energy emissions released by celestial bodies. The latest 3-D image was composed from the X-rays and visible and infrared light images captured by the Hubble Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and Chandra Observatory. The resulting image is featured in a new video now screening at science centers around the world.

A New Frontier – Planet Nine

  Westbury, NY, resident Valerie Varnuska‘s interests in science include astronomy and stargazing. From her residence in Westbury, NY, Valerie Varnuska enjoys learning about the galaxy’s hidden treasures, such as one of its newest discoveries, Planet Nine.

While there is no actual picture of the planet, researchers believe the planet exists on the edges of the solar system. According to NASA, this planet could potentially be 10 times the size (in mass) of Earth and 20 times as far from the sun as Neptune. While researchers cannot see the planet clearly, there are many things that lead them to believe the planet exists.

Of the many theories that explain how and why this planet exists, five of them are plausible. The first explanation relates to six identified objects that exist near the Kuiper Belt (the area from Neptune to the icy regions of interstellar space). These objects have elliptical orbits (like an oval), and the objects point downward 30 degrees, similarly to the planets that orbit the sun.

Then, computer simulations of the solar system including Planet Nine reveal there should be more objects tilted to 90 degrees in relationship to the solar plane, and there are five known objects. Another explanation says that Planet Nine could be responsible for tilting the planets in the solar system over 4.5 billion years. Finally, the last explanation points to pollution that occurs (as a result of Planet Nine’s presence) when objects in the Kuiper Belt orbit in the opposite direction.