The Harvard Monolithic Bee is a millimeter-scale flapping wing robotic insect produced using Printed Circuit MEMS (PC-MEMS) techniques. v
Tag Archives | Bees
There was quite a stir among beekeepers and anti-GMO activists last fall when chemical and seed giant Monsanto purchased Beeologics, a small company best known for its “groundbreaking research” applying RNAi technology to honeybees, a process that blocks gene expression. This was Monsanto’s first acquisition of a pest control biotech company.
Since its inception in 2007, Beeologics has been developing Remebee®, an anti-viral treatment for use in honeybees affected with Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), a bee-specific virus which originated from Australia and was found and named in Israel in 2002.
President and CEO Eyal Ben-Chanoch explained in 2008 that Beeologics was assembling scientists, beekeepers and business people “to create the missing corporate support” in an industry that traditionally has only been supported by a few hardware manufacturers. Sure, there were hives, tools, bee suits and the like being offered, but very little had been invested in technology and medicine for the bees — until Beeologics came along, that is.… Read the rest
Now if only the mysterious Vanishing Bees could tell us what stresses are making them disappear in droves… Jason Castro reports on provocative experiments suggesting that the insects have something like an emotional life, for Scientific American:
… Read the rest
If you’ve never watched bees carefully, you’re missing out. Looking up close as they gently curl and uncoil their tapered mouths toward food, you sense that they’re not just eating, but enjoying. Watch a bit more, and the hesitant flicks and sags of their antennae seem to convey some kind of emotion. Maybe annoyance? Or something like agitation?
Whether bees really experience any of these things is an open scientific question. It’s also an important one with implications for how we should treat not just bees, but the great majority of animals. Recently, studies by Geraldine Wright and her colleagues at Newcastle University in the UK have rekindled debate over these issues by showing that honeybees may experience something akin to moods.
The kicker — Mr. Wei achieved the feat just two days after Chinese beekeeper Shen Zonghong broke the previous world record by having 36kg of bees on his body. What is going on over there?! Via the Daily Mail, the paper of record for entomological matters:
… Read the rest
This man broke the world record for the heaviest bee suit after being loaded up with 83.5kg of the flying insects. Zhang Wei, from Zizhou County, in western China, wore a special frame covered in foliage to hold the mass of bees.
Wearing a pair of gggles and holding a tube in his mouth for breathing, Mr Wei was seated as around two dozen crates full of bees were released next to him.
The man – who was wearing a jacket and trousers but did not have his hands or face protected – did not seem to mind as thousands of the insects buzzed around him and almost completely engulfed his frame.
disinformation readers have been aware of the frighteningly rapid onset of Colony Collapse Disorder for some time, and indeed here at disinfo we’ve allied with filmmakers George Langworthy and Maryam Henein to help distribute their superb film Vanishing of the Bees. The United Nations will be supporting the release of the film including screenings around World Environment Day (June 5), and are putting the word out on what is a very, very serious issue (as a reminder, commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables). From AFP via Yahoo News:
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GENEVA (AFP) – The UN on Thursday expressed alarm at a huge decline in bee colonies under a multiple onslaught of pests and pollution, urging an international effort to save the pollinators that are vital for food crops.
Much of the decline, ranging up to 85 percent in some areas, is taking place in the industrialised northern hemisphere due to more than a dozen factors, according to a report by the UN’s environmental agency.
We call on you to immediately ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides until and unless new independent scientific studies prove they are safe. The catastrophic demise of bee colonies could put our whole food chain in danger. If you act urgently with precaution now, we could save bees from extinction.If you are curious as to just why this is so important, here's Tom Theobald, the whistleblowing beekeeper who "leaked" an EPA memo about the systemic pesticide Clothianidin. EPA scientists do not approve of the use of this toxic poison because of the damage caused to honeybees and other insects and invertebrates. Yet the EPA proposes the sale will simply continue. Here he discusses the EPA and the bigger picture problems that allowed this toxic chemical to be released onto the market - despite concerns of the EPA scientists.
As domestic bee colonies collapse in droves, the United States is being flooded with cheap, perhaps dangerous, Chinese honey in “the largest case of food fraud in history.” The Globe and Mail reports:
… Read the rest
As crime sagas go, a scheme rigged by a sophisticated cartel of global traders has all the right blockbuster elements: clandestine movements of illegal substances through a network of co-operatives in Asia, a German conglomerate, jet-setting executives, doctored laboratory reports, high-profile takedowns and fearful turncoats.
What makes this worldwide drama unusual, other than being regarded as part of the largest food fraud in U.S. history, is the fact that honey, nature’s benign golden sweetener, is the lucrative contraband.
What consumers don’t know is that honey doesn’t usually come straight – or pure – from the hive. Giant steel drums of honey bound for grocery store shelves and the food processors that crank out your cereal are in constant flow through the global market.