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Send it to editor@cdbka.com

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No buzz except for one bee!

For the first time in 99years there was a total eclipse that spanned coast to coast in the USA in August 2017.  

Dr Cadence Galen and colleagues from the University of Missouri, had setup microphones along the projected route of the Eclipse from Oregon to Missouri. These were carefully setup amongst flowers to record the sound of the bees during the progress of the eclipse. They decided it was sufficient to  record for a period of three minutes. 

The monitoring stations recorded a drop-off of the sound of flying bees as the eclipse progressed until at the point of total darkness, the buzz of flying bees stopped, this totality lasted for 40 to 160 seconds, dependent on the location of the monitoring station .   

Apparently this was true across all the monitoring points except for one oddity when the sound of a solo bee flying around was recorded!  

It was presumed that as the period of darkness accelerated, that those bees close to their hive returned as they would at night, but those that were foraging well away from the hive, did as bees do during periods of inclement weather or rapid nightfall the sheltered in and under flowers. 

Dr Galens comment was “Wherever they were except for one bee, for the period of totality, they certainly weren’t flying!” 

 Article by Graham Robunson - Suggested in an article in The Metro 18/10/2018

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BEES TO BE REPLACED BY ROBOT POLLINATORS ?

 From The Sun Newspaper 

 "BEE-BOT CROP AID" 

The Sun reported that robotic bees could be used to pollinate many crops due the worldwide losses in bee colonies. 

Three-quarters of crops rely on insects for pollination and so Scientists at Havard University in the USA have developed remote control "RoboBees" which are smaller than a paper-clip. 

The developer of the new style "bee" said these could be available for use within about five years. These little robots will be fitted with GPS trackers and a single bee could accept a command such as "Go to these 10 flowers" while the rest of their robotic pals could receive another similar instruction. 

This may get the crops pollinated, but could it lead to a reduction in pesticide controls? 

 What would happen to the price of honey as it becomes rarer? 

Many questions come to mind. 

Your comments would be appreciated! Send them to editor@cdbka.com.

 

Article by Graham Robinson. Web Editor.

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 DID YOU KNOW BEES SAY "WHOOPS",

WHEN THEY BUMP INTO EACH OTHER?

 Interestingly this article was stimulated by a recent question on the “Q.I.”  programme on t.v. (click on underlined words to jump to the actual article)

 Researchers used to think that the “Whoops” sound was made as a ‘stop/’ signal only but recently researchers have found that honeybees do actually produce a “whoop sound when they bump into each other, the noise might just be conveying surprise as we might say “Oops!” they make a sound that goes “Whoops!” Not too dissimilar is it?. Bees produce the sound with their wing muscles to create the vibrational pulse.  One of the research team, Physicist Martin Bencsik from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. said, "We have found that this signal is remarkably common, much more than previously thought."

 It's well known that honeybees communicate through vibrational signals, but why the bees actually make them has been up for debate.  Way back in the 1950’s, scientists suggested that the vibration signal was used as a request for food, as they observed that the noise was often followed by the bees exchanging meals. Later, researchers also noticed that the noise was used to inhibit another bee from performing a waggle dance – a form of communication used to tell other bees where to go to forage. The stopping of this waggle dance suggest that it worked as a 'stop signal' for some reason better known to the bee itself.

 But new research suggests that the way the bees were investigated in those past studies was flawed, and the signal is more common than we thought.  "Scientists in the past have explored this signal in artificial circumstances where they ensured that the bees under investigation would be trying to inhibit other bees," said Bencsik. 

He also went on to explain, “In our latest research studies, we have not manipulated our bees in any way, and this has revealed totally unexpected results, yielding new interpretations but also yet more mystery around this brief honeybee vibrational pulse." The team placed accelerometers into the centre of two hives in the UK and in France to record bee noises that are inaudible to the human ear. The vibrations were recorded for a year, and computer software scanned the recordings for the vibration "whooping" noise. He goes on to say "We believe that in only a small number of instances is it used as an inhibitory signal and therefore have proposed a new name – the 'whooping' signal." 

 The team found that the accelerometer would pick up six or seven "whoops" a minute, and from a very small area in the honeycomb.  "There's no way a bee was trying to inhibit another one that frequently, and there's no way a bee would request food that frequently," Bencsik told Sam Wong at New Scientist.

 When the researchers also placed cameras inside the hive, they noticed that it happened most when the bees bumped into each other, but it also happened if the hive was knocked or shaken. "We suggest that, in the majority of instances, it is bees being startled that produce the signal," says Bencsik.   In other words the bees are doing the bee equivalent of a surprised gasp – and it makes these adorable noises even better!

 But the researchers aren't done yet – the team is now investigating if stressed colonies whoop more than unstressed colonies. "It shows promise that our methods can be used as a sensitive way of monitoring and assessing colony status for these hugely important pollinators," said one of the researchers, Michael Ramsey.

What's next ? Technology & pollenation!

Researchers are now looking at Black Mirror style bee drones to replace the real thing, supposedly to help the current ack of bee population.  

 See :- http://www.sciencealert.com/the-world-s-first-pollinating-drone-could-be-the-answer-to-the-bee-pocalypse

 We certainly don't want to lose those cute "whoops" if robot drones become the norm.

Article by Graham Robinson

With thanks to Jacinta Bowler; The Daily Mail; The New Scientist; Science Alert; Phys.org/news;

 Further reading : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4224136/Honey-bees-let-whoop-noise-startled.html#ixzz4xhFAnzR3   

 

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Hornet being "balled" - Heated to death!

Video of an European Hornet lunching on a honeybee (hit the forward arrow)

Thanks for sharing the video go to the owner of the munched on honeybee - Richard Lambeth.
Richard said "I saw the hornet at my hives it came twice and I watched it hawking and catching a bee then kill it before carrying it off, until then I was not aware the European hornet did this, I hope you find this video as fascinating as I do."

This is a European Hornet more information at:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_hornet
Check out this amazing hornet v honey bee video at-:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDSf3Kshq1M

The Asian Hornet poses a HUGE threat to our bees in the UK and has been found in the Channel Isles and on 3 sites in the U.K. where the nests were promptly destroyed
more info:-
http://www.bbka.org.uk/files/library/vespa-velutina-Asian-hornet_1319053310.pdf

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FOR UP TO DATE INFO ON THE ASIAN HORNET CHECK OUT Click Here

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4. Sep, 2016

A TIP THAT COULD HELP YOU IF YOU ARE STUNG

Hi Bee folks,
I thought I had better pass this tip about bee stings on to you.
A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine ( a non-beekeeper) got stung on his forehead while he was near my hives. My son said go and put some TCP on the sting telling him there was some in our bathroom cabinet. We always use TCP for stings and, our friend rushed into my home only to find my wife was taking a bath and he couldn't get to the TCP !
Instead, he went into our separate loo and seeing no TCP but spotted some toothpaste on the sink shelf, he squeezed some onto his finger and applied it to the sting. He reported that within minutes the pain had gone. When I was told of this I thought "Yeh right!" this can't be true and thought my friend was just being macho and pretending the toothpaste had worked while quietly suffering from the sting.
Today while painting a fence by my hives, I was stung twice once on my neck and once under my eye. I decided to try the toothpaste treatment and low and behold it worked! The pain of the sting dissipated totally over the next ten minutes. All that was left were two white spots of dried toothpaste which easily washed off.
All I can say in conclusion, why not try toothpaste on your next sting? If it doesn't work for you then go back to using your own treatment or, try TCP which I can guarantee does work and it also sterilises the sting site as bees do have dirty feet.
Graham Robinson - Editor

4. Sep, 2016