When it comes to humans, it's all about the wearable computer these days, so why not bees?
For thousands of years, humans have taken for granted bees and their ability to pollinate our food. Not until they began to die off in record numbers - from Varroa mites and colony collapse disorder - did anyone pay attention.
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Where do bees go? What do they pollinate? How far do they fly? No one knew. But lately, researchers are using technology to answer these and other questions.
At Kew Gardens in London, Mark O'Neill and his colleagues have developed a tiny radio device that can be glued to the back of a bee and used to track its behavior.
"This piece of the puzzle, of bee behavior, is absolutely vital if we are to understand better why our bees are struggling and how we can reverse their decline," team member Sarah Barlow, a restoration ecologist from Kew Gardens, told the BBC.
The devices use standard RFID (radio frequency identification) technology - like the kind used to automatically transmit payment information at toll booths. Each lightweight tracker is about 1 millimeter high, 1.5 mm wide and 3 mm long with a whip antenna about 10 to 12 mm long. It's glued to the back of a bee after the bee has been chilled to make it more docile.
The signal has a range of 0.5 meters to 1.2 m.
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Radio receivers, which could be positioned around the hive and in a field of flowers, record the bee's unique radio signal each time it flies past. In this way, scientists can begin to map the bee's activities.
For the bees O'Neill's team has tagged so far, they have found that the average "forage time" for a worker bee is around 20 minutes, which means they fly about .6 miles from the hive.
A similar experiment was done last year by a team of scientists at Australia's research institute, CSIRO. Honestly, it seems like bees are getting a lot more, deserved, attention.