ITHACA (WSYR-TV) - While most people tend to shy away from holding insects in the palm of their hands — more than 2,000 people will head to Ithaca on Saturday, Oct. 17, to do just that.
“Insects are really, really important, not only for the eco-system but also as humans,” said Heather Connelly, a graduate student in the Cornell University Entomology Department. “They’re pests of our crops but they’re also very important pollinators, they show up in their houses in places we don’t want them to be…doing research on insects is very critical.”
Cornell is making a big deal about bugs for the twelfth year in a row for its annual Insectapalooza event. This year’s theme is “Bizarre, Bad and Beneficial.”
If holding a praying mantis in your hand will bug you, you can watch a cockroach race or interact with hundreds of butterflies.
“There’s all kinds of insects there,” said Connolly who is working on her fifth Insectapalooza event.
Event goers will also have the opportunity to taste honey and make candles while learning about honeybees.
“You can also learn about some of the current issues that are happening with honeybees and the research we’re doing at Cornell to try and solve some of those problems,” Connelly said.
Other Cornell researchers will have exhibits with cockroaches wired up in order for people to see how their brains interpret electric signals and turn that into information about what is going on around them.
Learning a little more about these creepy crawlers might make it a little easier to live with them.
When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Comstock Hall, Cornell University
Fee: $3 per person; Free admission for kids under 3
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