Baby Bumblebees bear the brunt of pesticides
The growth of baby bumblebees’ brains can be damaged by certain pesticides, according to research by Imperial College London.
Bees that had been affected by pesticides showed significantly impaired learning abilities compared to that had not. This was tested by seeing if the bees were able to associate a smell with a food reward. The researchers used micro-CT scans to scan the brains of nearly 100 bees from different colonies exposed to imidacloprid, one of the neonicotinoid group of pesticides.
Neonicotinoids are banned from outdoor use in the EU but not in other parts of the world.
Lead researcher Dr Richard Gill, from the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial, said: “Bee colonies act as superorganisms, so when any toxins enter the colony, these have the potential to cause problems with the development of the baby bees within it.
“Worryingly in this case, when young bees are fed on pesticide-contaminated food, this caused parts of the brain to grow less, leading to older adult bees possessing smaller and functionally impaired brains; an effect that appeared to be permanent and irreversible.”
Toastie any time
A ham and cheese toastie is seen by many as one of the essential elements of the Irish diet. How can you make a perfect toastie at home? Some may say a George Foreman is the only thing that will do, but many people aren’t keen on spending upwards of €30 for a grill; especially when you can make the perfect toastie with something you already own. A toaster. No, this is not a suggestion that you can shove your sandwich straight in there without ruining the inside. However, with a toastie bag around it, you basically can. They are super cheap, usually under a fiver, and are dishwasher safe. Not only that but they don’t make the outside of your toastie as greasy as a grill.
Family Lego day
If you have more than one LEGO lover in the family, there is an event in Portlaoise, Co. Laois that will be perfect to get you through the last week before Easter. Lim Brick City are hosting a family event in the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise. The event will host custom Lego models and official sets on display, technic workshops by Bricks 4 Kidz, Lego play areas, face painting, speed build competitions and a Lego colouring area. There will also be competitions, raffles and vendors selling Lego.
The Limerick Autism Group will be present all day with a sensory play area and safe zone.
Tickets are €10 for adults €4 for children and you can get a family ticket for two adults and three children for €20 online before the event, or for €25 at the door; there are also VIP Family tickets for €40 with goodie bags and a fiver discount at the brick store.