Plastic devouring waxmoths save mankind – the truth

Photograph by Andrew Darrington, Alamy

Photograph by Andrew Darrington, Alamy

You will have seen I posted up a link to a story on how wax moths may be able to clear up some of the plastic humanity has choked the planet with.

Wax moths lay eggs in hives and their larvae – also used as bait  eat the across the comb through cells, preferably ones that once had brood in them.

Though a nuisance to a beekeeper by destroying comb that has been stored if left undiscovered (see pic below), the do serve a useful purpose already.

 

Kathy Keatley Garvey, UC Davis Department of Entomology

Kathy Keatley Garvey, UC Davis Department of Entomology

Aside from their use as a live feed for pet birds and bait for anglers, wax moths can, apparently, ‘recycle’ plastics

However, the news has focused on breeding moths, when in fact the scientists want to isolate the enzyme and grow it for industrial use.

The worries published about millions of wax moths wiping out bees – and therefore the crops they pollinate – is fatuous. Wax moths will not get a hold on a strong colony, but they do tidy up weak, failing ones – survival of the fittest alive and well.

Here is a far better story that describes what has been discovered and how it may help mankind clean up some of its mess.

 

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