Robbing of bees has become an increasingly problematic crime as bee populations dwindle due to Colony Collapse Disorder and the price of a healthy hive rises. A swarm of thefts occur around this season every year in California as cells of thieves extract hives from almond orchards in the Central Valley, where 90% of all managed bees are brought every year. [more inside]
The Urban Bee Project builds bee hives kitted out with a wide array of sensors, and uses the gathered data to visualize the state of the hive. Includes great visualizations of the sound of the hive, and timelapse of bees building their combs from inside the hive.
The state of the bees. "For the past seven years, as has been widely reported, honeybees have been dying at an alarming rate. Yet today there are slightly more hives in the country than before the die-offs began. That’s because beekeeping families like the Brownings have moved beyond panic and begun quietly adjusting to a strenuous way of doing business, one that requires constant monitoring, treatment, supplemental feeding, rapid replacement of dead hives, and grudging participation in an agricultural system that grows increasingly inhospitable to the bees it needs to survive."
Wikipedia Live Monitor is an experimental site that scans Wikipedia edits real-time searching for frenzied editing sessions. Matches are compared with "plausibility checks" on Facebook, Google etc.. to see if there is something in the news, thus quickly pinpointing unexpected events.
What to do when your bees develop a taste for the residue of the confectionary process, with some rather visible side effects. [more inside]
A hive plot (slides) is a beautiful and compelling way to visualize multiple, complex networks, without resorting to "hairball" graphs that are often difficult to qualitatively compare and contrast. [more inside]
Epic threads gathered from the nether reaches of the Internet.: www.LegendaryThread.com. [more inside]
The Uprising Of The Ants: "Alexandra Achenbach and Susanne Foitzik from Ludwig Maximillians Universty in Munich found that some of the kidnapped workers don't bow to the whims of their new queen. Once they have matured, they start killing the pupae of their captors, destroying as many as two-thirds of the colony's brood. "
The Autonomous NanoTechnology Swarm (ANTS) "...is a generic mission architecture consisting of miniaturized, autonomous, self-similar, reconfigurable, addressable components forming structures. The components/structures have wide spatial distribution and multi-level organization. This ‘swarm’ behavior is inspired by the success of social insect colonies...." ANTS may one day teem through the solar system.... (last two links large QT files) [more inside]
Eusociality - its what bees, ants, and all those other insects that divide into workers, drones, and queens do. But naked mole rats (which are not related to moles or rats) are one of only two mammal species that follow the same pattern, with their cousins Damaraland mole rats as the only other eusocial mammals. They're also nearly cold blooded, impervious to pain, and feed their young on their own feces from the time they're a month old until they can eat the giant tubers that make up most of their diet.
Voice of the Hive is a collection of informative and well-written stories about honeybees. Half of the tales are told from a human beekeeper's perspective, and are filled with valuable knowledge for potential hobbyists. The other half are compelling vignettes of a single bee's life -- widely diverse and compelling, told from each individual bee's perspective. The two elements come together to paint a fascinating picture of this noble insect's existence.
How would it be to be a bee? Einstein has been quoted as saying that if the bee were to suddenly disappear, mankind would survive only another four years. So, make a bow to your insect overlords, and visit this site by a neuroscientist researching bee vision to experience first-hand how a bee sees. The B-EYE software allows you to set various parameters to see how a bee would view selected images, including Einstein himself. Or test your bee communication skills at Nova's "Dances with Bees" page, where you watch the dance of a hive mate and then try to locate the nectar source that he's mapping out. If you're still not impressed, consider that bees possess higher cognitive functions, including the ability for abstract thought. Finally, find out why nice bees don't always finish last in a look at the guerrilla tactics wielded against the dreaded "killer bee" by mild-mannered Cape honeybees.