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Charles Gilbert 2017-08-04
img

As we all know, the bee population is declining at an alarming rate, and while the causes are many, the solutions are few.

At the very least, beekeepers need to keep an extra-close eye on their hives — which can be difficult when there are a few thousand of them.

A Canadian researcher is working on a monitoring system that listens to the buzz and passes on word if things are going south.

Oldooz Pooyanfar, a graduate student at Simon Fraser University, created the device to improve data collection and hopefully lead to some insight into colony collapse disorder, the mysterious affliction that has claimed many a hive.

It uses microphones and temperature and humidity sensors, and will eventually include accelerometers; you mount it inside the hive and it gives you a drone’s-eye view of the colony’s activity.

“With this monitoring system, we are collecting data in real time on what the bees are ‘saying’ about foraging, or if they’re swarming, or if the queen bee is present,” Pooyanfar said in a news release.

collect
0
Keith Hake 2019-05-23
img

Stop being sad and angry about the composition of straws.

McDonald's is a fun and caring youth brand, don't you know, so much so that it's capable of spending money on wacky stunts like building a micro-scale McDonald's building entirely for the use of bees, seeing as the bins outside its restaurants are already so supportive of local wasp communities.

It is, of course, the McHive – an initiative by the Swedish division of the burger company to [make it look like they] support sustainable local communities by putting them on the rooftops of some restaurants.

And it is an anatomically correct build too, with the bees entering through the door to gain access to the internal structures.

They don't say if there are toilets or not.

Probably not, as bees poo out honey.

collect
0
Wayne Konwinski 2017-06-30
img

A few years back, domestic honeybee nests started experiencing mass die-offs, and problems were found in wild bees as well.

Nevertheless, suspicions focused on a specific class of insecticides called neonicotinoids.

The EU has already placed restrictions on their use, and it's considering a near-total ban.

If you read the headlines this week, it would appear that a new study completely justifies that decision.

But a quick look at the underlying data shows that the situation is far more complex.

And a second paper, with more robust results, supports the idea that these insecticides are merely one of a number of factors contributing to bees' problems.

collect
0
Jose Breland 2017-10-06
img

Research looking at honey samples from around the global has highlighted the dangers a certain variety of insecticides pose for bee populations.

Researchers found that out of nearly 200 honey samples, 75-percent of them tested positive for neonicotinoid insecticides.

The study highlights the worldwide threat such pesticides pose for bee populations, which have been on the decline for years.

Bees are crucial for the world’s food crops, but a combination of wild habitat loss and extensive use of pesticides have posed a huge threat for bee populations.

Efforts to reverse this loss-of-bees trend has spurred research efforts around the globe, this latest one being among them.

The study found that samples from North America had the highest rate of insecticide contamination at 86-percent.

collect
0
Betty Gribble 2017-09-14
img

In true Manchester style, a ‘raising bee’ (a gathering of people to give assistance) in the North West digital community is helping tackle the ever-increasing issue of homelessness, not only in Manchester but other cities around the UK.

Led by the Street Support Network, more than 40 digital professionals from a range of businesses across the region kick started the inaugural gathering this week at an event held at digital agency Code Computerlove.

They assembled to donate their time and digital expertise to help the Street Support Network implement new digital features and content that will actually make a difference to people’s lives using this resource.

The Street Support Network launched in 2015 to provide a central online resource and connect the breadth of organisations across the region that are working towards a shared mission – to make it easier for people who are homeless to get the help they need.

Viv Slack from Street Support Network explained: “You can’t help but notice the rising number of people sleeping rough and experiencing homelessness in our cities; as digital professionals we wanted to use our skills to do something to help.

“Through our research we recognised that a central online resource – bringing together frontline organisations, volunteers, citizens and people with lived experience of homelessness, working towards the shared goal of helping those in need – could be part of the solution.

collect
0
Paul Williams 2017-09-22

A new project is aiming to bring bees online by putting them in tiny "backpacks" so that scientists can track the threatened insect's behaviour and help its survival.

From a report: Bees in Manchester initially will be connected to the internet using technology from Cisco to help researchers track their migration, pollination and movement, and eventually, across the UK.

Sensors in hives located at a new 70,000 sq ft tech accelerator hub in the northern city called Mi-Idea, will measure the bee environment such as temperature, while the bees themselves will be tagged with RFID chips that look like tiny backpacks.

All the information will be collected and made available to track online giving insight on their habitats, with the bees even providing "status updates" (albeit automated) on their whereabouts.

Cisco is working on the project with the Manchester Science Partnership (MSP) and the hub is already home to six startups: Hark, an IoT data company, video platform Wattl, location data analytics startup PlaceDashboard, Steamaco, an energy technology company, IOT platform KMS and software firm Malinko.

collect
0
Johnny Ament 2017-10-23
img

Reports from beekeepers across the country show that honey yields have collapsed over the last year, as the nation's bees have been on a sort of strike of late.

Although they probably don't realise they've been doing it.

The British Beekeepers Association say that the average beehive produced 23.8 lbs of honey over the last year, down nearly ten per cent on the production of the year before.

Some of this might be down to the weather, what with Wales and the south west being unusually wet this summer, but beekeepers say it's more evidence of a general downward spiral in honey production that's been happening for years.

Apparently the heaving hives of the 1950s would regularly give up between 50 and 100 lbs of honey each year, with changes in farming methods and less fallow land leaving less pollen for the bees to put in their leg pockets and take home to eat up and sick out, or whatever weird thing they do to make it into the sweet breakfast accompaniment.

collect
0
Vivian Matthews 2017-10-05
img

Scientists have discovered how the wiring of bees' brains helps them plot the most direct route back to their hive.

Researchers have shed light on the complex navigation system that insects use to make their way home in a straight line following long, complex journeys.

They have revealed how a network of neurons integrates every detail of changes in direction and distance covered on outbound journeys, and enables bees to return directly home.

Bees use their vision to navigate, but until now little was known about what happens inside their brains - which are smaller than a grain of rice - as they perform this task.

The discovery of neurons that detect speed and direction - and a precise description of how these are wired together - has helped scientists show for the first time how a bee's brain functions to guide it home.

Scientists found this region plays a pivotal role in controlling the navigation system - known as path integration or 'dead reckoning' - which is used by many animals, including bees, ants and humans.

collect
0
David Clary 2017-07-05
img

Three eyes look at the sky

Boffins at Australia's RMIT University in Melbourne (with colleagues from Monash and Deakin Universities and the University of Melbourne) looked at how honey bees process colour information, and found some of their five eyes sense ambient light.

It turns out that three eyes (ocelli – simple eyes in invertebrates) on top of bees' heads are aimed directly at the sky, with two colour receptors designed to sense the colour of ambient light.

That helps honey bees do something that your camera has trouble with: adjust their perception of the colour of an object to take into account the amount of sunlight.

In other words, what they perceive from the two compound eyes that look at flowers gets adjusted so a flower appears as the same colour, whether it's bright sunlight or a cloudy day.

To demonstrate that the ocelli are part of the insects' colour processing, the RMIT team, led by the university's professor Adrian Dyer, “mapped the neural tracings from ocelli and showed neural projection did indeed feed to the key colour processing areas of the bee brain”, the university's announcement says.

collect
0
Robert Drummond 2017-10-25
img

Harvard’s robot bees have really evolved over the years.

The RoboBee project was first unveiled in 2013, when the bots were only capable of takeoff and flying.

Since then, they’ve been modified to stick to surfaces and swim underwater, and now their creators say they’re able to dive in and out of water — a big achievement for a tiny robot bee.

Getting out of the water is usually pretty easy for humans, but it’s a challenge for anything as small as an insect.

The RoboBee weighs just 175 milligrams (that’s 14 times lighter than a cent), and at this size, surface tension is like extra strong gravity: it’s 10 times the robot’s weight, and three times its lifting power.

“The force from surface tension feels like an impenetrable wall,” said Harvard professor of engineering Robert Wood in a press release.

collect
0
James Dixon 2017-09-27
img

ICYMI, the insects that the human race relies on for pollinating one out of every three bites of the food we need to survive are vanishing.

To draw attention to the worsening global crisis -- and perhaps to ease the sting of growing public concern surrounding its use of genetically-modified ingredients and other unfun exposure -- General Mills Canada has strategically yanked Buzz, its iconic mascot.

"General Mills' decision to draw attention to the issue of declining bee populations marks the continuation of its commitment to purpose-based marketing, which means brands will go beyond traditional statements such as product benefit in order to align with what's really important to consumers," Cossette chief creative officer Peter Ignazi told AdWeek.

"By taking the bold step of removing a well-established brand symbol from its packaging, General Mills is further challenging marketing's conventional thinking to underscore its point."

In step with its latest “cause marketing” crusade, the legacy brand also released a heartstring-tugging video.

The clip (featured above) depicts one emotional animal rescue after another, set to the sound of a chorus somberly singing Mr. Mister’s 1985 hit “Broken Wings.”

collect
0
Raymond Maxwell 2019-06-06
img

We all know that some animals are very smart, dogs can be trained to perform impressive tasks, and primates can use sign language, and there are other smart animals.

Researchers from RMIT University say that they have already learned that bees can understand zero and do basic maths.

A new study from the university has found that bees brains may be capable of connecting symbols to numbers.

Researchers say that they have trained honeybees to match a character to a specific quantity revealing that the bees can learn that a symbol represents a numerical amount.

The scientists believe that the study may open new possibilities for communication between humans and other species.

The team says that humans take numbers for granted after learning them as a child, but the ability to recognize what the number “4” represents requires a sophisticated level of cognitive ability.

collect
0
Blaine Pilgrim 2017-09-27
img

Ah, that first true non-human friendship.

For others, a goldfish or a cricket in a jar.

In this story by Ogilvy Italy for Italian telco Wind, it’s a bee.

Bees aren’t often perceived as ideal candidates for furry-friend Stockholm Syndrome.

But in “Bee,” the absurd premise takes on an irresistible charm.

A little boy frees a bee from a jar, and a Lassie-and-Timmy relationship forms.

collect
0
Robert Tuohy 2019-08-23
img

Minecraft: Java Edition is abuzz thanks Mojang’s latest update.

Honey bees have fluttered into a number of biomes, setting up shop to pollinate flowers and create honey.

If you’ve ever wanted to a be a real life beekeeper but have been irrationally dissuaded by Nicolas Cage’s performance in The Wicker Man, now’s your chance (yes, the bees).

Bees are a neutral mob, which means they’ll leave you be if you leave them be (no pun intended).

Java Edition players will find them buzzing around in sunflower plains, plains, and flower forest biomes.

When agitated, the cute bees naturally will sting you.

collect
0
Freddie Gagne 2019-02-20
img

Not only can they fly at speeds of up to 15 mph and communicate with others through dance, but they have also been shown to have personalities and to be surprisingly cognitively complex.

Last year, a study found that bees can understand the concept of zero, joining a small number of animals like parrots and monkeys who have this ability.

Now a new study has found something even more remarkable: Bees can do basic arithmetic.

Researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Australia, with collaborators from the University of Toulouse in France, worked together to test bees’ ability at mathematics, technically called numerical cognition.

The researchers wanted to see whether bees could use colors as representations for numbers and use those colors for addition and subtraction.

On one size of the maze was tasty sugar water which bees want to collect, and on the other side was bitter quinine which they avoid.

collect
0
Victor Mcbride 2019-08-23
img

Mojang has released Minecraft: Java Edition update 19W34A, bringing a new type of ‘bug’ to the game: bees.

These bees are ‘cute, fuzzy, neutral mobs,’ according to the company, which warns that players should avoid hurting the critters because, though they’re not interested in attacking, they do have stingers.

This edition of the game has also received beehives and more.

Minecraft: Java Edition 19W34A brings square flying bees, bee nests and beehives, honeycombs, plus ‘some’ dispenser functionality.

Don’t attack the bees because you’ll ultimately just kill them — Mojang says the stinger will stick in the player’s character and the bee will slowly die.

You won’t get anything from the bee as a result of its death.

collect
0
Charles Gilbert 2017-08-04
img

As we all know, the bee population is declining at an alarming rate, and while the causes are many, the solutions are few.

At the very least, beekeepers need to keep an extra-close eye on their hives — which can be difficult when there are a few thousand of them.

A Canadian researcher is working on a monitoring system that listens to the buzz and passes on word if things are going south.

Oldooz Pooyanfar, a graduate student at Simon Fraser University, created the device to improve data collection and hopefully lead to some insight into colony collapse disorder, the mysterious affliction that has claimed many a hive.

It uses microphones and temperature and humidity sensors, and will eventually include accelerometers; you mount it inside the hive and it gives you a drone’s-eye view of the colony’s activity.

“With this monitoring system, we are collecting data in real time on what the bees are ‘saying’ about foraging, or if they’re swarming, or if the queen bee is present,” Pooyanfar said in a news release.

Wayne Konwinski 2017-06-30
img

A few years back, domestic honeybee nests started experiencing mass die-offs, and problems were found in wild bees as well.

Nevertheless, suspicions focused on a specific class of insecticides called neonicotinoids.

The EU has already placed restrictions on their use, and it's considering a near-total ban.

If you read the headlines this week, it would appear that a new study completely justifies that decision.

But a quick look at the underlying data shows that the situation is far more complex.

And a second paper, with more robust results, supports the idea that these insecticides are merely one of a number of factors contributing to bees' problems.

Betty Gribble 2017-09-14
img

In true Manchester style, a ‘raising bee’ (a gathering of people to give assistance) in the North West digital community is helping tackle the ever-increasing issue of homelessness, not only in Manchester but other cities around the UK.

Led by the Street Support Network, more than 40 digital professionals from a range of businesses across the region kick started the inaugural gathering this week at an event held at digital agency Code Computerlove.

They assembled to donate their time and digital expertise to help the Street Support Network implement new digital features and content that will actually make a difference to people’s lives using this resource.

The Street Support Network launched in 2015 to provide a central online resource and connect the breadth of organisations across the region that are working towards a shared mission – to make it easier for people who are homeless to get the help they need.

Viv Slack from Street Support Network explained: “You can’t help but notice the rising number of people sleeping rough and experiencing homelessness in our cities; as digital professionals we wanted to use our skills to do something to help.

“Through our research we recognised that a central online resource – bringing together frontline organisations, volunteers, citizens and people with lived experience of homelessness, working towards the shared goal of helping those in need – could be part of the solution.

Johnny Ament 2017-10-23
img

Reports from beekeepers across the country show that honey yields have collapsed over the last year, as the nation's bees have been on a sort of strike of late.

Although they probably don't realise they've been doing it.

The British Beekeepers Association say that the average beehive produced 23.8 lbs of honey over the last year, down nearly ten per cent on the production of the year before.

Some of this might be down to the weather, what with Wales and the south west being unusually wet this summer, but beekeepers say it's more evidence of a general downward spiral in honey production that's been happening for years.

Apparently the heaving hives of the 1950s would regularly give up between 50 and 100 lbs of honey each year, with changes in farming methods and less fallow land leaving less pollen for the bees to put in their leg pockets and take home to eat up and sick out, or whatever weird thing they do to make it into the sweet breakfast accompaniment.

David Clary 2017-07-05
img

Three eyes look at the sky

Boffins at Australia's RMIT University in Melbourne (with colleagues from Monash and Deakin Universities and the University of Melbourne) looked at how honey bees process colour information, and found some of their five eyes sense ambient light.

It turns out that three eyes (ocelli – simple eyes in invertebrates) on top of bees' heads are aimed directly at the sky, with two colour receptors designed to sense the colour of ambient light.

That helps honey bees do something that your camera has trouble with: adjust their perception of the colour of an object to take into account the amount of sunlight.

In other words, what they perceive from the two compound eyes that look at flowers gets adjusted so a flower appears as the same colour, whether it's bright sunlight or a cloudy day.

To demonstrate that the ocelli are part of the insects' colour processing, the RMIT team, led by the university's professor Adrian Dyer, “mapped the neural tracings from ocelli and showed neural projection did indeed feed to the key colour processing areas of the bee brain”, the university's announcement says.

James Dixon 2017-09-27
img

ICYMI, the insects that the human race relies on for pollinating one out of every three bites of the food we need to survive are vanishing.

To draw attention to the worsening global crisis -- and perhaps to ease the sting of growing public concern surrounding its use of genetically-modified ingredients and other unfun exposure -- General Mills Canada has strategically yanked Buzz, its iconic mascot.

"General Mills' decision to draw attention to the issue of declining bee populations marks the continuation of its commitment to purpose-based marketing, which means brands will go beyond traditional statements such as product benefit in order to align with what's really important to consumers," Cossette chief creative officer Peter Ignazi told AdWeek.

"By taking the bold step of removing a well-established brand symbol from its packaging, General Mills is further challenging marketing's conventional thinking to underscore its point."

In step with its latest “cause marketing” crusade, the legacy brand also released a heartstring-tugging video.

The clip (featured above) depicts one emotional animal rescue after another, set to the sound of a chorus somberly singing Mr. Mister’s 1985 hit “Broken Wings.”

Blaine Pilgrim 2017-09-27
img

Ah, that first true non-human friendship.

For others, a goldfish or a cricket in a jar.

In this story by Ogilvy Italy for Italian telco Wind, it’s a bee.

Bees aren’t often perceived as ideal candidates for furry-friend Stockholm Syndrome.

But in “Bee,” the absurd premise takes on an irresistible charm.

A little boy frees a bee from a jar, and a Lassie-and-Timmy relationship forms.

Freddie Gagne 2019-02-20
img

Not only can they fly at speeds of up to 15 mph and communicate with others through dance, but they have also been shown to have personalities and to be surprisingly cognitively complex.

Last year, a study found that bees can understand the concept of zero, joining a small number of animals like parrots and monkeys who have this ability.

Now a new study has found something even more remarkable: Bees can do basic arithmetic.

Researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Australia, with collaborators from the University of Toulouse in France, worked together to test bees’ ability at mathematics, technically called numerical cognition.

The researchers wanted to see whether bees could use colors as representations for numbers and use those colors for addition and subtraction.

On one size of the maze was tasty sugar water which bees want to collect, and on the other side was bitter quinine which they avoid.

Keith Hake 2019-05-23
img

Stop being sad and angry about the composition of straws.

McDonald's is a fun and caring youth brand, don't you know, so much so that it's capable of spending money on wacky stunts like building a micro-scale McDonald's building entirely for the use of bees, seeing as the bins outside its restaurants are already so supportive of local wasp communities.

It is, of course, the McHive – an initiative by the Swedish division of the burger company to [make it look like they] support sustainable local communities by putting them on the rooftops of some restaurants.

And it is an anatomically correct build too, with the bees entering through the door to gain access to the internal structures.

They don't say if there are toilets or not.

Probably not, as bees poo out honey.

Jose Breland 2017-10-06
img

Research looking at honey samples from around the global has highlighted the dangers a certain variety of insecticides pose for bee populations.

Researchers found that out of nearly 200 honey samples, 75-percent of them tested positive for neonicotinoid insecticides.

The study highlights the worldwide threat such pesticides pose for bee populations, which have been on the decline for years.

Bees are crucial for the world’s food crops, but a combination of wild habitat loss and extensive use of pesticides have posed a huge threat for bee populations.

Efforts to reverse this loss-of-bees trend has spurred research efforts around the globe, this latest one being among them.

The study found that samples from North America had the highest rate of insecticide contamination at 86-percent.

Paul Williams 2017-09-22

A new project is aiming to bring bees online by putting them in tiny "backpacks" so that scientists can track the threatened insect's behaviour and help its survival.

From a report: Bees in Manchester initially will be connected to the internet using technology from Cisco to help researchers track their migration, pollination and movement, and eventually, across the UK.

Sensors in hives located at a new 70,000 sq ft tech accelerator hub in the northern city called Mi-Idea, will measure the bee environment such as temperature, while the bees themselves will be tagged with RFID chips that look like tiny backpacks.

All the information will be collected and made available to track online giving insight on their habitats, with the bees even providing "status updates" (albeit automated) on their whereabouts.

Cisco is working on the project with the Manchester Science Partnership (MSP) and the hub is already home to six startups: Hark, an IoT data company, video platform Wattl, location data analytics startup PlaceDashboard, Steamaco, an energy technology company, IOT platform KMS and software firm Malinko.

Vivian Matthews 2017-10-05
img

Scientists have discovered how the wiring of bees' brains helps them plot the most direct route back to their hive.

Researchers have shed light on the complex navigation system that insects use to make their way home in a straight line following long, complex journeys.

They have revealed how a network of neurons integrates every detail of changes in direction and distance covered on outbound journeys, and enables bees to return directly home.

Bees use their vision to navigate, but until now little was known about what happens inside their brains - which are smaller than a grain of rice - as they perform this task.

The discovery of neurons that detect speed and direction - and a precise description of how these are wired together - has helped scientists show for the first time how a bee's brain functions to guide it home.

Scientists found this region plays a pivotal role in controlling the navigation system - known as path integration or 'dead reckoning' - which is used by many animals, including bees, ants and humans.

Robert Drummond 2017-10-25
img

Harvard’s robot bees have really evolved over the years.

The RoboBee project was first unveiled in 2013, when the bots were only capable of takeoff and flying.

Since then, they’ve been modified to stick to surfaces and swim underwater, and now their creators say they’re able to dive in and out of water — a big achievement for a tiny robot bee.

Getting out of the water is usually pretty easy for humans, but it’s a challenge for anything as small as an insect.

The RoboBee weighs just 175 milligrams (that’s 14 times lighter than a cent), and at this size, surface tension is like extra strong gravity: it’s 10 times the robot’s weight, and three times its lifting power.

“The force from surface tension feels like an impenetrable wall,” said Harvard professor of engineering Robert Wood in a press release.

Raymond Maxwell 2019-06-06
img

We all know that some animals are very smart, dogs can be trained to perform impressive tasks, and primates can use sign language, and there are other smart animals.

Researchers from RMIT University say that they have already learned that bees can understand zero and do basic maths.

A new study from the university has found that bees brains may be capable of connecting symbols to numbers.

Researchers say that they have trained honeybees to match a character to a specific quantity revealing that the bees can learn that a symbol represents a numerical amount.

The scientists believe that the study may open new possibilities for communication between humans and other species.

The team says that humans take numbers for granted after learning them as a child, but the ability to recognize what the number “4” represents requires a sophisticated level of cognitive ability.

Robert Tuohy 2019-08-23
img

Minecraft: Java Edition is abuzz thanks Mojang’s latest update.

Honey bees have fluttered into a number of biomes, setting up shop to pollinate flowers and create honey.

If you’ve ever wanted to a be a real life beekeeper but have been irrationally dissuaded by Nicolas Cage’s performance in The Wicker Man, now’s your chance (yes, the bees).

Bees are a neutral mob, which means they’ll leave you be if you leave them be (no pun intended).

Java Edition players will find them buzzing around in sunflower plains, plains, and flower forest biomes.

When agitated, the cute bees naturally will sting you.

Victor Mcbride 2019-08-23
img

Mojang has released Minecraft: Java Edition update 19W34A, bringing a new type of ‘bug’ to the game: bees.

These bees are ‘cute, fuzzy, neutral mobs,’ according to the company, which warns that players should avoid hurting the critters because, though they’re not interested in attacking, they do have stingers.

This edition of the game has also received beehives and more.

Minecraft: Java Edition 19W34A brings square flying bees, bee nests and beehives, honeycombs, plus ‘some’ dispenser functionality.

Don’t attack the bees because you’ll ultimately just kill them — Mojang says the stinger will stick in the player’s character and the bee will slowly die.

You won’t get anything from the bee as a result of its death.