Bees, bugs, birds and breakfast

Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste —  30/08/2010

Newsflash: Friday 17 September 2010

The Bugman has left the hive!

He’s off to do important bug stuff.

A big thanks to all the schools who took part in the live blogging:

  • Remuera Intermediate School
  • Verran Primary School
  • Hurupaki Primary School
  • Tokomaru School
  • Avonhead School Inquiry class
  • Alexandra Primary School
  • Taradale Intermediate School
  • Taneatua School
  • Lake Rotoiti School

And a special thanks to Ruud for sharing so much about the amazing world of bees, bugs & birds!

What’s this about?

During Conservation Week 2010 the Bugman (Ruud Kleinpaste) held 3 live blogging sessions. Schools around the country got involved, asking all kinds of fantastic questions. You can read Ruud’s post, and the questions and answers below.

Students at Hurupaki Primary School blogging live with the Bugman.

Students at Hurupaki Primary School blogging live with the Bugman

Have you ever wondered what all those bugs, bees, flies and birds are doing in your garden?

Go out into the garden at home, in the school grounds or even in your local park or Botanical Garden and find a spot with many flowering plants; it could be Camellias or Manuka.

Go on! Just sit down for half an hour in the warm spring sun-light and count how many different species of pollinators visit those plants. Take a magnifying glass if you want to get up really close. Are they all insects? Or are there other groups of animals involved?

Just make a note of who turns up – if you can take a photograph of them, so that you can find their image in a book in the library or on the net.

A native bee collecting pollen.

A native bee collecting pollen

So what are they doing? Have you thought about exploring the world of pollination and honey? Try to get a handle on how much our economy relies on pollinators and their activities. For starters it may be worth-while to find info on the economic contribution of just honey bees; that’s reasonably well documented.

Look at the different honey types in our shops – how many involve native plants?

And once you’ve calculated the honey bee contribution, try guessing how much our native bees do in terms of forest survival and rejuvenation.

And then there are native pollinating flies and little beetles and moths at night and birds and geckoes and… Is your head spinning yet?

Watch this video to find out more about the amazing process of pollination and why it’s so important.

The Magical Land of Far Far Away

Now – while you are doing your investigations on pollination, have a look on the ground or higher up in the shrubs and trees and see if you can find any creepy crawlies that are doing the recycling in your neighbourhood.

We can learn a lot from nature and especially from bugs, invertebrates, insects and such creatures. They live in a no-waste society. Everything is used or recycled by some other creature – “waste” becomes a “resource” to other organisms.

We create a lot of waste – rubbish – trash… Call it what you like!

Some people say that we live in a throw-away society; we throw things away when we have finished with them.

A pile of typical househould waste.

A pile of typical househould waste

Let’s just do an exercise. Have a look at a map of the world and tell me: where exactly is that magical place “Away”? Can you point at it?

Away is really not away, don’t you think?

Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste

The topic for Wednesday:

Let’s explore what would happen to New Zealand and the World if we didn’t have all this wonderful biodiversity to keep the ecology ticking?

What would be the consequences of species going extinct?

Have you got any ideas about that?

Let’s stick to this topic today. If you’ve still got an unanswered question Ruud will try and get to it later.

The topic for Friday:

Hey guys!

We’ve had now two great blog sessions. One on the ecological services that Bugs and other creatures provide – stuff like pollination and recycling.

Then, last Wednesday we were thinking about what would happen if all the bugs or our biodiversity would disappear from the World.

Didn’t look too good, now, did it? I reckon it would spell disaster for all of us!

This Friday (from 11am till noon) we will have another go at blogging, but this time, I’d like to explore how we all can HELP our biodiversity be HEALTHY. So:

  • How can we make our world and it’s biodiversity a much better place?
  • How can we RESTORE our biodiversity, if a lot of it is lost?
  • What can we do in our neighbourhood to restore our animal and plant communities?

I reckon… that if we all work together, maybe as classes of school kids or as groups of cubs, brownies and scouts, we can make serious differences to habitats.

There are many websites you can consult on this; one that I am involved with is

Have a look and let’s talk about getting the tuis and bellbirds back into our backyards and the rare plants and lizards too… and what about wetas and brilliant beetles? Let’s invite them all back into our local gardens and parks.




357 responses to Bees, bugs, birds and breakfast


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    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/01/2011 at 10:45 am

      I know exactly what you mean, Teodora. Life and the Universe is a little bit like that. Every time I look at how ecological systems “fit” together, I am not only amazed, but also acutely aware of the fact that we know almost nothing about how it all works.
      All I can do is try to make sense out of it and write about it for people that are just as fascinated as I am.
      Welcome aboard!
      Ruud Kleinpaste


    1. what season do butterflys come in? long do butterflys stay in there cacoons?
    3.have you ever been bitten by a poisaness bug? JAYDE
    1. Why do bees like polin?
    2. Do fish sleep?
    3. have you saved any bugs?
    4. do you like your job? (why?)

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 18/09/2010 at 12:11 pm

      1) usually in the warmer months of the year: spring, summer and autumn
      2) that depends on the ype of butterfly; can be a few weeks, sometimes it is 4 months!
      1) Bees like pollen because it is full of good protein for their babies
      2) I don’t think fish sleep: I reckon they can’t close their eyes!!! Just kidding…
      They may take “time out” at night, when everybody else has gone to sleep – they may just float and dream of aeroplane rides and exciting holidays, only to wake up in the morning to find they are still in the same old boring fishbowl
      3) Yep -I save bugs all the time: often when they fall into a puddle on the street or in the bush
      4) I love my job, because you can LEARN SO MUCH FROM BUGS!!!!


    1. what bug do you like the most?
    2. are you afraid of any bugs?
    3. what bug is the most venamous?
    4. has a venamous bug bite you?
    5. why did you stop your show?
    6. have you got a deadly spider as a pet?
    7. what bee do you like the most?
    8. would any bug scare me? p.s im a brave boy!
    thank you if you read this.

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 18/09/2010 at 12:06 pm

      3) there are many venomous creatures on the Planet; the Sydney Funnelweb spider is perhaps one of the most dangerous ones!
      5) It just finished and that was it…
      6) yes I have a few redback spiders at home to study. they are cool fun and wrap their flies with silk
      7) the Native bees – they are small dark bees that make nests in the soil
      8) Maybe, Ruairi… maybe – but when you study the bugs carefully you will find that they are not all bad and you will work out a way to get closer to them


    1. What is your favourite insect or arachned?
    2. has a venomus insect/arachned ever bitten you?
    3. can you keep giant centipedes,if so what are the care requirements?
    4. what are some accsessories i can put in my pet lizard terrarium/cage?
    5. what would happen if there were no spiders?
    6. what would we eat if there were no polinators
    7.what can we to be like you? your awsome!
    8. what are the care requirements for a banded funnelweb spider?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 18/09/2010 at 12:01 pm

      Hey you guys!

      3) yes you can keep a giant centipede in a terrarium: lots of rotting wood/logs and soil/mulch/compost plus food for the centipedes: caterpillars and grubs etc.
      Have a lid on the terrarium, because the centipedes are great escapers. and… don’t touch them! They bite really hard and can paralyse you!

      7) You just follow your hobbies and interests and read lots of….. ??

      8) a terrarium with some branches abd old rotting wood; the spider will make lots of silk tunnels; keep it moist (not wet) and feed her with big moths and flies and crickets etc etc


    1. Whould recilking help the world?
    2. Are you intrested in reptiles?
    3. What cind of bugs help the world?
    4. I have a lizzard what is some accsessories i can put in my tank he lives in?
    5. what is the 1st and the 2nd native birds in the new zeland nation?
    6.What will happen if you get bit by a poisenes spider?
    7. What will happen if there were no bees/spiders?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 18/09/2010 at 11:57 am

      1) recycling is very important
      2) Yep – I like reptiles, especially our geckoes
      3) all types of bugs are useful for our planet
      4) a otten log, so it can catch the bugs that come crawling out of it
      5) No idea, to be honest!
      6) go to the doctor and take the spider with you, so the doctors can know what you were bitten by!!!!
      7) pollination would stop; no more good fruits and vegetables


    1)How did you become the bug man?
    2)Have you touched about 100 types of bugs?
    3)what types of spiders have you touched?
    4)is it scary touching some types of bugs

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 18/09/2010 at 11:55 am

      Hi Jenness
      all these questions have already been ansered earlier – take a look above, please

      see ya!


    1.Have you ever had a seioures injury from a incects?
    2.Do you have a sience lab?
    3.How did you become the bug man?
    4.What is your faviourite insects?
    5.Do you dislike any insects?
    6.Dyou go hunting for insects?
    7.How long have you been the bug man?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 18/09/2010 at 11:54 am

      Hi brendan!
      all these questions have already been answered; see above!



    1. what is the most venamous spider you have seen or hered of?

    2.what made you decide to be the bug man?

    3. are you scared of any bugs and why does it scare you. if not what bug do you think would scare us p.s were not scared of any think?

    have you been biten by any pousons bugs and had to go to your local a.n.e bugs if so what bug was it? thank you for reding our questions mr bug man

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 18/09/2010 at 11:53 am

      1) Sydney Funnelweb sider
      2) see above
      3)no – not scared – (just careful with some of them)

      I have often been to a doctor for all sorts of reasons, but never because of bug bites!


    1.what inspired you to be the bugman?
    2.what are some names of eatble flowers?
    3.are you scared of eney bugs?
    4.why do moths and other insects hang around lights? do you know a lot about insects and bugs?
    6.out of all the bugs and insects witch would be you favorite? did you become the bug man? do birds and bees polinate?
    9.did you have to study all the time to be the bugman?
    10.what is your favorite plant?
    11.have you been bitten by a bug or insect before?
    Thank-You for reading this bugman:)

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 18/09/2010 at 11:51 am

      1) Bugs are at the basis of all the ecological systems on earth
      2) try pansies and nasturtium, borage etc
      3) no – not really… but I am very careful with some of them!
      4) They are confused by lights and they “trap them” in their beam
      5) read books read books read books read books read books… oh – did I say that you have read lots and lots of books?
      6) see above
      7) see above
      8) see earlier answers
      9) I read a lot of books
      10) Phacelia (blue tansy)
      11) lots of times!


    1.How do flys ponoate?
    2.How eazy is it to make honey?
    3.Have you ever had a serious injury from a insect/bug?
    4.Do you have a science lab?
    5.What is your favourite insect/bug?
    6.How did you become a bug man?
    7.Do you go hunting for bug?
    8.Do dislike any bugs/insect?
    10.Do all types of bugs come to your house?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 18/09/2010 at 11:35 am

      1) see above
      2) ask the bees! they do it all the time
      3) yes; I have been petty sick from an ant sting
      4) a little lab in my office with live redback spiders and microscopes and all sorts of chemicals for science experiments
      5) new Zealand Tree weta
      6) by accident: via a radio programme on Newstalk ZB – that programme still goes on, almost 24 years snce it started
      7) I always keep an eye on the bugs around me
      8) No … not dislke – but I am careful with some of them – like centipedes
      10) all sorts of bugs are in my garden and aroun d my house – I love them


    Do sandflys pollinate?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 18/09/2010 at 11:30 am

      yes they do! They will try to get nectar and transfer pollen from flower to flower; Just like all other flies do (see question below)


    1. what is the most venamous spider you have herd of or touched?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 8:47 pm

      Yo William!
      That is a simple answer: no doubt it is the Sydney Funnelweb spider;
      Yes – I worked out how to have them walking across my hand… without biting!
      That’s why I can tell the story


    Hi Ruud (the Bugman)

    I was just reading about the inportance of the small female sooty beach scale insect in a Beech forest. Ultrcoelostoma assimile. driving a feeding pipe into the sapwood for sustenance and excreting out droplets of honeydew which provides food for numbers of birds and insects. I was wondering if the insecticide/pesticide 1080 could in someway be absorbed through the roots and kill off This very important insect. Have any tests been done. I know aphids have been killed from eating leaves where the plant has absorbed 1080.

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 8:45 pm

      Jeepers, Ray! That’s a big query!
      I think that in view of the rather frequent use of 1080 in beech scale areas we can safely say that it won’t affect the scales at all. Now – the same could be said for using stuff like Orthene on citrus trees, to combat the citrus borer: it simply hasn’t got the strength to do that; I know that for sure, because it has never worked.
      reason is: the dilution rate of the chemical is simply too great to affect the sucking insects; Thank goodness! Trees are too big a target for these chemicals.

    Tafadzwa and Jennifer and Mrs r 17/09/2010 at 1:10 pm

    We would like children to have an invertebrate for a pet then they will get to know more about invertebrates.A grey house spider makes a great pet. A slater,worm or ant farm is fun too and you learn a lot.
    Its good to have pets at school too.We have chooks,a rabbit,lots if fish and budgies,We like butterflies and look after all their caterpillars and chrysalis.Let’s get into living things apart from us.

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 1:41 pm

      absolutely true
      hpw about a pet tunnelweb spider in a tank; let it make a lot of webby mess (nest) and feed it live crickets and small snails and slaters
      What a bout a few wetas? a slater colony? some earwigs?
      First you read up about the species and then try to create the perfect habitat in a terrarium or tank and feed them with their preferred food.
      Then after a few weeks, you can let them go again … That to me sounds the right thing to do



    We think humans are important to bugs but many people don’t think bugs are so important to humans.We must tell people not to squash bugs and respect them more often.We think if ants come into your house you could give them food they love and put it outside.

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 1:38 pm

      Oh Callum! You are pretty right there!
      We can’t live without bugs on earth; you know that very well…
      Now – ants are the best recyclers on the planet (together with cockroaches) … so If you drop some spaghetti or jam on the kitchen bench, the ants will come in to clean it up for you
      recycling, remember?
      they do that for free

      for free!!!!!


    I have a whole bush at home with lots of animals i n it but I want to know if invertebrates have brains so I know if they can think before they act?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 1:36 pm

      Invertebrates have TWO brains… in EACH BODY SEGMENT.
      But that doesn’t make them as bright as you are, quite frankly… ot allows tem to make decisions in all parts of their body, I suppose
      funny that!
      I think they don’t THINK before they act; it all goes automatically and all these brains work together to make that happen


    It is important for all children to plant more plants at home so we can help the environment.Then we can study and learn about bugs.The more you look at them the more you understand and care.Which family of bugs has the most species?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 1:33 pm

      They win the race; they are the most numerous group of insects on the Planet

      in fact: off all animals on earth, one quarter is a beetle!!!

    Pod 7 Hurupaki 17/09/2010 at 12:58 pm

    We have had a great week blogging with Ruud and have had some great discussions about his replies. thanks for giving us the opportunity to participate, and we hope that we’ll be able to do it again sometime. 🙂

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 1:32 pm

      Thank you for your kind comments
      You folk were awsome! Thanks for jumping on board


    What inspires you to work with bugs and plants?
    What is the closest bird to becoming extinct? Are there any plants that are going to be extinct?
    What is your favourite breakfast that bugs help to make?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 1:31 pm

      goodness! great questions AGAIN
      By now you should have a good feel for why I love to work with bugs and plants: without them we would not be able to live on Earth; simple as that.
      most endagered bird in NZ (and probably the world): fairy Tern.
      Plants? hmmm maybe some salt-loving plants in the middle of Central Otago – have a look on the DoC website!
      Breakfast: fried tomatoes with some honey on toast and a piece of apple; 80% pollinated by insects!
      (Oh plus a sip of Campari at night.. a red drink: the colour is made by….. Bugs!)


    Are flies good or bad? We spray them to get rid of them but are they helpful?
    Is there such a thing as a bad bug or plant?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 1:27 pm

      most flies do a great job
      the houseflies (nuisance around the house) lay eggs in compost and lawn clippings, so that their baby maggots can get rid of the lawn clippings and recycle them.
      The only bad bugs are those bugs that are not native to NZ. the exotic imports often interfere with natural processes in our ecosystems and in our orchards etc.
      I can safely say that all NATIVE BUGS ARE OOD BUGS, even though they may be a nuisnca to us, from time to time!
      That was a very important question, by the way. In fact, I think it is the most important question to ask, especially when I have frequent arguments with adults (older humans) about the role of insects in our ecosystems and our gardens…
      Funny, how kids don’t ever argue with me about that!
      I reckon it’s because KIDS KNOW WHAT’S THE STORY


    At our school we make piles of logs on the ground and weta houses.what else can we do to help invertebrates ?Why are our NZ invrtebrates so small? thanks Ruud for your great blog.

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 1:22 pm

      Hija Fabio

      Looks like you do a great job already! remember to create nice dark, moist compost and mulch – heaps of dead leaves and branches for the beetles.
      Our native invertebrates are really not much smaller than elsewhere in the world: we’ve got a seriously long centipede and the heaviest insect in the world (giant weta-punga)
      I enjoyed blooging with you lot!
      It makes me feel good about the future of New Zealand; so … thank YOU


    How do you take more care of bugs so that don’t all die?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 1:18 pm

      by using fewer resources, by creating compost and by not using insecticides; also by planting lots of native plants and encouraging flowers.
      And by telling your dad to stop vacuuming the daddy longlegs up the spout of the vacuum cleaner!!!!


    What kind of recycling would help the world? Do bugs recycle things?
    How do bees know what flowers need pollinating?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 1:17 pm

      Great question!
      First thing I would say is:
      we need to re-use stuff
      the next logical step s to re-cycle as much as we can
      Then the next thing of importance is to use biodegradable materials – stuff that can be broken down in the soil etc…
      It’s funny you should ask about bugs recycling:
      I reckon t would make a great project for you and your class mates if you could study the topic of recycling in bugs;
      BUGS LIVE IN A WASTE-FREE SOCIETY!!! Thety recycle EVERYTHING . Nothing is wasted

      what can we learn from that????

      Bees just go to flowers and every flower needs pollinating, so that’s always BINGO


    I try to whistle to get tuis into my garden but only a few come. How can NZ attract more tuis to our gardens?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 1:08 pm

      why don’t you try to feed them some sugar water; google that or read the comments above on how to make a sugar solution

      Hope they come to you!


    1. Other than people, what will help our plants live and grow?
    2. What birds are nearly extinct and how can we help them not get extinct?
    3. What type of plants should we not pick so that they don’t all die?
    4. How we can make more butterflies come into our garden?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 1:06 pm

      1) birds that poop ut the seeds of our native plants!
      2) Have a look on DoC’s website; they’re all there!
      3) the really rare plants; but to know what is really really rare, you need to learn to identify plants and that means doing your school work well, go to University or Polytechnic and keep on learning; Join a restoration group and go on their field trips to learn learn lean.
      4) By planting their food plants (caterpillars) and provide the adult butterflies wit nectar plants; have a look at


    We can try to increase the number of trees we grow for trees for survival so get to plant more on farm land. more maens more biodiversity.I would like for more schools to do trees for survival.

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 1:02 pm

      Absolutely! I love Trees for Survival too and think more schools should have a look at their website and register interest…
      But more importantly: we also need a few more sponsors for Trees for Survival to grow more plants; that means that businesses can help Trees for Survival to involve more kids and make more planted areas… and before you know it, we will have restored half of the country!
      Wouldn’t that be great?


    we have planted trees for the kereru so they poop out native seeds.We have planted puriri, karaka, kowhai and kawakawa. What else can we plant? They like guavas but should we grow trees that are not native?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:59 pm

      Personally I don’t mind exotic food sources too much, but you will always need to make sure that they are not WEED SPECIES!! To help nectar feeding birds or fruit-eating birds like the kereru, you can try all sorts of different plants; there is plenty of info in the NZ Websites too!
      Good work Dariah – keep on planting!


    We’ve made our own native reserve with native plants to make a habitat forall sorts of native living creatures. What more could we do to improve it?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:57 pm

      Put down a lot of mulch or leaf-litter, for the bugs that live in and on the soil; great food for fantails etc!
      How about hanging up some insect motels or weta tubes (made from bamboo or hollow tubes)
      And lizards really like large bits of bark stacked up on top of eachother, so they can hide in between; puts some nice large stones out the front as well, that heat up in te sun, so the lizards can sunbathe and warm up on the stones.
      See if yuy can get the book by Gordon Ell, called: Attracting wildlife to the NewZealand garden. it has many great ideas in it


    will cockroaches or other bugs involve into somthing else.

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:54 pm

      great question, Mila!
      all life forms on earth is constantly under pressure to change… to evolve;
      so yes: cockroaches and other bugs are evolving (ver veru VERY slowly into something else !


    Do snails find new shells?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:52 pm

      no no no! they grow their own shells on their backs! and when the snail grows in size, they simply add some new CALCIUM to the shell to make it lager too.

      there’s the word you need to know if you want to study snail shells: CALCIUM
      Try to find out where the snails get their calcium from in nature
      and then have a look at all these silly gardening books that say that if you want to stop snails from entering your vegie patch, you should sprinkle crushed egg shells around it…
      ha ha ha


    How do spiders make webs?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:49 pm

      They press out a liuid from little nozzles on their bottom (!!!) that liquid sets into that stretchy silk as soon as it comes out of the nozzle… so that’s how they make silk.
      Now… if you google “spider silk” you can find out for me HOW MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF SILK there are!

      You’ll be surprised
      VERY surprised


    We have made lots of habitats for other animals but not for bats so how can we attract them?Where abouts on their body do the bats collect pollen?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:47 pm

      My goodness! that is a pretty ambitious project, Elle! Bats tend to nest in really old, hollow trees. They are also very rare indeed.
      Now – to get bats near your school is basically impossible, unless you live in or near the edge of the forest.
      Here’s a good idea: try to find out if there are any bats in your neighbourhood; (maybe talk to your local DoC officers). Then try to establish where they roost what tree or what trees.
      Then, what I reckon you can do, is tfrap all the rats and stoats and other vermin from that area That way you will protect the bats and let the colony grow, so that they may go and establish another colony somewhere else… nearby!
      Good idea?


    Why are some spiders so big!?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:43 pm

      because they are going for the larger market segment: big prey!There is no point in trying to capture an elephant when you are only as small as a bug!


    Why is a moth attracted to the light?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:42 pm

      It is not so much ATTRACTED, but confused by the bright lights. The moths try to use the light as a beacon to fly in a straight line (they used to do that by the light of the far-away moon) but because the street lights are so close-by, the moths often get into a spiral trajectory and end up bumping their heads on the light!


    What do white tail spiders do?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:40 pm

      white-tails hunt at night for other spiders on the weaherboards and walls of your house; they particularly like the black cobweb spiders that make those messy webs on the walls!


    We have many wasps like the paper wasp that kill our monarch catterpillars. We don’t see so many honey bees around our gardens. We plant lot’s for them. What can we do about the invader wasps? Why do only bees make honey?Thanks Ruud

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:38 pm

      Oh Sophia… it’s hard eeping those wasps at bay, don’t you think?
      Why not make a little “tent” from bamboo poles and some old curtain netting. Place that over the swanplants and the wasps can’t find the caterpillars any more.
      another trick is to keep growing the swanplants in big pots, so you can change the pot’s position every now and then. As soon as the plants have eggs on them or small caterpillars, you can take the pots and plants under a shade cover, out of harms way;
      Bees make honey so that they have something to eat in the winter when there are no flowers; other insects simply die in winter or hibernate as larvae or grubs or “babies”


    How do grasshoppers hop?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:35 pm

      with their big long, back legs; they have huge muscles inside those legs and can hop many times their own length


    What do dragonflies do?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:34 pm

      they fly through the sky really REALLY fast and hunt…. flies!


    Can we eat bugs?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:32 pm

      oh Yes!
      Now that would be a totally different topic of conversation and you know what?… Google the word ENTOMOPHAGY and research that, on’t you? Reason is: eating bugs instead of cows, sheep and pigs is a much more environmentally friendly use of resources on the planet; Long story, but it’s true…
      Honestly, am great proponent for eating more bugs instead of cow’s meat!!!!


    How many bugs have you got?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:28 pm

      not that many, really
      takes too long t look after them – bes to let them live in the bush and in the garden, don’t you think?


    How do queen insects make pheremone?Also are nectar seed balls for the birds a good idea?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:27 pm

      they manufacture it in their body from all the bits of food they are fed.

      nectar is not a great substance to mak into balls; people usually use fat or lard or dripping to do that.


    we have planted native trees to get the native birds but shuold we put out suger water.Which is best to use for suger water :suger or honey?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:25 pm

      great, Cassia! native plants are brilliant for a lot of different native wild life; these plants flower, provide nectar and leaves for caterpillars and grubs, seeds for different beasts etc etc. Good stuff!
      Now… sugar water is always brilliant for nectar-feeding birds, like tuis, bellbirds and silvereyes. All you do is get a nice (preferably red) container and fill it with te sugar water. One cup of sugar per liter of water is great.
      Put the container somewhere cats can’t get at the birds, of course;
      Oh – by the way: think there will be a story on attracting birds with sugar water in the next issue of the New Zealand Gardener; look out for it

        Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:26 pm

        Hey Kids!
        have you got other ideas to improve the living space around your house or school for our native wildlife?
        If so: let’s hear it on this blog!!!!

    Avonhead School Inquiry class 17/09/2010 at 11:04 am

    why do bees sting?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:07 pm

      To defend themselves, to defend the hive and to defend their HONEY

    Avonhead School Inquiry class 17/09/2010 at 11:02 am

    Hi Ruud,

    We are a group of 6 and 7 year olds from Avonhead School. We will not be able to blog live with you because we will be visiting Dean’s Bush with Cody from DOC but we would love you to answer our questions. We might have more questions when we come back!

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:07 pm

      I’ll try folks
      Have fun in Dean’s bush; it’s magical and… there are kiwi in that bush!!!! and some really rare wetas

    Avonhead School Inquiry class 17/09/2010 at 10:59 am

    How do spiders make their homes?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:06 pm

      some make silk nests, others make silk webs; others again make silk tunnels;
      You know what: google “spider silk” and you find all the uses!

    Avonhead School Inquiry class 17/09/2010 at 10:58 am

    How many bugs are there in the world?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:04 pm

      already answered a few days ago – see above

    Avonhead School Inquiry class 17/09/2010 at 10:58 am

    Are other birds which are different from chickens, cheeky?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:03 pm

      these questions are really not on the topic we want to discuss, today, folks…
      sorry… but I’d really like to talk about how we as young people can make this world a better place to live

        Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 1:44 pm

        was that a cheeky enough answer?
        I do like cheeky birds, my favourites are the rosellas and the mynahs. yes I kn ow they are introduced birds and actually quite a pest, but their cheekyness makes them so successful in our Aotearoa world!!

    Avonhead School Inquiry class 17/09/2010 at 10:56 am

    How can birds fly?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:02 pm

      with their wings: they use the air pressure under their wings to get “lift”

    Avonhead School Inquiry class 17/09/2010 at 10:56 am

    How do bees make honey?

    Avonhead School Inquiry class 17/09/2010 at 10:56 am

    Why do ladybirds have black spots?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 12:00 pm

      no idea, really – what I think is nice to know is that their orange colour says: “don’t mess with me, I am poisonous!”

    Avonhead School Inquiry class 17/09/2010 at 10:55 am

    How does the bee make nectar?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 17/09/2010 at 11:59 am

      Gidday Avonhead school!
      Nice to hear from you… hope all is well since the big quake? Wishing you all lots of strength!

      bees get nectar from flowers … then they dry it and add some enzymes to turn it into….HONEY!


    Jamie wants to know what would be the rarest bug or beetle in New Zealand.

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 16/09/2010 at 12:15 am

      no-one really knows.
      But there are a few contenders: yesterday I visited the Cromwell chafer reserve in Cromwell, Central Otago. That is the place where the last remaining chafer beetles live. there may be as few as 40,000 beetles left in an area no more than 10 hectares.
      Just imaine: that big, beautiful flightless beetle only occurs in that paddock in Cromwell! Nowehere else in the world!


    Hi Ruud Klienpaste,

    1.What would happen if there were no bugs in the world?(Meghana)
    2.Where are there beehives in New Zealand?(Annabelle)
    3.How long can grass grow?(Meghana)
    4.How many bugs have you seen before?(Annabelle)
    5.Are there any more pollinators in the world than Geckos,Bugs,birds,bees,bats,beetles,tuis,housflies and the wind?(Meghana)
    6.Where do grasshoppers live?(Annabelle)
    7.How long do flowers take to grow back after they have been picked?(Meghana)
    8.Are there any plants that eat things?(Annabelle)

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 16/09/2010 at 12:12 am

      1) No bugs in the world? we would simply die within 6 months – end of story! (not end of planet, mind you – it will find other ways to live…
      2) Beehives are everywhere in NZ; go online and find out who looks after bees.
      3) Grass can grow as long as it wants. Some grasses grow to one meter high (tussocks) others no more than 3 centimeters tall
      4) I have seen heas of bugs; thousands!
      5) There are many more pollinators in the world: think of mice, rats, lizards, thrips, mites… etc etc
      6) Usually in grass fields or patches of undergrowth… but they really don’t like much shade from trees
      7) that depends on what tyoe of plant they are from
      8) Oh Yes! how about pitcher plants and sundews; they are carnivorous plants that eat bugs; some of the bigger ones even eat rodents!


    Have you known anyone that has been bitten by a Tarantula?
    Do you like Scorpions and Mosquitoes?
    What is the most dangerous bug in the world?
    What bug do you like the most?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 16/09/2010 at 12:06 am

      I have been bitten by tarantulas a few times – it hurts too!
      I love scorpions; they are cool predators of the deserts. Don’t like mosquitoes very much at all, although I must say they are very clever at finding people, asleep in bed at night!
      How – do you think they do that, Tara and Tyler?

      The bug I like the most is the New Zealand weta: it is the coolest critter on the planet!


    What do birds eat?
    What do bats eat?
    How can the bees take the pollen from the flowers?
    What do Bees and baby bees eat?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 16/09/2010 at 12:03 am

      big questions, Tyrone and Domonic!
      there are many different bird species and they all have their preferred diet: some eat fish, others squid, some eat buds and seeds, others eat insects… but a few special species eat nectar and honeydew.
      Bats eat insects and nectar or plant materials; it depends on what species you are talking about.
      Bees take pollen from the ends of the male flower parts (called stamen) and put them in their “pollen basket to fly home with them.
      Baby bees eat a mixture of pollen and nectar


    What kind of bugs pollinate?
    Are buttercups poisonous?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 11:54 pm

      Hi you two!
      There are lots of bugs that carry out the noble art of pollination: flies, bees, wasps, beetles, moths, butterflies, but also birds and lizards etc etc.

      I am not sure if buttercups are poisonous to us, humans. How would you find that out, Caroline and Luke?


    How did you become the Bugman?
    What is the funniest bug you have seen in your life?
    How much honey do bees collect in a day?
    What do grasshoppers eat?
    What do slaters eat?
    Where do you find lizards and skinks?


    I think that the consequences would be very bad if our New Zealand native animals got extinct. NZ has many beautiful native animals. Such as the Kiwi, Pukeko and many others.
    I think if one of these species were to get extinct it would be a very bad loss to NZ. If we loss any speceis of these amazing animals unlike other animals we wouldnt be able to get them back from other countries.

    I really hope our native creatures will stay with us forever (:

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 11:52 pm

      and also: the jobs that all these native animals do, can NOT be done by others;
      No matter if we import new species.. they simply can’t do the job!
      Yes- and on top of all that: of course it would be tragic if there were no more kiwi or no more falcons in New Zealand.
      You know what?
      I think it would reflect really really badly on US, New Zealanders if we would allow that to happen!
      People would say: “look at these kiwis… they can’t even keep their own kiwis alive!!!!”


    Hi Ruud,

    Thanks so much for answering my question, I was probably thinking of wasps!

    I have one more question.

    If Bees didn’t pollinate from flower to flower would the Flowers/Trees wilt away and/or not produce fruit?


    Would the bees die faster if they stopped pollinating?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 11:48 pm

      If the bees would stop pollinating there simply will no longer be certain fruits for us to eat. But for the trees it would mean: no more seeds for the future; no more off-spring and no more young tree in the wild.
      Bees really need to eat the nectar and pollen for their own survival, so let’s hope that they don’t just stop pollinating, but that they keep on keeping on!


    my dads a dutch apple scientist

    what threats would there be with deporting apples into Australia and (its thought the govermant made a deal to trade apple for honey)receiving honey

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 11:46 pm

      Oh Isaac! I think that meneer Bus has been telling you all about the political arguments we have with Australia… and that seems to be the reality in todays’ COMMERCIAL world, rather than BIOLOGICAL world!
      Please say “gidday” to your dad; I think he’s using common sense!

    Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 1:00 pm

    Dear all…



    HAVE FUN!!!!


    Liam O'Leary 15/09/2010 at 12:59 pm


      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 11:40 pm

      what would you call “most lethal”?

      the one that kills the quickest?
      or the one that kills the most people per year?

      Those are important questions, Liam!
      You see, we can scare people by saying that the box jellyfish (which is an invertebrate too – therefore also a “bug”) kills you rather quickly as does the cone snail in the tropical coral reefs.
      Some people get stung to death quickly by an angry swarm of killer bees – especially when that person is ALLERGIC to the stings!
      But in my view the most dangerous bug to a large group of human beings is the malaria mosquito.
      That fly species doesn’t kill people directly at all! it is just that it vomits the malaria parasite into people’s bloodstreams, which kills humans very frequently: up to 2 million people die, each year, from the disease we call malaria. And the mosquito is the carier of that disease!


    We see lots of different birds down there ,including tui fantails, kereru and kingfishers.We also have ducks and ducklings but unfortunately the ducklings never get to grow up, I think there are too many predators down there. Katie and Joel


    We see lots of different birds down there ,including tui fantails, kereru and kingfishers.We also have ducks and ducklings but unfortunately the ducklings never get to grow up, I think there are too many predators down there. Having more birds around means there are more pollinators to help our plants. Katie and Joel

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 11:33 pm

      yes – you are on the right track, Katie and Joel.
      But the predators around your school also do a great job.
      Imagine what would happen if ALL the ducklings would survive?
      There would be no room in the pond or stream and bird diseases would become very common indeed.
      Some of those bird diseases, like botulism, also affect human beings and can kill us too.

      So the duckling predator takes the excess number of ducklings away, before they grow up to become big ducks…
      Oh – by the way – what do you think is the most effective duck PREDATOR in New Zealand?


    why do butterflies live for a short time?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 11:27 pm

      They don’t, really
      Most species live for many weeks; often at least a month.
      The overwintering monarch butterfly, born in March, will lay eggs around November… just count out how many months that is!
      Some insects do indeed live very short lives as ADULT bugs, simply because all they need to do is find a mate and create eggs or babies… But that doesn’t mean that the other life stages aren’t much longer!


    One thing we learnt is that lots of bugs are responsible for helping to break down dead and decaying things. If there were no bugs we wouldn’t be able to make compost. We might also get very sick from lots of dead things around.

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 11:16 pm

      yep – great comment, Keegan
      Scientists have worked out that if there were no bugs that took away dung or animal poo, the whole world would be under 3 meters of poo in about 5 years!
      Imagine that, will you…
      How the heck would you get to school then?


    why do some butterflies live for a short period of time?

    Kanishka and Merceline

    Georgia and Tai 15/09/2010 at 12:51 pm

    If all the insects died out would birds be able to pollinate the plants by them selves? or maybe humans would have to do lots more of that job. We’d have LOTS of DOC workers then!

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:58 pm

      You are absolutely spot on!
      In terms of our food crops, we would have to do everything ourselves and quite frankly: that’s impossible… so we would lose a lot of food crops from our diet; no more apples, unless you’d pollinate them yourself and if you’d buy them at the supermarket or green grocer’s they would be incredibly expensive due to extra costs involved in pollination;
      For the plants out in the wild, indeed the DOC budget would have to be astronomical; but then gin maybe we could have school camps every year for a few weeks to get the kids to help pollinate our plants!!!


    we were wondering why bugs die in nepenthes water, but when humans drink it its alright for them……whats the answer….

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:56 pm

      Think of that stuff as the contents of the plant’s stomach: bugs dissolve in it. I am not too sure if drinking that liquid is good for us!
      I think it should be diluted a lot with rainwater before I would have a go at it!


    HI RUDD……can crickets live like coa
    kcroaches, brain in their body?
    kevin 😀

    Georgia and Tai 15/09/2010 at 12:44 pm

    At Hurupaki we have a wetland. At the gate we have a puriri tree. we would like to know what types of creatures will pollinate the puriri tree?
    We would also like to know do all plants get pollinated or do just flowering plants get pollinated?


      Hi Georgia and Tai,

      What a great question!

      Maybe you can help answer it – what kind of creatures do you see in the puriri tree?

        Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 11:13 pm

        Puriri flowers are red
        Does that provide a clue?

        remember that bugs can see blue colours quite well… not the red!!!

    Katie and Joel 15/09/2010 at 12:39 pm

    At Hurupaki we have our own wetlands.There are lots of water plants there.We try to encourage the birds to come into our wetlands with flax and kowhai.


      That’s fantastic! Wetlands are so important.

      Is it working? Are you seeing lots more birds in your wetlands?

      Why do you want more birds? What will it mean for your school and your community?

        Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:51 pm

        Katie and Joel: are you kids looking after that wetland yourselves? If so, may I point you in the direction of This is a group of people that may be able to help you with some funds for the restoration or up-keep of that wetland; go on line and enquire with the administrator… you’ll get the picture really quickly;
        That, by the way, goes for any of you young folk, wanting to do a restoration project near the school or in your community: that KidsRestoreNZ has funds to help you with the project; have a look!


    Hi, are there any bugs that are immune to the sweet nectar smell, and colours of the Nepenthes?

    From Harry B and Kevin

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:48 pm

      I really don’t know, sorry
      But can imgine there will be sme bugs (quite a lot actually) that will avoid the Nephentes plant, simply because the smell doesn’t DO IT for these bugs

    Teja And Harriette 15/09/2010 at 12:37 pm

    In the Junior Journal number 36. There is a great article called ” Dancing Bees. ” We learned about how bees communicate with each other to give different messages. Be sure to check it out- it’s cool.

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:47 pm

      thank you for that info – I shall check it out!
      Just imagine you can communicate with dancing; not just ANYTHING, but:
      direction, distance, colour of the flower and smell of the flower’s nectar
      All that sort of info is communicated inside that dark beehive so that the other bees can find the goodies!!!

      Now – here is a tip for all you bloggers out there:
      In a few weeks time there will be a new book in the bookshops of New Zealand by Des Hunt; it’s called THE NAUGHTY KID,S BOOK OF NATURE… You’ll absolutely ove it! It’s full of stories about our nativ fauna and flora and roadkill and flies;

      But remember: you’ll hav to wait a few weeks yet, before it is published; I have a copy right here in my hot little hands
      It’s brilliant and funny!


    hey ruud last week at home i saw a fly standing there all alone then another one came over and stood on top of it…….what does that mean? chelsea
    ps it looks really weird 🙂

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:42 pm

      Chelsey – I think that is a question that would be perfectly answered by either your parents or your teacher…


        ok thanks 🙂 by the way my name is CHELSEA. i’ll ask my mum……..:)


    What are some of the things we can spray in our gardens
    that don’t harm insects?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:41 pm

      Depends on why you want to spray????
      If you want to spray gardens to control “pests” (insect pests etc then you are likely to use something that is poisonous to insects and therefore you are already having an impact…
      So… first consider what your problem is
      then think about a way to solve that problem without damaging all sorts of wildlife…
      Makes sense, doesn’t it?


    are there any sorts of plants that don’t make pollen?
    from anoushka

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:39 pm

      absolutely: all those types of plants that don’t have any flowers and reproduce VEGETATIVELY. (Another word for the English lessons, Miss Faulknor!)
      and what about ferns and mosses and those sots f plants!


    could humans pollinate as well as bugs,birds,insects etc

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:37 pm

      yes and some growers actually do that. tomato growers used to tap the wires on which the tomato vines grow, so that tose taps would loosen the pollen and fall onto the flowers next door;
      Guess what: bumblebees do a much better job, though!!!

    Senior Room at Lake Rotoiti School 15/09/2010 at 12:30 pm

    Hi Rudd,

    We are in the Nelson Lakes National Park and so we are all interested in biodiversity and conserving species. We know that bees becoming extinct would be a big problem for all of us. If kiwis or kakapo became extinct would it have much of an impact? We’ve been debating this in class – what do you think?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 11:09 pm

      Not sure if bees are becoming extinct, really. Remember there are many many beekeepers out there that will protect their hives against pests and diseases, so that bee colonies can keep on doing the brilliant work.
      But it will mean that beekeepers will need to do more work to keep bees healthy… and that means higher costs of food production too.
      I think it may be more of a problem if a very special fly would become extinct, for instance… a fly that pollinates one particular rare plant… that would mean that that plant is going down the gurgler too!
      bad news, eh?

    Hurupaki Pod 7 15/09/2010 at 12:30 pm

    Hi Ruud
    We have been reading about bees. We have found some School Journals with interesting stories. We read the Part 1 Number 5 1979 Journal story ‘Mr Green and the little bee.”
    From this story we learnt about why we need to be careful with sprays and insecticides in our gardens.

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 11:04 pm

      not sure if my answer came through on the blog before….
      I love that sort of information; will keep an eye on it and see if I can find it in library.

    Dylan and Dan 15/09/2010 at 12:30 pm

    How do bats help pollinate plants?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 18/09/2010 at 12:24 pm

      by lapping up the nectar and getting the pollen all over their fur… when they go from flower to flower they take the pollen also from flower to flower


    Hey Rudd……i was wondering why we need crickets….they dont seem to be doing anything…
    so i just wanna know why do we need crickets?

    Kevin rm27

    Georgia and Tai 15/09/2010 at 12:25 pm

    Hi Ruud
    We have another question that we would like you to answer.
    Why do people make sprays that are toxic to bees?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:34 pm

      because they didn’t think things through… is the short answer.
      Of course, some insecticides should only be used whene there are no bees flying around… But people don’t really think about those sorts of things from time to time.
      Using pesticides is very tricky and if you MUST use them it ays to be very very careful and read all the instructions

    Katie and Joel 15/09/2010 at 12:22 pm

    How do water plants manage to get pollinated?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:32 pm

      by sending their flowers above the water like waterlillies) so that they are accessible to bugs or wind)


    hi rudd

    do birds pollinate more than bugs?

    by matthew and terore

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 11:02 pm

      every pollinator has its own job to do; it’s difficult to tell who does more…


    where do bees come from


    how do flies get there food?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:27 pm

      Hi Room 27! are you all well?
      I am now in the Air New Zealand Koru Lounge in Queenstown, waiting for my plane back home….
      anyway birds only pollinate those flowers that are suitably pollinated by birds: usually the bigger flowers and usually red or reddish in colour;
      The generally smaller flowers are usually pollinaed by bugs – and often these are blue or white (it’s all to d with the reflection of ultra-violet light, which bees and bugs can see really well – try to google those topics: ultra-violet light and insects – see what you get!
      greetings form a beautiful Queenstown/Otago
      PS: wish you were here!

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:30 pm

      flies don’t have teeth or sucking tubes; they have a “spongue” type arrangement for a mouth; so when a fly wants to eat a sugar crystal (you can try that at home!!!) you will find that the fly will regurgitate some fluids from its stomach or mouth, to dissolve the crystal and then spongue the lot back up, leaveing those characteristic brown “fly spots on the ceiling!
      Shows you those spots are not fly poo but fly vomit… really!


    hi Ruud
    we wanted to know: What is the purpose for fleas?
    Hannah and Tanayaz 🙂

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:23 pm

      they are parasites, so they make life a bit miserable for their “host”
      But their real role in life is to transmit diseases (such as the plague)… those disases kill the hosts and therefore “keep the balance”.
      It’s all about balance in Nature… if one organism becomes too numerous, its pests and diseases will increase in numbers to kill that numerous species and “bring it back down to manageable leavels”


      well we think that if there were no parasites in the world there would be over population of all sort of species from humans to animals and to insects.

      Hannah and Tanayaz

    Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:04 pm

    hi everyone!we had such a great blogging session last monday, don’t you think?

    Now – I would like to get a step further in this: I’d like to explore what would happen to New Zealand and what would happen to the World if we didn’t have all this wonderful biodiversity to keep the ecology ticking?
    What would be the consequences of species going extinct?

    have you got any ideas about that?
    Blog away folks!!!


      hi ruud what is a rino bettel and whats so speical about them

      from oscar rm 27

        Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:14 pm

        Rhino beetles are big beetles (often in tropical rainforests) with one or two horns on their head; they use those to wrestle competitors with – so the fight is always about the best breeding sites.
        Now – their larvae or grubs live on plant roots and can do a bit of damage; But also: they are food for soil-dwelling animals and birds, and the big beetles make great snacks for monkeys and other omnivores in the rain forests


        oscar it is beatle


        Hey Oscar,

        Aren’t rhino beetles cool?

        What do you think would happen if there were no rhino beetles any more?


        we think it will effect the ecosystem E.G. trees birds and mamals


        we think it will effect the ecosystem E.G. the trees


        Yep! Maybe you could look into what eat rhino beetles and what rhino beetles eat – ie the ‘food web’. That would help you work out the effect on the eco system!

    Amaru Taneatua school rm c1 15/09/2010 at 10:44 am

    hi my name is amaru williams and my question is how did you get into loving bugs and why?

    Taneatua school c1 15/09/2010 at 10:44 am

    do bumlebees make honey if there nests are underground

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:21 pm

      yes they do – but they mix it with pollen, so it would taste racther yukky to us
      But to the baby bumble bees is is the perfect mixture of sugars and peanut butter!!! (honey and protein)


    How Many Different kinds of bugs are there?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:17 pm

      we don’t know!
      Scientists have described (given names to) about a million species…. but we think there may be as many as 5 or even 10 million secies still to be discovered!!!
      Just think about all that biodiversity around;
      here’s something to remember: if you take all the animal species on the planet Earth, one quarter of them is ….

      a beetle!!!

    Taneatua school c1 15/09/2010 at 10:40 am

    kiaora ruud this is tako here and i wont to know when did you start loving insects and why do you like insects so much

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:11 pm

      because insects do so many great things in the world – we need them so much!!! and s many people don’t even understand how important they are!
      eople use fly sprays to kill spiders and all that sort of nonsense, so get really wild when see that and try to make people understand how all these tiny creatures do a fabulous job in the world and that we cannot live without them


    Kia Ora Ruud
    My Question is If you are lost in the bush are there any insects that are eat-able?If yes What Insects are they?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:08 pm

      Yes- lots of herbivore insects are edible
      sometimes you need to cook them; always clean them.
      people eat huhu grubs raw!!! bit too much for me, really…
      Google the word ENTOMOPHAGY; word of the day in English!!!!


    hi Ruud this is Amaru and my question is?How do bees know what their job is and how do they know how to pollinate flowers?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:05 pm

      That is “hard-wired” into the species; in other words: as soon as they are born they just do it, ’cause that’s what bees have genetically “programmed” in


    hello Ruud May i ask a Question About insects


    Hi Ruud its me AGAIN what I would like to no is:
    Does any other bug\insect eat pollen?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:04 pm

      lots of bugs eat pollen` – remember: it’s nutritious protein!


    could you tell us why bees seem to be disappearing? I think it must be pesticide sprays, which are made to kill insects. But I don’t hear people talking about that

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 15/09/2010 at 12:00 am

      If you read the literature carefully you will find that there are probably a whole lot of different reasons for “colony collapse disorder”.
      Indeed, the use of some types of insecticides could be one of them; so is the introduction of Varroa mite and foulbrood, problems that cause honey bees lots of grief. And then there is the way we build up our cities without flowers in the gardens… Pollination is important, so we should encourage good flowers everywhere…

    Melanie Charters 13/09/2010 at 5:32 pm

    Great job Room 27 (Remuera Intermediate), Hurupuki and Verran Schools.

    You asked some really thoughtful questions and will each receive a $50 book voucher spot prize for being the first to blog with the Bugman!

    A $50 book voucher prize also goes to Jonathan from Verran Primary School for today’s best question:

    “hello ruud do you know whats puzzled me for a lot of time is which is the most endangered bug that we should be helping look after in new zealand?” (Posted September 13, 2010 at 12:28 pm)

    Congratulations Jonathan!

    Blog live with the Bugman again on Wed 15 and Friday 17 September, 12.00 to 1.00pm, or submit your question now.


    Awesome. 😀

    Melanie Charters 13/09/2010 at 1:08 pm

    News flash Monday 13 September 2010 12.05pm:

    The Bugman has left the hive!

    He’s gone to do some urgent bug business!! He will check on your questions later today and looks forward to another live blogging session on Wednesday. Same time (11-12), same place!

    Thanks kids for all your great questions!


    What does a bees stinger look like close up?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 1:17 pm

      difficult to describe, maybe a good idea to find a picture on the internet: google “bee stinger” and “barbs”.
      You will find that there are some small barbs or hooks at the end of a bee stinger; these barbs do not allow the stinger to be withdrawn from your flesh, so the problem is that the whole stinger mechanism will get torn out of the bees’ bottom… and that’s why the bee dies after it stings

    Dan and Jordon 13/09/2010 at 1:02 pm

    When Tuis get the nectar from flax flowers does
    some of the pollen stick onto their beaks and then
    come off in the next flower?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 1:14 pm

      You can see the pollens ticking to their beaks an d feathers around the head, can’t you?


    What good experiences with bugs did you have when you were young ?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 1:13 pm

      very few at all! I grew up as an ornithologist – a bird man!
      ever since I as 7 years old I had binoculars and watched birds… only later in life (at University) I became interested in moths and butterflies – it was a hobby … and it still is my bestest hobby!


    why do bugs grow differently in different countries

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 1:12 pm

      that is a wonderful question! It really is the result of what we call “Biodiversity”, whereby all sorts of organisms grow up in their own areas with local conditions to which they adapt… evolution is a very important factor in this!


      they are in diffrent climates with different moistures, temperatures and humidity levels.
      Emma and Claudia 🙂

    Holly.E says 13/09/2010 at 1:00 pm

    Do different insects and birds take different pollen?
    What kind of birds take the pollen?
    ;P 🙂

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 5:02 pm

      Not sure f birds ctually eat the pollen; I think that the pollen are sticky and get stuck to their feathers when they go for a sweet drink of nectar at the “nectar bar”
      I am quite sure that different plants ar pollinated by birds, althought there will be some overlap between birds and insects


    We want to know what are some of the creatures that pollinate plants at night?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 5:01 pm

      Oh yes, Brook!
      Go out int your garden at night in spring with a torch and you may find moths hovering over flowers; also there will be small beetles wandering around and thrips and mites and maggots… yep – it’s busy out there, at night


    To Ruud
    Sorry for making a joke about our names(Mickey and Goofy) and making a fool of our school and ourselves.Please take our question seriously.
    sorry again
    yours sincerely Dante and Callum.

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 4:59 pm

      I wish you could spell “Ruud” as well as Goofy and Mickey… shows you, eh!
      see ya

    Room 8 Verran Primary 13/09/2010 at 12:57 pm

    Hi Ruud, we hope you remember our enviroschool which you visited a few years ago.You brought your pet weta and also pointed out the puriri moth’s tunnel in one of our trees. We keep trying to help the environment in many ways by creating habitats for invertebrates.Two questions; does the worm wee we put on our plants affect the invertebrates? Why have cockroaches invaded our homes and classrooms this winter and what can we do about it-still being environmentally careful?
    Hope ypu can visit our school sometime soon.
    from room 8’s invertebrate lovers x x x

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 4:58 pm

      Of course remember you and the school!
      You and the teachers do a brilliant job.

      Now – worm wee is natural but rather strong; so it pays to dilute it a bit before chucking it on the soil.
      What I really am trying to say is: worm wee is SO strong that I wouldn’t recommend getting it on a paper cut in your fingers
      I know you have cockroaches in the class room; How do I know that? because everybody that has a lot of vegetation and great gardens around the building will get them in winter. Simply because they love living in rich and fertile areas with lots of leaflitter and compost. That’s their job: converting fallen leaves into compost etc.
      The reason they come in is because outside it may be too wet or too cold and then they seek shelter under doors and in window frames.
      They HATE being in a dry classroom or warm staff room, so: collect them carefully and toss them outside in a messy cabbage tree or teatree.
      Remember: they don’t carry diseases and are not dirty at all
      Have fun!


    how do bees go to the toilet?
    or reproduce?
    hayden & timooy

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 4:49 pm

      well, bees do their poos in flight; Always a bit messy when your shiny, clean car is parked under the flightpath of a beehive, don’t you think?

      Reproduction is an affair between a young queen and one of the few male (DRONES) produced in the hive. The drone fertilises the queen, who keeps on laying thousands and thousands of eggs inside the hive


    I would like to no: Why don’t Bees die if they eat poisonous Nectar?


      Their bodies are equiped to eat all pollen, so poisonous pollen doesn’t affect them

        Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 4:45 pm

        see above: what’s poisonous to us, vertebrates (humans) is not always oisonous to insects.


    how do bees lay eggs?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 4:44 pm

      it’s the queen bee (the big one in the colony) that is the only one that’s able to lay eggs
      That’s all she does.
      The worker bees take the eggs away and eposit them one-by-one in their nursery cells. the larvae that hatch from these eggs will be fed by their “aunties”


    How do honey manufacturers know what honey is poisonous and what is not?

      Melanie Charters 13/09/2010 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Keegan,
      Katie’s asked the same question! See Ruud’s response to above.
      DOC Web Team


    What is the most poisonous plant in the world? And how powerful is its poison?


      From Pearl

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 1:09 pm

      there are so many poisonous plants; In New Zealand the deadly nightshade is a baddie; and also the Datura shrub, common in many gardens


    hi Ruud
    How do bees carry nectar and pollen?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 1:01 pm

      nectar in their “crop” (one of their stomachs) and pollen in a special contraption n their hind legs (pollen baskets)


    what else can we do to help invertebrates in our school? We have already built weta housess and planted lots of trees.We have vege and flower gardens and fruit trees.and we have a butterfly house?
    from Brooke

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 1:00 pm

      you are doing all the right things; of course, you don’t use insecticdes, which helps!
      Now – have you ever thought of researching all the food plants that certain insects need for their life cycle (food/shelter, etc)? Karaka for giraffe weevils, Muehlenbeckia for blue an copper butterflies etc


    How do bees get nectar

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:58 pm

      by sucking it out of the flowers they visit; they really enjoy that job

    Melanie Charters 13/09/2010 at 12:48 pm

    Hi Ruud,
    Oliva C from Hurupaki School is wondering:

    What other food do bees make other than honey?
    What is royal jelly and why is it important?


      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:57 pm

      Royal jelly is an important powerfood that is given to the young bees that will become queen bees in the future
      Nice word, eh? ROYAL jelly for a queen!
      Bees also make wax, of course; not a food for us, but it used to be used a lot for furniture polish

        Melanie Charters 13/09/2010 at 3:44 pm

        Royal Jelly is good for people too! You can find it at your local health food store.


    Hi Ruud I’m wanting to know:
    Why is pollen so important to trees and flowers e.c.t?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:56 pm

      without pollination trees, shrubs, fruits and vegetables would not produce young plants – without pollination no reproduction!!!!
      The plants would die out or go extinct


    Hi Ruud, from Hurupaki school

    Are there any kind of fruit and vegetables that don’t go through pollination?
    from liam.

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:54 pm

      all fruits and seeds have been aprt of the pollination process!


    hi Ruud this is Johnny from Hurupaki school pod 7 we wonder why bees don’t die with poisonous flowers and does honey sugar.How much grams of honey can one bee make in one day
    kind regards
    pod 7


      Hi Ruud this is Johnny sorry about the spelling mistake it was does honey have sugar in it

        Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 4:41 pm

        No worries, Johnny! I am typing SO fast… I make typing errors all the time
        Anyway – yes lost of sugar in honey and remember that bees are not like mammals (humans): what’s poisonous to us may not be poisonous to bees.
        It is difficult to calculate how much honey a bee “makes” each day, simply because the beesw that carry the nectar to the hive are not the same bees that dry the nectar and use the enzymes to process it.
        There are some guesses as to how many milligrams of nectar a bee transports on a flight, but I cannot remember exactly how much that was, sorry


    what was the most painful sting bite u have got

    from sophie


    We want to know why does nectar only come from flowers?

    Piper, Holly, Georgia and Samantha 13/09/2010 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Ruud.
    These are some Questions we would appreciate it if you would answer them for us.
    Which plant has the nicest nectar for the birds & bees? P.M
    Why does honey only come in the colour yellow? S.B
    Why is some honey runny and others solid? G.H
    If all of the plants in the world died out, what would happen to all the bees and pollinators? H.E

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 4:23 pm

      nicest honey/nectar? depends on the taset of the bees and the taste of the consumer (YOU)
      If yu have water with a lot of sugar dissolved in ti, you’ll find it goes yellow-ish too, so I expect it has to do with clear liquid and yellowing colour as a result of the dissolved sugars
      Runny or solid has to do with a number of things: the origin of the honey Some flowers produce very sweet/sugar rich honey that is less runny, and then there is the process of extracting the honey from the hives and whether or not it is heated before it’s put in the jar etc etc.
      If all the plants died out: where would we get our vegies? who would make the oxygen? Who would take the CO2 out of the atmosphere? jeepers! I think we’d be absolutely lost on our Planet


    can fernspalls be pollinated by animals


      No; Ferms reproduce by spores!

        Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 4:18 pm

        very good!
        ferns do not have flowers, but form those brown spores tht are often clustered on the underside of the fern leaves


    how do bees sting

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 4:16 pm

      with a stinger, attached to their bottom


    We wont to know why does nectar only come from flowers?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 4:15 pm

      aAAH Who says that nectar is only produced in flowers? You see, there are plants that produce nectar from prickles or from branches and from buds. It’s n exception, I know, but nevertheless it occurs! The reason a plant produces nectar is to attract bugs for some reason; that could be pollination but it could also be defence!
      Imagine you are a tree that is attacked by giraffes (they want to eat your leaves): now, if you have a colony of ants living on the leaves, the ants will sting and bite the giraffe as soon as it sticks its tongue out….
      The tree attracts the ant colony by providing them with nectar from glands near the leaves; simple as that!


    How do garden worms get into fruits when there isnt an openning to go in, and they dont have any teeth? What is the cameleons specification i.e Lizard etc
    Celeste, Kanishka and Mercy

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 4:11 pm

      Earth worms bite themselves into fallen or rotting fruit, so they make their own opening
      A Chameleon belongs to the lizard group ndeed; we call them REPTILIA


    how do you raffelisa the largest flower in the world disperse its seed
    from pearl

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 4:07 pm

      I don’t know who or what disperses the Rafflesia seeds… What I do know is that because the flower is so stinky, it attracts flies and those flies pollinate it!


    Hi this is Kennedy B-S from Hurupaki school.
    How are bees born?


    How do honey manufacturers check the honey to make sure it is safe for people to eat?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:50 pm

      The funny thing is: there is only one particular chemical that beekeepers are really worried about: the poisonous honeydew, collected by bees from the Tutu plant. So: beekeepers avoid putting their hives anywhere near these plants, in certain times of the year;
      For more information google the word “tutin” and you’ll find fascinating stories about that poison; it’s actually an excrement of the passionvine hopper, as it feeds on the tutu plant!

      Now – remember: when bees collect poisonous nectar, it is often neutralised when it gets turned into honey


    Hi i was wondering if you can answer 2 questions for me what was the biggest bug in the world you have picked up and how many times have you been stung or bitten?
    From reuben

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:47 pm

      The biggest bug I picked up was the giant stick insect from Malaysia (32 centmeters long!!!!), the heaviest insect is our own Little Barrier Island Giant Weta (weighs as much as a skinny blackbird!) and the bulkiest one was the Goliath Beetle from South America.
      I have been stung thousands of times

        Melanie Charters 13/09/2010 at 3:41 pm

        Poor Ruud! I’m glad you still love bugs even though you have been stung so many times!


    How do worms, slugs, snails etc fertilise the soil?


      They swallow the the soil, turning it over and pooing it back out, which makes it very fertile.

    Dan and Jordon 13/09/2010 at 12:39 pm

    Why is pollination so important
    for fruit trees?


      so then the trees don’t die and so they can grow more to make food and dispearse seeds.
      from Claudia 🙂

        Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 4:06 pm

        Claudia’s absolutely right: without pollination there won’t be any fruit…. and fruit provides the seeds for the next generation of fruit trees


    We want to know : Can nectar wash off flowers in the rain?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:42 pm

      In some flowers a heavy ran shower may be able to dilute the nectar a bit, especially in flowers that have an “open cup-shaped” form; most other flowers have their nectar contained in enclosed compartments. These are only accessible by bees and bumble bees an such insect with long sucking tubes (such a tube is called a proboscis)


    is it true that daddy long legs are one of the most poisonous spiders in NZ
    from jadyn

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 4:04 pm

      we don’t know; nobody’s studied that;
      I think it is an urban myth!


    We would like to know how much nectar does it take to produce 25og of honey?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 4:03 pm

      I think that will depend on the quality and watery-ness of the nectar;
      I really don’t know, so i am making a guess: let’s say you need twice as much nectar in a hive (that’s 500 gram) to make 250 gram honey
      Just a guess, Alysha!!! So: how would you find out if I am correct or not? Who would you ask?


    Hi this is killarney from Hurupaki school my question is what is the most popular flower to produce nectar.and what would happen if we had no nectar in the world

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 4:01 pm

      depends on the consumer (YOU)and the preferance of the bees or pollinator. I know that flowers that provide HEAPS of nectar are often preferred by the bees. they are greedy-guts, i reckon!
      Mind you, it also means they don’t need to fly to too many flowers for a belly-full of nectar.

      I personally like rata honey from rata nectar.


    How does a bee make honey?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 3:54 pm

      it carries the nectar to the hive – vomits it out into a cell, dries it a little bit and slowly processes it into honey… nectar and honey are not that much different!

    Dan and Jordon 13/09/2010 at 12:33 pm

    How do honey manufacturers check the honey to make sure that it is safe for people to eat?

      Melanie Charters 13/09/2010 at 3:40 pm

      Hi Dan and Jordon.
      Great question! Ruud replied to a similar question from Katie – see his response a bit further down the page.
      DOC Web Team

        Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 3:53 pm

        yeah – and have a look at “Tutin” and “passionvine hoppers” in Google!

    Mickey Goofy 13/09/2010 at 12:33 pm

    Hi Rudd

    If the bees and insects and birds all died what happen

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 3:52 pm

      If our birds died, I think we may have a few years to live on our planet But if our insects died, i believe we may only have 6 months to live on our planet.
      Just have a look a what insects (or invertebrates) do on Earth!
      They pollinate, disperse seeds, help eachother, they are food for plants, food for wildlife, they remove dung and process compostable materials; they provide us with useful materials (silk etc) and food (honey etc), make us smile (my pet praying mantis); provide us with medicine and great new technology and ideas…
      We really relay on bugs so much!


    hi Ruud what i’ve always wanted to know why will cockroaches eat anything hope you can answer goodbye
    from Jack

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 3:48 pm

      Hi jack
      Roaches are “omnivores” (that’s a great word for the english lessons and spelling tests too).
      It means they eat “omnni” which means EVERYTHING. Allthough that is a bit exaggerated (everything), a roach can bite most organic materials nd chew it up; that means it can at everything that once lived and process dead “organic” materials into compost and smaller particles


    Hi Ruud this is Greer from Hurupaki School.
    What are the differences between nectar and pollen?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 3:46 pm

      Nectar is mostly sugar; it’s a sweet liquid. Pollen are solid, almost like dust. Pollen is made from proteins
      Pollen is used to fertilise a female flower part whereas nectar is the sweet reward that a pollinator gets if it does its job well


    is there anything maggots can’t eat?????????
    from celeste, kanishka and mercy

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 3:44 pm

      It looks as if maggots can eat a whole lot of different things, doesn’t it? But you have to remember that each fly species has its own type of maggot that does it own, typical type of job:
      Example: Maggots of the house fly eat fresh grass clippings in the compost bin; Maggots of the LESSER Housefly eat the poop of birds; Maggots of the brown blowfly eat dead possum carcasses on the road and maggots of the cluster fly eat live earthworms. maggots of the hover fly eat live aphids and so on and so on
      Some maggots eat plant material and bulbs


    why has the sundew evolved 5 times by itself

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 3:41 pm

      Evolution is process that happens because habitats or climates change. So if there are many changes, evolution changes the plants wih it!


    hello ruud do you know whats puzzled me for a lot of time is which is the most endangered bug that we should be helping look after in new zealand?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 3:40 pm

      What agreat question,Jonathan.
      There must be heaps of seriously endangered bugs in NZ, just like there are many endagnered birds! But the problem is: we do not study bugs that much, so we actually DON’T KNOW which bugs are on the brink of extinction. We know a few nd those are looked after quiite well: Tomorrow I shall visit the only legal bug reserve in New Zealand: just outside the town of Cromwell in Central Otago, is the Cromwell Chafr reserve. it’s a beetle that only occurs there; nowhere else. Their numbers are low and we hope that this reserve will protect them and stop them from going extinct.
      There are also moths that have not been seen for decades or longer; big beautiful moths that fly at night. We have very rare wetas and possibly also very rare grass hoppers. heres even rare bat-winged flies that are black and live high up in the mountains. They have realtively large black wings… Now – what do you think they do with those large flappy black wings, up there in the cold, snowy mountains?

        Melanie Charters 13/09/2010 at 5:33 pm

        Congratulations Jonathan! You’ve won a $50 book voucher prize for today’s best question!


    Hi ruud what actually happens when a white tail bites you and what should you do if that happens?
    Thanks for answering from Chelsea.

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:38 pm

      white tail spiders ar just like any other spider species that bites: they often inject a poisonous substance in your body and that may hurt or start to interfere with your system – causing redness, swelling and sometimes blisters.
      First thing you need to do is catch the spider, put it in a small jar and take it to the hospital or doctor, so that the scientists know what species it is and then can look for a cure to your problems; If the doctor does not now what bit you, the treatment may be less successful


    Is there a certain season for poisonous plants to germanate? What are the symptons of the poisonous plants?
    Oscar and Purushoth rm 27

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:35 pm

      no specific season; there are no SYMPTOMS, nor can you recognise a ppoisonous plant, simply by looking at them!!! That means you need to be very careful and research if a plant is poisonous or not!


    Are there any bugs that decompose man-made rubbish? e.g. plastic bags
    If they can how?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:34 pm

      There are bugs that recycle man-made rubbish, but to get a grip on plastic you may need bacteria to help you out!; depends a bit on what type of plastic it is; these days there are “plastics” that are not made from oil; biodegradable plastics, they call these things

    Hurupaki Pod 7 13/09/2010 at 12:25 pm

    Hi Ruud
    We are a group of year 3 and 4 students from Hurupaki School in Kamo, Whangarei.
    We have enjoyed watching Claudia in the video and we have some of our own questions.
    We are quite close to the Glenbervie pine forest and were wondering whether pine pollen is distributed by the wind, or if insects help out as well.
    We certainly have a lot of yellow pollen that gets blown all over our cars, windows and houses at this time of the year.

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:32 pm

      Hi there Hurupaki school!
      Pine trees release their pollen in July and make everything yellow… that is a dead give-away that these pollen are distributed by wind… many many pollen particles means that there is a much better chance that one of them will land on a female flower.
      By the way: when I was a young bird scientist, I used to go to Glenbervie quite often, because there were lots of kiwi in Glenbervie forest in those days (the early nineteen eighties); are thyere sill some around? or have the stoats and ferrets and possums eaten them all????


        they Probably have eaten them all (poor things)thank-you for answering our questions we really aprettiate it anyway we all enjoyed watching cluadia and you on the video it is very interesting I learnt alot of things and im sure all the others did aswell.Thanks again Greer.H.


    what is a pan-tropical weed??? 😛

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:29 pm

      pan-tropical means: occurs right around the tropics; so in the tropical ares of Africa, as well as the tropics in Asia AND the tropics of South America!


    Why do the nepenthes live in a such warm environment? Can carnivorous plants eat people food?

    Harry B, MinSoo and Kevin rm 27

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:28 pm

      nephentes is a group of meat-eating plants, specific to the tropics; yes they might be able to digest a small piece of steak, I reckon!


    If a weta’s leg falls off will it grow back?
    how good is a wetas eye sight?
    We have built weta houses so the wetas in our bush can hide from predators.There are lots of earwigs living in them.Will this put the weta off sheltering there?

    Melanie Charters 13/09/2010 at 12:20 pm

    Hi Ruud,
    Max from Verran Primary is wondering:
    ‘How does poison get into a bug to make it poisonous?’


    How do plants make nectar?
    Sophie rm 5

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 3:32 pm

      from the sugars made in the leaves and green parts, due to that difficult-to-spell-word: photosynthesis!


    Does spiders has jobs?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:21 pm

      predator; keeping the balance in terms of prey numbers


    what is the mosquito job
    from jadyn

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:21 pm

      believe it or not, Jadyn, but mosquitoes actually pollinate flowers too!; of course, the female mosquitoes suck blood, but the males mostly live on nectar and pollen; The females eat some nectar ad poollen too, but not as much as a the males


    do you know how a mimosa pudica is pollinated???
    from anoushka

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:19 pm

      no idea; I expect that the flowers are pollinated by…. WIND!!!
      the wind takes the pollen from one flower and blows it to the next – often these Mimosas have many pollen on each flower, so that the chances of wind pollination get much better


    how do algae reproduce?
    Rejo and Hayden

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 12:17 pm

      by splitting themselves up into two separate cells… and these two then split themselves into two separate cells, so you end up with…?


    you said that ants can carry more than their weight. how much do ants weigh?
    Emma rm 27 🙂


    what is the meaning of compund leaves??? 😀
    from anoushka and claudia


    Hi Rudd
    How are ants able to carry 30 times their weight?

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 09/09/2010 at 4:23 pm

      Hi Sam!
      first of all, my name is Ruud – I know it is a strange way of spelling it, but that’s because it is a Dutch name.
      Now – ants can carry many times their own weight, simply because they have a sturdy exoskeleton (hard outer skin) and are relatively well-built: They have six legs (good stability) and a low centre of gravity. All the sorts of things we (humans) don’t have!

    Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 09/09/2010 at 9:46 am

    Hi Maddie
    Yellow and black?
    First of all, you may be thinking about a WASP when you see yellow and black, not so much a bee (they are more brown and black)
    OK yellow and black to me (as a vertebrate) means DANGER, in other words: “Don’t mess with me”.
    So wasps are telling everybody not to touch them, because they are armed with a painful sting.
    Bees are not very aggressive (only when you start opening their hive or nest – they will defend their honey!)
    Their brown colours are more used as a camouflage, for when they enter their “natural” nests in hollw trees and other cavities, I think.

    Debra: have you ever researched what actually happens when a bee stings? Have you seen the barbs on the end of bee’s stingers?
    These barbs keep the stnger in the flesh of the animal that was stung and therefore the whole stinger (often complete with poison sac) gets ripped out of the bees’ body… therefore the bees die.
    But for this to happen there must be a valid reason! nature doesn’t do these things by accident…
    The stingers emit a faint smell of pheromones that guide other bees to drive the offending animal the one that was stung in the first place) further away from the nest
    So the first bee sacrificed her Life for the benefit of the colony!


      Thanks for answering my question!

      I have another question,
      Do ALL bugs put their lives on the line for what ever they are protecting?

        Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 09/09/2010 at 4:20 pm

        no… not really, but the ones that live in highly organised colonies do, sometimes. Most of these belong to the Order Hymenoptera that comprises ants, wasps and bees


        My sister asked me this question:
        Their are flowers that are called ‘honey suckles’ and… well… you suck the ‘honey’ out of them… is this true? or is it for the bees to come and collect the nectar??
        I have heard of them, but have never seen them? Can you really suck the ‘honey’ out of them?

        Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 10/09/2010 at 1:47 pm

        Debra: honeysuckle is safe to suck for nectar; yep it tastes quite nice. Won’t find it yet (too cold) you’ll see it in summer

        Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 13/09/2010 at 11:58 am

        Hi everyone; I am currently at Remuera Intermediate school trying to get a grip on this laptop; hope all goes well; now’s your opportunity to blog with me and everybody else; OK?
        Let’s try and stick to the topics of pollination and that everything in Life and ecology is connected;


    Are bees goining to be blind or even extinced

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 09/09/2010 at 4:16 pm

      what makes you think that?
      Blind??? I don’t think so…
      extinct? No – not really. I think there will always be good beekeepers that will look after their hives well… the only problem is all those new pests and diseases that are coming into New Zealand; they make life really hard for bee colonies. Stuff like the Varroa mite and foul brood…


    Dear Ruud

    Thank you for posting this interesting information and these fascinating videos.

    Could you please answer these questions.

    Maddie’s Question: What advantage does it have to the bee to be yellow and black stipes?

    Debra’s Question: Why do bees die after they sting something or someone?

    Room 27, Remuera Intermediate School 06/09/2010 at 3:51 pm

    Hi Ruud – thanks for your reply – yes we did know Claudia doesn’t like tomatoes – most of us do though!!!

    An apiarist is a bee keeper 🙂 Harry C is away today but we will be sure to let him know!!!

    In Science at the moment we are doing small group inquiries into plant adaptation – and some of us (about half) have chosen to study poisonous plants – we will be able to answer more about your questions later in the week but can say now:

    1.To find out if a plant has safe nectar we could check a website, ask experts at a plant shop or a botanist, read in a guide book on types of NZ plants, use the yellow pages, brochures etc

    2. Plants make poisons to protect themselves from predators such as people, animals, insects; also due to environmental stress ie – drought; adaptation to the environment around them to prevent the species being wiped out.

    3. A question we have now is how these plants pollinate without insects and animals? We don’t think the poisons affect bees but we will need to do more research into this.

    Thanks Ruud

    Room 27 🙂

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 07/09/2010 at 1:52 pm

      I think you are on the right track – when you dive into this topic, you will find there so many different angles and connections to axplore….
      And I suppose… that’s what Life is all about, and certainly the ecological systems that surround us.
      We often have no idea how these things work in Nature; it’s only when we start taking a look that we find out how clever nature actually is designed.

      see ya

    Room 27, Remuera Intermediate School 03/09/2010 at 2:45 pm

    We really enjoyed watching the clip with Claudia – she did really well!!! We are very proud of her. It was funny and interesting and helped us understand pollination so much better!!!

    One of the boys, Harry C would like to know if nectar tastes nice for humans??

    Room 27

      Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste 06/09/2010 at 12:51 pm

      Hi there, Remuera Intermediate!
      Great you enjoyed the video with Claudia – it was good fun making it too… did you notice how Claudia doesn’t like tomatoes!
      Anyway; Harry’s question:
      Tasting nectar directly from flowers is a wee bit dangerous; I have tried Nasturtium many times; it is safe (I think – I am still alive!) and it tastes sweet
      I decided to ask an apiarist (who is also a vet) if there are flowers in New Zealand that make poisonous nectar; YES THERE ARE!!!! In fact there appear to be quite a few flowers that have some pretty nasty chemicals in them. Often these chemicals are pyrrolizidine alkaloids…
      That is a word for this week’s spelling bee, don’t you think?
      Try it: pyrrolizidine alkaloids
      By the way: what is an apiarist???

      a good example of poisonous nectar is Rhododendron (often especially the red varieties); I know of a bird hospital that gets lots of sick tuis at this time of the year: they have been knocked down by the toxins in the rhododendron flowers!!!
      If you google “poisonous nectar” you come to websites like this:
      Borage, Echium and Mountain Laurel as well as “cherry pie” (Heliotrope) are all on the SUSPICIOUS list!
      So – better not try the nectar of flowers directly, unless you can find out it’s absolutely safe.
      Now – a few questions for you folk:
      1) How would you find out if a certain flower has safe nectar? Who would you ask?
      And… 2) Why do plants make poisons inside their leaves, stems and flowers?
      Think of the “arms race” between predator and prey.
      Oh and 3) if a poison makes vertebrates like humans or birds, sick… does it affect bees and other nectar eating insects too?
      4) Why?

      have fun researching!