One of my goals in life is to have a bee colony, so I can produce honey, pollinate the neighborhood and help out this country’s amazing but threatened honeybees. Obviously this is a much greater logistical challenge than keeping other creatures, which is why I have no bees at present. But this new concept from Philips could make it a lot easier, by simply glomming a bee colony onto an apartment window.
Flight researchers and computer scientists get all sorts of cool tools to study honeybees, hoping the insects can help point the way to better UAV flight patterns, solutions to computing problems and even environmental monitoring. But what about the bees?
An autopilot system modeled after honeybee flight is faster and more accurate than gyroscope-based programs, according to a new study. By imitating how honeybees sense their surroundings, aircraft can quickly determine which way is up and complete complex aerobatic maneuvers.
Over the last four years, 20 to 40 percent of the honeybee colonies in the U.S. have mysteriously collapsed. The killer has remained unknown--until now. A team of entomologists, along with military scientists from the Department of Homeland Security, have a new prime suspect (or rather, suspects), as shown in a new report on the science website PLoS One. A tag-team of a virus and a fungus show every sign of being the culprit. Now it's just a matter of eradicating that dastardly partnership.
Environmental monitoring has come a long way since the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Now we use bees.
Airports in Germany are using honeybees as "biodetectives," regularly testing their honey for a suite of pollutants, the New York Timesreports. This year's first tests were conducted in early June at Düsseldorf International Airport, and the bees got a clean bill of health. That means the air was clean, too.
Three ways that scientists are using the fifth sense
By Katharine GammonPosted 04.30.2010 at 10:17 am 0 Comments
To the novice nose, all old books have a similar musty scent. But scientists are peeling apart that odor's subtler characteristics to help preserve historical documents. They use standard chemical tests to detect 15 organic compounds emitted by paper that can signal that the book is decaying.
Bees need not recognize human faces when going about their pollination business. Yet scientists have now found that they can train bees to recognize the arrangement of human facial features, by rewarding the classy striped insects with sugar. That could inspire new facial recognition systems, given that bees manage this feat with brains the size of a microdot.
Teamwork among honeybees keeps a hive running smoothly. Worker bees collect pollen, nurse bees care for larvae, and male drones spread the colony's genes. Each insect's efforts ensure the colony's success. That strategy led Gu-Yeon Wei to suggest that Rob Wood morph an almond-size robotic fly he had developed into a fleet of autonomous bees, each capable of carrying out specialized tasks. Perhaps, they speculated, the "RoboBees" could supplement the pollinating duties of bees stricken by a mysterious affliction that's killed 36 percent of America's 2.4 million hives.