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NAROBS
8th Aug 2010, 10:09
BBC News - How bees perform perfect landing (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8428060.stm)


Nick

Tankertrashnav
8th Aug 2010, 10:48
There has been loads about wasps in The Times recently,with various naturalists pointing out their importance in pest control (aphids etc) and pollination. Apparently wasps spend the early part of their life cycle nest building and procreating, then when their work is done in the late summer they are free to bugger off and eat fruit which basically ferments and gets them drunk. So its a month or two sh***ing, a month or so on the booze, then snuff it before the winter really sets in.

Doesnt sound too bad a life really :)

handsfree
8th Aug 2010, 11:06
Can't move for wasps round here at present. Lots of bumble bees around this year but not much sign of honey bees.

rh200
8th Aug 2010, 11:10
Where Have All The Bees Gone ?

Has anyone seen an old Blue Police box around!

sitigeltfel
8th Aug 2010, 11:14
Plenty here, I was stung three times last week while removing the shade from an outside light fitting. It was the second, third and fourth time in fifty-eight years that I had been stung, all within a few seconds.

parabellum
8th Aug 2010, 11:24
Not sure where it is these days but there was a very serious virus getting to the Honey Bee population. There was a real fear that they could be wiped out which would have a disastrous effect on pollination of just about everything that matters.

HeadingSouth
8th Aug 2010, 11:59
as there would be no more honey. What a real disaster...

BlueWolf
8th Aug 2010, 12:04
I'm afraid they're all dead. They live with Bee-jesus now....

Hat, coat, door...

PaperTiger
8th Aug 2010, 14:34
So its a month or two sh***ing, a month or so on the booze, then snuff it before the winter really sets in.

Doesnt sound too bad a life really.Plus endless opportunities for gratuitous violence.

radeng
8th Aug 2010, 15:31
I was told (quite seriously) while in California the other week (where else?) that the virus that the bees are getting is caused by cellphone towers....

Back in the 1920's, bad weather, earthquakes, disease outbreaks and the like got blamed on the 'new fangled wireless'. 80 years earlier it was the railways....

Little changes.

Storminnorm
8th Aug 2010, 16:23
There has been a large increase in the number of bumble bees.
I think they've bumped off all the honey bees, and are intending
to eradicate the bear population next.
Humankind are on the list as well.

Loose rivets
8th Aug 2010, 17:49
Einstein calculated that the human race would not survive for long - a time calculated in months, not years - if the bees all died.

There's a lot of folk that agree on the seriousness, and some research has been done to pollinate things by hand. Well, a floppy brush, actually. They think they'd achieve a zillionth of the requirement this way.

ThreadBaron
8th Aug 2010, 17:56
radeng

When China rapidly expanded its pear orchards in the 1980s, it stepped up its use of pesticides, and this age-old system of pollination began to unravel. Today, during the spring, the snow-white pear blossoms blanket the hills, but there are no bees to carry the pollen. Instead, thousands of villagers climb through the trees, hand-pollinating them by dipping "pollination sticks"—brushes made of chicken feathers and cigarette filters—into plastic bottles of pollen and then touching them to each of the billions of blossoms.

Now we know what Girl with a stick does!

notmyC150v2
8th Aug 2010, 23:13
Hmmmmm. Girl with a *fluffy* stick?? :}:}:}

parabellum
8th Aug 2010, 23:26
How about Girl with a Cane ?:E

Rather be Gardening
9th Aug 2010, 07:57
I've taken up bee-keeping this year - only one hive so far. It's fascinating watching them coming and going. There's a fair bit involved in looking after them and, as Parabellum mentioned, they're prey to a variety of pests and diseases, but I have high hopes of some honey next year. Any other beekeepers on Pprune?

ThreadBaron
9th Aug 2010, 08:03
I have high hopes of a couple of hives next year. I just need to find somewhere to keep them. The allotment is a no-no as, although they like the idea, they are afraid someone might get stung and make a claim against them. :ugh:

radeng
9th Aug 2010, 08:55
A friend who has emigrated to Oz used to keep bees. His comment was that if you viewed the costs involved, you really did KEEP the bees!

A I
9th Aug 2010, 09:42
Hi Rather Bee,

I'm a wanna be bee keeper. Got one hive last year, introduced a colony in early July - did all the things the books said I had to and at the end of September they all p****d off. Hoped to get a swarm this year but that didn't happen so hope to start again next year, but earlier.

A I

Gentleman Jim
9th Aug 2010, 11:24
The decline in the bee population is both a puzzle and a major concern to researchers. Early tests indicate that it could well be the cellphone masts that are the culprit, as it appears that the radio waves interfere with the bees ability to navigate, and therefore, find it's way safely home to it's hive.

Loose Rivets is absolutely correct, in that Einstein predicted global starvation should the busy little bee become extinct.

I like the idea of having a hive, is it difficult? and are you forever getting stung?

MagnusP
9th Aug 2010, 11:36
radeng: Odd place sometimes, California. Is that not where hummingbirds were dying from malnutrition as size-zero airheads were putting saccharine in feeders because "sugar's not good for you"?

G-CPTN
9th Aug 2010, 11:55
I suppose the simple answer is that they have buzzed-off . . . :cool:

radeng
9th Aug 2010, 12:45
If it's cellphones causing the trouble, why hasn't TV? Not dissimilar frequencies and considerably higher power.

Back in 1993, a BBC paper indicated that some 400,000 people in London live in a total field strength of up to 2V/m from TV transmitters.....I suspect that paper has got conveniently lost by now. And it was paper, too, not on a computer.

Rather be Gardening
9th Aug 2010, 14:30
Hi AI - yup, it's a bit of a worry when they swarm. I've had to remove several queen cells from my colony to stop them doing that. Have you considered joining a local beekeeping group? Sometimes a more experienced keeper will help with recognising the signs of imminent departure, and with donating a new nucleus.

GJ - I wouldn't say it's difficult, but there's a lot more to it than I realised when I first thought "I'd like to keep bees". There are busy times of the year (spring to autumn) when they need checking every few days, and quiet times (winter) when they can be pretty much left on their own apart from external visual checks of the hive. Best thing might be to do one of the one-day introductory courses run by beekeeping groups which covers most aspects of what's involved. I haven't been stung yet, but the colony I have is very placid. Having said that, although I sit and watch them without protection, if I'm going to open the hive I always wear a full beekeeper's suit and gauntlets.

British Beekeepers' Association (http://www.britishbee.org.uk/)

MagnusP
9th Aug 2010, 14:38
I always wear a full beekeeper's suit and gauntlets.

Talk dirty to me....... :ok:

Rather be Gardening
9th Aug 2010, 14:56
;)

Well, it's white, polycotton, elasticated cuffs and ankles, 6 pockets, micromesh hood, adds an instant 3 dress sizes and makes me look like an escapee from the local asylum ........

MagnusP
9th Aug 2010, 15:14
Now you're talking! :ok:

MrsP eats honey about every day in life, a habit she developed when we lived in Australia. Her uncle was a beekeper and lived about 100 miles away from us, with lots of hives 100 miles the opposite direction. He'd stop with us for a cuppa or a bite to eat and would always leave one of these catering-sized coffee tins full of honey. Delish.

11Fan
9th Aug 2010, 15:32
I knew something w_s funny when _ll of the _'s dis_ppe_red.

It w_s inevit_ble I'm _fr_id.

Pugilistic Animus
9th Aug 2010, 19:50
the flowers did not conform to the WGS84 standard, further their nav database was not encoded in the standard AirInc424 format:ouch:

I heard it was cellphones, I love bees; so cute you can pet that little fuzzy part they have:)