Thu 10 Aug 2017

WITT's science winners are the bees' knees

Thomas Hadley had a very good excuse for not being on hand with his 15-year-old brother William to pick up the major prize at the annual WITT Science and Technology fair on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old was half way around the world in London at an international youth science fair.

An audience of almost 400 students, educators, sponsors and supporters attended the prize giving at New Plymouth’s Pukekura Function Centre.

WITT is the major sponsor of the event for the next three years and Chief Executive Barbara George paid tribute to the work of students - and support of whanau - in making this year's awards such a success.

The Francis Douglas Memorial College brothers’ project, Beekeepers’ Pest: Solution to Pollution? examined the appetite of the Greater Wax Moth for New Zealand plastic.

The moths are found in most parts of the world and though their larvae are commercially available in New Zealand as food for captive geckos, birds and insects, they can cause problems in bee hives.

It was reported earlier this year the larvae of the moth will eat polyethylene and polypropylene. So William and Thomas set out to add to the scientific findings by testing the appetite of the moth for New Zealand bags – and found they preferred thinner supermarket bags.

For more information, go to the Witt Taranaki Science and Technology Fair Facebook page.