Bees are Fitted with Microchips to Find Out Why Their Species is Dying

Bee

“It is a remarkably hairy close-up. But this tiny microchip attached to a bee’s back will hopefully explain why so many honeybees are dying from disease. Professor Juergen Tautz and his team at the University of Wurzburg in Germany are studying the health of more than 150,000 bees, in the hope of halting the apparently inexorable decline in their worldwide population.

Bees have always been tricky to study individually. Each colony has around 50,000 members, all interacting simultaneously and making it near-impossible to observe them. Previously, each bee would be painted with a different-coloured dot on its back and scientists would video the colony – watching the tape endlessly, to try to work out the behaviour in each insect. But a revolutionary technology enables the study of bees at close quarters. As soon as a bee hatches, a tiny radio frequency identification (RFID) microchip is stuck to its back using a lacquer. This allows scientists to study its behaviour throughout its life.”

(via The Daily Mail)

4 Comments

  1. When it was determined that a disease was killing the bees and it wasn’t something humans were doing, this story dropped out of the mainstream media. Humanity’s over-arching evil is a way for people to still feel special in a secular modern world. If it’s determined that humans caused the advance of the bee disease, then this will be in the mainstream media again.

    See also the bee television at WAX.

  2. Good point Trevor. I talked with a beekeeper about a year ago who said that they noticed them dissapearing long before the sensationalistic MSM put the story out there. Thanks for the link.

  3. Sure, there’s probably some human-centrism here, but I think part of the reaction is simply that generally, things in nature are pretty self-regulating, so if we didn’t cause it, hopefully it will fix itself and we can continue worrying about all the stuff where it’s definitely our fault. Not that this attitude isn’t faulty — someday nature will restore its equilibrium in a way that’s really, really bad for us. (Sort of what’s happening now in a small way.)

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