With a workforce of billions, they contribute more than $15bn (£9bn) to the US economy each year – but as populations decline, can the humble honeybee be saved?
A giant inflatable corn on the cob towers over the hundreds of stalls at the Wisconsin State Fair. Food is the main draw, in what’s a showcase for local produce. The unhealthier, it seems, the better.
Families can be seen piling in mouthfuls of everything from sausages dripping in fat, to cheese curds, and sticky cherry pie. Some of the more unusual delicacies include deep-fried cookies and fish and chips on a stick.
One scientist has produced a guide of where on the body the bee stings hurt the most!
bee sting body map
It’s a great hobby and if you’re really lucky you could make some money (and plenty of honey)
read how one lady started this hobby
Bees are trichromats like humans. But instead of red, green, and blue, their three types of photoreceptors are sensitive to yellow, blue, and ultraviolet light. The ability to see ultraviolet light lets bees spot patterns on flower petals that guide them to nectar. In fact, Nilsson says, bees perceive so much of the ultraviolet range that “they could potentially see more than one color of ultraviolet.”
Unlike human eyes, which have only one lens, bees have compound eyes composed of thousands of lenses that form a soccer-ball-like surface; each lens produces one “pixel” in bees’ vision. That vision mechanism comes at a price—bees’ eyes have extremely low resolution, so their vision is very blurred. Nilsson calls this design “the most stupid way of using the space available for an eye.” If humans had compound eyes that performed as well as our real ones, he says, they’d each have to be as wide as a hula hoop.
This image doesn’t show the fuzziness of a bee’s eyesight—if it did, there wouldn’t be much for us to look at. But the photograph does capture the ultraviolet vision that we lack.
So what is with all the dying bees? Scientists have been trying to discover this for years. Meanwhile, bees keep dropping like… well, you know.
Is it mites? Pesticides? Cell phone towers? What is really at the root? Turns out the real issue really scary, because it is more complex and pervasive than thought.
Twice each year, the Gurung tribespeople of Central Nepal risk their lives collecting wild honey from the world’s largest hives high up on Himalayan cliffs. Travel photographer Andrew Newey recently spent two weeks capturing this ancient but dying art. ancient honey harvesting
The flight of the bumblebee may seem at first to be slow and cumbersome but new research claims these humble insects can reach altitudes higher than the peak of Mount Everest.
Despite their rotund bodies and relatively small wings, researchers from Wyoming found that bees can negotiate air so thin it would kill a human – making them the finest flyers in the insect world.
In a series of experiments, scientists placed wild bees in a flight chamber and while all managed to fly at heights of 7,500m (24,606ft), two exceed heights of 9,000m (29,528ft).