You may have heard that it’s cold here in Minnesota. The high in Minneapolis today is -14°F. Yikes! I went out briefly today to return a few library books (hooray for libraries being open today!) and it wasn’t so bad except for the few minutes I was walking directly into the wind.
But enough about me and my frozen face. One of the interesting cold-related things I’ve heard on the news is that this deep freeze may be enough to kill many emerald ash borer larvae. Lee Frelich, director of the Center for Forest Ecology said, “The larvae can supercool to a certain point, but they die if they freeze.”
This brought to mind a book Millbrook published a few years ago, Not a Buzz to Be Found: Insects in Winter.
This book is by Minnesota resident Linda Glaser, so she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to the cold! She explains what twelve different insects do to survive winter. One such strategy is indeed to possess the ability to supercool. The woolly bear caterpillar makes a substance called glycerol that works like antifreeze.
If only I could figure out how to make a little of my own glycerol before I have to head home tonight . . .