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Thread: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Honey Bees Make Honey ... and Bread? | Deep Look

    Published on May 7, 2019

    Honey bees make honey from nectar to fuel their flight – and our sweet tooth. But they also need pollen for protein. So they trap, brush and pack it into baskets on their legs to make a special food called bee bread.

    Spring means honey bees flitting from flower to flower. This frantic insect activity is essential to growing foods like almonds, raspberries and apples. Bees move pollen, making it possible for plants to grow the fruit and seeds they need to reproduce.

    But honey bees don’t just move pollen from plant to plant. They also keep a lot for themselves. They carry it around in neat little balls, one on each of their hind legs. Collecting, packing and making pollen into something they can eat is a tough, intricate job that’s essential to the colony’s well-being.

    Older female adult bees collect pollen and mix it with nectar or honey as they go along, then carry it back to the hive and deposit it in cells next to the developing baby bees, called larvae. This stored pollen, known as bee bread, is the colony’s main source of protein.

    “You don’t have bees flying along snacking on pollen as they’re collecting it,” said Mark Carroll, an entomologist at the US Department of Agriculture’s Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson. “This is the form of pollen that bees are eating.”

    --- What is bee bread?
    It’s the pollen that worker honey bees have collected, mixed with a little nectar or honey and stored within cells in the hive.

    --- What is bee bread used for?
    Bee bread is the main source of protein for adult bees and larvae. Young adult bees eat bee bread to make a liquid food similar to mammal’s milk that they feed to growing larvae; they also feed little bits of bee bread to older larvae.

    --- How do honey bees use their pollen basket?
    When a bee lands on a flower, it nibbles and licks off the pollen, which sticks to its head. It wipes the pollen off its eyes and antennae with a brush on each of its front legs, using them in tandem like windshield wipers. It also cleans the pollen off its mouth part, and as it does this, it mixes it with some saliva and a little nectar or honey that it carries around in a kind of stomach called a crop.

    Then the bee uses brushes on its front, middle and hind legs to move the pollen, conveyor-belt style, front to middle to back. As it flies from bloom to bloom, the bee combs the pollen very quickly and moves it into baskets on its hind legs. Each pollen basket, called a corbicula, is a concave section of the hind leg covered by longish hairs that bend over and around the pollen.

    https://www.kqed.org/science/1940898...oney-and-bread

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Call to bring criminal proceedings against regulators, corporations over illegal Bt brinjal

    EXCERPT: Aruna Rodrigues paid for the [GMO detection] test [on suspected GMO Bt brinjal/eggplant] herself and says: “When this news about the cultivation of Bt brinjal came out in April – knowing our regulators bent of mind, intent, conflict of interest and undiluted support of the biotech industry, knowing they probably welcome this – I decided to get a definitive test done at an accredited lab. I paid for it of course. It is civil society that is keeping a watchful eye on the biosafety of India, not the government.”

    Illegal Bt brinjal in India: A call to initiate criminal proceedings against regulators and corporations

    By Colin Todhunter

    RINF, May 12, 2019

    http://rinf.com/alt-news/editorials/...-corporations/

    What is the point of central government orders and carefully thought out regulatory norms if government officials and regulators act with blatant disregard? This is precisely what we now see happening in India where genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are concerned.

    India has the greatest brinjal germplasm in the world with 2,500 varieties, including wild species. Following news in April that (genetically engineered) Bt brinjal is being illegally cultivated in Haryana, prominent campaigner and environmentalist Aruna Rodrigues says:

    “These varieties are now under threat of irreversible contamination (cross-pollination) because of cumulative acts over time of senseless and criminally irresponsible regulatory oversight. More properly expressed: a virtual vacuum in GMO regulation.”

    The cultivation of Bt brinjal (aubergine/eggplant) contravenes the indefinite moratorium that currently exists on the commercial release of Bt brinjal in India.

    The moratorium has been in place since 2010 following a unique four-month scientific enquiry and public hearings regarding field trial data and crop developer Mayhco’s application for the commercialisation of Bt brinjal. Back then, the decision to reject commercialisation was supported by advice that the then Minister Jairam Ramesh received from several renowned international scientists.

    At the time, Ramesh’s decision to place a moratorium on Bt brinjal was founded on what he called “a cautious, precautionary principle-based approach.” The moratorium is still in place and has not been lifted. All the environmental and health hazards acknowledged at the time remain.

    Legal notice issued

    On 12 May 2019, Prashant Bhushan, public interest lawyer in the Supreme Court of India, issued a legal notice in a letter to Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The letter discusses the violation of the moratorium on the commercial cultivation of Bt brinjal. Given the gravity of the matter, the letter is also to be distributed to the prime minister, the minister of agriculture and all members of parliament.

    The letter also includes a lab report: a definitive test carried out at accredited laboratory SGS in Ahmedabad, which states that the brinjal sample from Haryana sent to it tested positive for a plant GMO: the test confirms that the brinjal in question is genetically modified.

    Aruna Rodrigues paid for the test herself and says:

    “When this news about the cultivation of Bt brinjal came out in April – knowing our regulators bent of mind, intent, conflict of interest and undiluted support of the biotech industry, knowing they probably welcome this – I decided to get a definitive test done at an accredited lab. I paid for it of course. It is civil society that is keeping a watchful eye on the biosafety of India, not the government.”

    She adds that the planting of Bt brinjal in Haryana is an egregious violation of a central government order:

    “This is not only an illegal planting of a GMO food that has not been approved, but a gross violation of an active central government indefinite order. This raises the violation to a different level and order of magnitude. It is the most serious breach of India’s biosafety, brinjal genetic diversity and therefore biosecurity of India.”

    In a similar vein, Prashant Bhushan’s letter discusses blatant regulatory malfeasance regarding Bt cotton, herbicide-tolerant cotton seeds (now also illegally available in the country) and the illegal import of other GM seeds of various food crops. He also informs the minister in some detail about the issues surrounding Bt Brinjal and the reasons for the moratorium in 2010. Bt cotton is India’s only legal GM crop (a Mahyco-Monsanto venture): that too involved a strategy of illegally cultivate then approve. It’s an industry tactic.

    Bhushan notes:

    “ln the fourteen years since the filing of a PIL (Aruna Rodrigues v Union of lndia) for a moratorium on GMOs in 2005, there has been a disregard for the most basic norms governing the regulation of GlVlOs in lndia.”

    Further on in his letter, he states:

    “l am constrained to say that we are looking at a collective failure of our regulatory bodies and connected institutions, with the final blame falling squarely on the apex regulator, the GEAC (Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee) in your Ministry, the body solely responsible for all environmental releases of GMOs. The illegal planting of Bt brinjal demonstrates the vacuum that exists in the oversight of GMOs in lndia.”

    Bhushan makes it clear that the current situation represents the most dire and unconscionable violation of lndia’s constitutional safeguards of its biosecurity and biosafety with potentially irreversible consequences:

    “These matters justify criminal proceedings being initiated against individuals and corporations that have participated in and facilitated the illegal sale and cultivation of Bt brinjal. ln the event of any contamination, the GEAC/others may be in contempt of the supreme court’s order of “No contamination”. Any delay on the part of your ministry in taking swift and strict action to stop the spread of Bt brinjal may not only be illegal but constitute contempt as well.”

    Source of seeds

    So, just where did these Bt Brinjal seeds come from?

    In a report in the Hindustan Times (12 May), it is stated that the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) says it had not stored any GM seeds from the field trials conducted prior to the moratorium in 2010. Mahyco and the two universities (Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and University of Agricultural Sciences in Karnataka) involved in the trials were in possession of the seeds.

    The newspaper reports that minutes of GEAC meetings held in February and May of 2010 reveal the committee decided that NBPGR would store Bt brinjal seeds from all three seed developers and take affidavits from the company and institutions confirming that all seed stock has been deposited with NBPGR. But this was never done.

    Bt brinjal has been grown in Bangladesh since 2013. The seeds could have come from there or might be old seeds that were supposed to be deposited with NBPGR. Further ‘event identification’ (involving an analysis of the construct of the genetically modified organism) tests might be able to determine the original source.

    In a letter (11 May) to Minister Harsh Vardhan, the Coalition for a GM Free India stated:

    “For any illegal cultivation of Bt Brinjal found in India, the crop/event developer should be held responsible… and it is clear that Mahyco and the two state agriculture universities have to be investigated immediately.”

    Of course, as Prashant Bhushan implies, it’s not just the crop developers who should eventually have their day in court.

    The GMO biotech sector has not been able to mount a convincing argument for the introduction of GM crops in India, whether it has involved Bt brinjal in 2010 or the ongoing case in the Supreme Court concerning GM mustard. Aruna Rodrigues’s many submissions to the Supreme Court have shown that the crop developer’s field trials and the overall case for GM mustard have failed to establish a need for this crop and are based on scientific fraud and unremitting regulatory delinquency.

    But the push for GM continues unabated because Indian agriculture presents a potentially massive cash cow for the industry. It’s a case of any which way, as Kavitha Kuruganti, convener of the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture, notes:

    “The biotech industry’s strategy of ‘leak illegal seeds first, contaminate and spread the cultivation and present a fait accompli’ for obtaining approval is well known.”

    It’s exactly what happened with Bt cotton in India.

    Read Prashant Bhushan’s letter here. http://rinf.com/alt-news/wp-content/...2019094356.pdf

    https://www.gmwatch.org/en/
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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Giant Honeybees Use Shimmering “Mexican Waves” to Repel Invaders

    By Spooky

    The giant honeybees of East Asia can build impressive open nests measuring a few meters across. The fact that they are always exposed makes them vulnerable to predators, particularly large wasps and hornets that love nothing more than invading hives and stealing grubs. Luckily, the bees have a secret weapon that is as visually mesmerizing as it is effective.

    Called shimmering, the unique defensive strategy of giant honeybees involves large numbers of workers raising their rear-ends by ninety degrees and shaking them in unison, creating an effect similar to the well-known Mexican waves seen at stadiums across the world. How hundreds of bees are capable of communicating and producing this highly coordinated response to threats remains unknown, but after 15 years of studying the behavior in the wild, scientists are now convinced that shimmering is a defense mechanism.

    Naturalists have long assumed that the Mexican wave-like patterns observed on living “bee curtains” in the forests of East Asia were meant to keep predators at bay, but the first conclusive proof came a decade ago, when a team of researchers led by Gerald Kastberger from the University of Graz, in Austria, published a study after 15 years of observing giant honeybees in India and Nepal.

    After analyzing videos of shimmering colonies of giant honeybees, Kasterberger and his colleagues concluded that there two types of shimmering – small-scale ones that only involved under a dozen bees and large-scale ones that covered the entire surface of the hive. Small scale shimmering occurred frequently, while the large-scale ones only happened when there were wasps nearby.



    Scientists noted that the intensity and frequency of the shimmering increased the closer predators got to the giant honeybee hive, and that the moment it began, nearby wasps or hornets halted their attack and fled. The more bees took part in the mesmerizing Mexican waves, the faster the predators retreated.

    While it’s still not clear how the shimmering of giant honeybees affects invading wasps, in his study Gerald Kastberger suggests that small-scale waves confuses attackers, making it difficult for them to focus on any one bee, while large-scale shimmering actually threaten them.



    Interestingly, large-scale shimmering was observed only when wasps or hornets breached a 50cm safe-zone around the honeybee’s hive. They could hover outside this perimeter without triggering the defense mechanism, but as soon as they crossed it, the Mexican waves began.

    Shimmering seems to be used solely as a defense against wasps and hornets, while larger threats trigger a different response. For example, in one experiment, giant bees deployed hundreds of defenders when a kite appeared within 20 meters of the bee’s hive.



    Shimmering is not full-proof, but if any wasp or hornet decides to land on the hive, giant honeybees have another trick up their sleeve. It’s called “snow balling” and it involves a group of bees surrounding the intruder and vibrating their wing muscles in unison. This heats the bees’ bodies to 45C, a temperature that is harmless to them but lethal to wasps. Basically, they cook the intruder alive.

    https://www.odditycentral.com/animal...-invaders.html
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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Cross pollination!

    Quote Posted by Star Tsar (here)
    Canadian Space Agency

    Honey in Microgravity

    Published 14th May 2019

    CSA astronaut David Saint-Jacques takes advantage of microgravity to play with honey!

    I for one will join in with anyone, I don't care what color you are as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this Earth - Malcolm X / Tsar Of The Star

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Taj Mahal - Queen Bee..





    Rock on..
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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Look how fast a swarm can draw new comb.

    Jeff Horchoff Bees
    https://www.studiobeeproductions.com/

    I know this episode is going to make a lot of folks out there happy, Wreck It Ralph is in the house. On this adventure we head over to Slidell, La, about 35 miles from the abbey, to what is suppose to be a swarm that has only recently moved in. The homeowner told us the bees had been here no more than 2 weeks, but after seeing the hive for ourselves and how far along in development it was, my estimation is more like 5 weeks. Still, in that short period of time, these bees were able to construct over 13 full sections of comb. It just goes to show how the early swarms can really explode, and it's all due to the fact that the queen is an old queen and not newly mated.

    We've got some fantastic swarm pictures once again, some repeat wranglers, and some wranglers who have caught their very first swarm ever. Whatever category you may fit in, I'd love to post your swarm on one of my videos. All you have to do is get a shot of the swarm with your face in the frame along with your name, city, and state, and I'll take it from there. Remember, by sending me your picture you are giving me permission to use it on my video. Again, thanks to all who have send their pictures in.

    Two more things, the home where Ralph and I wrangled these bees was one I went to last year and had removed another swarm that had moved in. If you'd like to check out that video and compare the removals, the link to the video is: https://youtu.be/Rj08H80nJDM

    And finally, the queen capture was quite an experience, but rest assured, she was captured and is doing great along with all her daughters.....and sons. God's peace to all!

    Mr. Ed

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Honey proteome: Novel allergens and venom-like proteins

    Published: May 17, 2019

    Author: Steve Down

    Channels: Proteomics & Genomics / Proteomics

    https://www.separationsnow.com/detai...html?tzcheck=1

    Pharmacological honey

    Honey is a multifaceted product, being an important food as well as having a range of medical applications. It has been used as an antimicrobial agent and a treatment for respiratory tract diseases and has potential for treating burns and wounds and as an antitumour agent. The widespread use of honey in ancient medicine is well documented but its place in modern practice is limited due to the lack of scientific evidence.

    The pharmacological properties are probably related to the proteins present in honey but broad knowledge of the honey proteome is incomplete, say scientists from Czechia. Tomas Erban and colleagues from the Crop Research Institute and Charles University, Prague, argued that the published studies provide only a partial picture of the protein complement. In a new comprehensive study, they examined the proteins in 13 different honeys, noting the differences and similarities and identifying a number of proteins in honey for the first time.

    Multiple honey analyses

    The honeys all came from authenticated sources and were classified as: linden (3); acacia (2); buckwheat; sunflower; eucalyptus; black forest; floral; apple tree; wild bees (from a house roof in Prague); a “honey of the year”. After dissolution in water, they were purified by gel filtration which removed salts, sugars, pollen particles and other low-molecular-weight compounds. The residue was subjected to classical protein reduction and alkylation before the addition of trypsin to digest the proteins present in the extract.

    The peptides that were produced were analysed by LC/MS in a label-free mode and their identities were used to determine which proteins were originally present. Following three LC/MS runs on each of the honeys, a total of 119 proteins were identified, reducing to 71 when a filter for the presence of at least three positive results was applied.

    The researchers took great care to ensure that the same amount of total protein was analysed each time to simplify data interpretation and comparison. As a result, they were able to show that the honeys all had a relatively stable proportion of the proteins, despite the fact that some, notably the eucalyptus and buckwheat honeys, had about ten times more total protein than the others. The most variable proteome was that of the eucalyptus honey, possibly because it was of Spanish origin whereas the remaining twelve were all from Czechia.
    Expanded proteome

    Some of the proteins were reported for the first time in honey. They included venom-related proteins, known allergens, proteins related to royal jelly, and serine proteases and their inhibitors. Yet, despite the greater number of proteins found compared with published work, the team could not match their results for some proteins to the reported profiles.

    The presence of the venom-related proteins is important in terms of honey allergies. The detection of antimicrobial proteins, including the newly found hymenoptaecin that was found in three honeys, sheds more light on the understanding of this function. The roles of other proteins, such as the proteases and protease inhibitors were less clear.

    A functional analysis of the proteins revealed that defence response is one of the most important processes. Others include carbohydrate metabolism, innate immune response and the metabolism of organic substrates.

    The results can be used to gain more insight into the functional properties of honey and the molecular mechanisms behind them. In addition, they could be used in honey authentication by identifying the presence or absence of certain proteins for a particular honey.

    Related Links

    Erban, T., Shcherbachenko, E., Talacko, P. et al. (2019). The Unique Protein Composition of Honey Revealed by Comprehensive Proteomic Analysis: Allergens, Venom-like Proteins, Antibacterial Properties, Royal Jelly Proteins, Serine Proteases, and Their Inhibitors. Journal of Natural Products online https://pubs.acs.org/doi/suppl/10.10...tprod.8b00968#

    https://www.separationsnow.com/detai...html?tzcheck=1
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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Oh so much I didn't know!

    I for one will join in with anyone, I don't care what color you are as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this Earth - Malcolm X / Tsar Of The Star

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    RFID Tracking: Where It Fits in an Entomologist’s Toolbox

    By Sebastian Shepherd, Ph.D.

    https://entomologytoday.org/2019/05/...ogist-toolbox/

    For thousands of years, humans have tried to track insects. Honey gatherers tried to track bees to locate the golden sweet rewards of a bee hive. Antiquated methods of detecting the movements of bees sound just like the ancestral wildlife tracking used by big-game and large-mammal experts. Bees were tracked by looking for droppings on leaves. Bees were also tagged with natural products to make them easier to see—such as ochre, blades of grass, and even the hairs of an ox—and then “pursued” by honey hunters. Not a particularly easy occupation!

    These methods were so difficult that some honey hunters relied on other animals such as the greater honeyguide bird, Indicator indicator (right), to lead them to bee hives.

    It took centuries for other innovations such as numbered paper tags that could be stuck to bees. Even these, in most cases, just help identify a queen bee, but sometimes entomologists might use number tags to tell individual forager bees apart. This might require many painstaking days in a bee suit counting and timing the flights of different individual bees among all the buzz and commotion of a hot summer afternoon. In other areas of entomology, insects could be painted with colorful powders or glowing ultraviolet dyes. All in all, though, these methods require patience, a very keen eye, and a lot of time and energy.

    Fast-forward to 21st-century science, and if you look at the range of behavioral tracking technologies in wildlife ecology, we’ve really moved on. Radio telemetry allows you to track the specific movements of individuals over large landscapes, and innovations such as the global positioning system (GPS) means that remote animal tracking is at the scale of medium-Earth-orbit satellites.

    Radio frequency identification tracking, commonly known as RFID, is revolutionizing what is possible in entomology, but what is it about this technology used in retail inventory, package tracking, and contactless credit cards that is useful for studying insects?

    But there’s a problem when you try to apply this technology to insects. Unfortunately, a lot of these modern-day innovations require a battery-powered transmitter to track the animal you want to record. Easy enough when you want to monitor a 12,000-pound minke whale, but what kind of transmitter can a 0.00025-pound bee carry?

    Luckily, some ingenious entomologists have been working on these problems, and our abilities to track insects in the field are getting better by the day. For example, in radio telemetry batteries now exist that are small enough to track the complete pattern of movement of an individual insect. However, these trackers are still too big to fit on all but the largest of insects. For example, the movement ecology of large insects like beetles and crickets has been studied with radio telemetry.

    Another method of insect tracking is harmonic radar. Requiring no batteries, this overcomes the weight problems; however, with no power source to produce a unique signal, the main drawback of this method is that it is difficult to distinguish individuals that are tagged at the same time, and this method can be susceptible to signal interference. When implemented well, harmonic radar has been used to study the complete flight paths of a range of insects, including bumble bees and moths (to name a couple).

    In my own entomological research on honey bees (Apis mellifera) I want to distinguish many individuals at once, and I want the tags to be lightweight. This is where RFID can fit in for me and for many other entomologists.

    RFID is kind of like a license plate for insects. RFID does not allow me to track the full movement trace of an individual over time, but rather it will record whenever an individual passes by the location of an RFID reader. Using the same kind of technology that is used in credit cards and the packaging industry, I attach tags with unique identifiers to the bee that I’m trying to track. I then place RFID readers in locations where I might expect the bee to go, such as the entrance to a hive or a sugar feeder. Every time a bee with a tag arrives in proximity to the reader, it records the tag, with a timestamp, so I know when that individual came by.

    As a result, whereas with harmonic radar and radio telemetry I’d get data like GPS navigation, a descript track of exactly where that individual travelled in space, RFID is like a highway toll-pass or license-plate reader. It knows which individual is which, where and when each one arrived, and thus how long it took that individual to go between each gate but not exactly what the individual did between the gates.

    This makes RFID perfect for tracking bees (and other insects which live in colonies), because I know the location they will come and go from (the hive). I can tell what time a bee left and returned to a colony, the frequency of trips made per day, and even time spent at certain locations.

    This kind of technology has been implemented to understand the impacts of pesticides on bee foraging, mating biology of honey bee queens, and how fungal infections affect honey bee flight behavior, just to name a few studies. In my own research, I use RFID technology to investigate how the foraging behavior of honey bees is affected by a variety of environmental stressors.

    But honey bees aren’t the limit of RFID technology. This technology works well in tracking other insects in colonies such as bumble bees and ants, and it has even been suggested for use in insects such as mole crickets and billbugs. One of the key challenges of RFID technology is “predicting” where the individual you’re tracking will be so that you can set up the RFID readers to detect your study insect. But, if you can do this, you have a setup that lets you remotely track the locations and movement of hundreds of individuals, for as long as you power the setup and as long as the tag stays on.

    So, in a modern entomologist’s toolbox, RFID is an incredible technology, which is now commercially available and can provide versatile data for the right study questions.

    Sebastian Shepherd, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Entomology at Purdue University.

    Pics in the link..https://entomologytoday.org/2019/05/...ogist-toolbox/
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    Wink Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Honey Bees Make Honey ... and Bread?

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Happy, happy birthday, dearest William!
    May your year be wonderful.

    A million “thank you’s“ for all you share.

    ⭐️⭐️🐝🐝⭐️⭐️

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    How a Honey Bee’s Waggle is Inspiring Aerospace Design

    By Leslie Mertz, Ph.D.

    The next time you see a bee land on a flower, watch how busy its abdomen is. It scrunches up, it lengthens, and it curls this way and that with amazing flexibility.

    A group of engineers at Tsinghua University in Beijing has now found that a quite surprising mechanism is involved in that movement, and this mechanism could possibly help in the design of rocket nose cones that need to morph into different shapes to accommodate the aerodynamics, mobility, and flight control required to punch through and re-enter the atmosphere. The findings are reported in a new study published in May in the Journal of Insect Science.

    The engineers focused on honey bees (Apis mellifera), which have very lively abdominal movements that are showcased during the waggle dance they perform to communicate with other members of their hive about the location of a prime flower patch.

    To figure out how the insects move, the engineers carefully dissected honey bees and viewed microstructures of their abdomens using a scanning electron microscope, and they also used a high-speed camera to record the wiggles of additional living honeybees, according to study co-author Shaoze Yan, Ph.D., of Tsinghua University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

    With those observations, the engineers identified something unexpected: six “lateral connection structures” that look rather like the hydraulic shocks on a car and that extend and contract. One end of each of the six lateral connection structures, which are made of muscle, attaches to the flexible upper exoskeletal plate (the tergum) of an abdominal segment, and the other end attaches to the flexible lower exoskeletal plate (the sternum).

    The six lateral connection structures move independently of one another, Yan says, and because of the location of their connection points on the two plates, they allow for extensive and quite pliable movement of the tergum and sternum, therefore giving the abdomen its impressive scope of movement.

    Engineers may recognize the arrangement and functioning of lateral connection structures as “the Stewart platform,” which is commonly used in flight simulators to imitate the change of attitude and speed of an aircraft, Yan says.

    “Most flight simulators adopt the Stewart platform as the kinematic mechanism, which is composed of a moving platform linked to a fixed base through six extensible legs. The simulation cockpit is installed on the platform, [and] the coordinated motions of the six extensible legs can drive the platform and make the cockpit simulate the movement of the aircraft,” he says.

    Once the engineers saw the lateral connection structures, they realized they had discovered an equivalent Stewart platform structure in insects. “We were very excited!” Yan says. According to their paper, this type of structure and mechanism is rarely seen in animals and has never previously been reported as regulating and controlling physiological activities. Yan adds, “We believe that it is the result of natural evolution adapting to the needs of the honey bee abdomen.”

    This finding combines with the group’s earlier study revealing the role of folded intersegmental membranes in abdominal deformation in bees and its yet-to-be-published research indicating that abdominal muscles also function as linear actuators to control coordinated movement of adjacent abdominal segments.

    (Engineers would describe this as a parallel mechanism.)

    Although the research group studied only honey bees, Yan believes other insects’ abdomens may move in the same way. “This model may be [able] to elucidate the abdominal deformation mechanism of butterflies, dragonflies, and drosophilae, since the abdomens of these three insects have similar physiological structures,” he says.

    In yet another example of bioinspiration, the group is now applying their understanding of honey bee abdomens to the design of aerospace nose cones. “As mechanical engineers, we generally consider that the motion ability of machine—or animal—is determined by its body structure, [and] we have designed a morphing nose cone for the aerospace vehicle after optimizing the honey bee abdominal deformation mechanism,” Yan says. “Next, we will develop a physical prototype and carry out a series of experiments to verify its morphing ability.”

    Pics and Vid in the link https://entomologytoday.org/2019/06/...ospace-design/

    Read More
    “Kinematics of Stewart Platform Explains Three-Dimensional Movement of Honeybee’s Abdominal Structure ”
    https://academic.oup.com/jinsectscie...19/3/4/5489276

    Leslie Mertz, Ph.D., teaches summer field-biology courses, writes about science, and runs an educational insect-identification website, http://www.knowyourinsects.org/ She resides in northern Michigan.
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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    usda National Honey prices for the month of may 2019.

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Quote Posted by william r sanford72 (here)
    Stewart platform
    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stewart_platform


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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Charles Henry Turner, the Zoologist who first demonstrated that insects can hear and learn

    Etsey Atisu | Staff Writer

    Charles Henry Turner was still at the prime of his career as an Animal Behaviorist when he provided an evidential demonstration on how insects can hear and learn.
    He was the first to demonstrate that honey bees have color vision and distinguish patterns.

    Born February 3, 1867, to Thomas and Addie Campbell Turner, a custodian in a church and nurse respectively, this prolific African American Zoologist, scholar and passionate educator, made significant contributions to the fields of zoology, entomology, and psychology.

    Charles Henry Turner was blessed to have had parents who were avid readers, passing down the knowledge of the hundreds of books they owned to their son to learn and discover more about the world around him.

    As a young boy, Turner was fascinated by insects and was curious about their behaviors. After graduating as class valedictorian from Gaines High School, he enrolled in the University of Cincinnati in 1886.

    Turner married Leontine Troy in 1887. The couple had three children during the marriage: Henry, Darwin, and Louisa Mae. While at the University of Cincinnati, Turner majored in biology and went on to earn his B.S. (1891) and M.S. (1892) degrees. In doing so, he became the first African American to earn a graduate degree from the University of Cincinnati.

    After reportedly contacting Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute about potential teaching opportunities, Turner landed a position as a professor at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia. He also served as chair of the Department of Science and Agriculture at the college from 1893 to 1905. During his time in Atlanta, his wife, Leontine, passed away (1895).

    Turner continued to pursue education and earned a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1907. He became the university’s first African American recipient of such an advanced degree. That same year, he married Lillian Porter and taught biology and chemistry at Haines Normal and Industrial Institute in Atlanta. The couple later moved to St. Louis, Missouri, after Turner acquired a position at Sumner High School, where he continued to teach African American students from 1908 to 1922.

    As part of his many works over a period of thirty years, he published widely on discoveries in his field of scientific study as well as on civil rights and education. In total, he authored over seventy articles. In addition, during the early decades of the twentieth century, he served as a civil rights leader in St. Louis, Missouri’s African American community.

    His later experiments with honey bees contributed to a better understanding of invertebrate animal behavior. These studies established that bees see in color and recognize patterns. His two papers on these studies, Experiments on Color Vision of the Honey Bee and Experiments on Pattern-Vision of the Honey Bee, appeared in Biological Bulletin in 1910 and 1911 respectively.

    Unfortunately, Turner’s contributions to the study of honey bee behavior were not cited by his contemporaries, such as Austrian zoologist Karl von Frisch, who published works concerning honey bee communication several years later.

    Turner conducted many other experiments and published papers that elucidated insect phenomenon such as hearing in moths, insects that play dead, and learning in cockroaches. Additionally, he published studies on bird and crustacean brain anatomy and is credited with discovering a new species of invertebrate.

    Throughout his life, Charles Henry Turner was an advocate for civil rights and argued that racism could be conquered through education. He published papers on the subject in 1897 and 1902.

    Turner retired from Summer High School in 1922 due to failing health. He moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he lived with his son Darwin until his death on February 14, 1923.

    https://face2faceafrica.com/article/...hear-and-learn
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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Wily wasps as vital to species’ survival as busy bees

    Damien Enright

    https://www.irishexaminer.com/breaki...es-929683.html

    This week, ‘bees’ is the buzz word in our belated race to conserve important fellow creatures on this planet. All are important, of course, and the more we investigate them and learn about them, the more we appreciate their roles. All and every one of the Earth’s inhabitants, we now realise, has a role.

    However, we often remain old fashioned in our thinking and believe this creature and that plant to be noxious, deserving suppression or eradication wherever seen. Yes, it may threaten us but it almost certainly contributes to the lifecycle of something else which, in the miraculous chain of life, protects us.
    Wasps are an example. They are universally vilified.

    They steal honey from hives, they attack honey bees and cut them in half and fly off with their abdomens to feed their own larvae, leaving the bees still alive, now only head and thorax with no stomach and no hope of survival.

    Meanwhile, the excised abdomen is chewed and wrapped in small packages and fed to the killer’s young in the nurseries, which are paper-like nests sometimes reaching the size of footballs. Wasps do not have hives. Once, through my own carelessness, I almost lost my life to a drinking party of wasps accumulated in the dregs in a beer glass of a summer’s day. I quaffed the dregs without looking and, but for the reaction of my gullet instantly spitting them onto the grass, would have expired as their stings swelled my tender larynx and blocked the passage of air.

    Wasps are primarily predators, hunters, and consumers of other insects. Some prey are benevolent species such as honey bees. However, the majority belong to the vast populations of plant-eating pests. Thus, their predation also reduces the need for toxic pesticides which poison the land. Without the protection of wasps in the insect food chains, global agriculture would be as susceptible to voracious swarms as were the crops of Egypt to plagues of locusts in biblical times. Indeed, they sometimes still are.

    Wasps, like bees, provide their services at no cost. Despite their negative image, they contribute enormously, ecologically and economically, to global food security. While we hear that pollination by bees contributes more than a €100bn a year to the global economy, the works of wasps, both in predation and pollination is often, unfortunately, overlooked.

    Hornets are the largest of our Irish wasp species. Fierce-looking insects, they attack smaller wasps’ nests, kill the adults and carry off the larvae to feed their own. They also attack bee hives also, but bees can fight back. Swarming over the aggressor, they turn up their thermostats. The hornet, in their midst, can’t survive the heat and is, literally, cooked to death.

    Wasps survive wherever there is vegetation on the planet. About 120,000 species have been identified, and biologists believe there may be the same number yet to be discovered. Contrast this with a mere 5,400 species of mammals. Like bees, wasps also feed on nectar and pollinate plants and flowers.

    Many wasps are specialists, living in symbiotic relationships with specific plants. An intriguing example is found in fig wasps. Without them, figs, calculated to be key providers in the diet of 1,274 species of tropical mammals and birds, wouldn’t survive. Together, fig wasps and figs have evolved over 60m years. Extinction of the wasps would annihilate the tropical fauna ecosystems.

    It has been discovered that wasp stings may be invaluable for treatments of cancer in humans

    Chemicals found in the venom of one tropical species identifies and destroys certain cancer cells. Ironically, some specialist companies still advertise wasp extermination services. As our warming atmosphere melts away life-sustaining chains of nature, exterminating any species would seem imprudent. Every link is vital to the chain.

    Meanwhile, we have had an exceptionally beautiful spring, with every plant celebrating it. There is so much to admire.

    In the hedgerows, whitethorns are decked out like brides at weddings, the landscape breathtaking in the sheer volume of blossom, and the field boundaries lines of white against the green of grass. On country lanes, the tall foxgloves stand guards of honour for the whitethorn brides. Valerian bursts from city walls in Cork and, any day now, red-headed montbretia will be flowering everywhere.

    On Springwatch, the excellent BBC programme airing four nights a week, I recently learned flowers can hear. It seems when a bee passes, humming as it goes, the flowers within earshot produce a sudden burst of nectar to attract them. So, the flowers are like the old-fashioned girls we see outside saloons in the Gold Rush, splashing on more perfume to lure the passer-by in.

    https://www.irishexaminer.com/breaki...es-929683.html
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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Respite from Bee news leads me into the strange world we live in...learning something new.

    The Incredibly Bizarre Story Of Cicadas & Fungi..

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Musical Intermission From Howling Wolf and Cactus...to the present Cover.

    Evil...



    Rock on..
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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    The Key to Bodacious Blueberries Is a Bumper Crop of Bees

    To attract them, though, it helps to have forest nearby.

    by Jonathan Carey June 18, 2019

    Across the Southeast United States, rabbiteye blueberry farming is big business. A staple of Southern agriculture, these firm, frosty blue orbs are relatively easy to grow and have few natural pests, making them ideal for commercial purposes. The key to big, fast-maturing berries is in the pollination—when they’re amply pollinated, the burst improves. One creature is an expert at creating these most desirable berries, and their love for blueberry flowers runs so deep it’s in their name: southeastern blueberry bees.

    Rabbiteye blueberries get their name from their ripening process, as they turn pink before they go blue, and recall the eyes of white rabbits. Various types of these berries are grown commercially in a number of Southern states, but the ones from Mississippi and Louisiana really stand out. There, more than 70 percent of flowers bear fruit, compared with 10 to 30 percent in some other places. When researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture set out to investigate why berries grow so well there, they looked to the pollinators. Their findings were published recently in the Journal of Economic Entomology.

    “We looked at multiple species of bees to see which did the best job of pollinating rabbiteye blueberries,” says Robert Danka, coauthor of the study, in a statement. The researchers tested managed honeybees, native bumblebees, southeastern blueberry bees (also native), and carpenter bees over a three-year period. It turns out, as you might expect, that southeastern blueberry bees really, really love rabbiteye bushes. The team found that only southeastern blueberry bees and honeybees resulted in an increase of flowering fruits, with blueberry bees as the best pollinators by far.

    When native southeastern blueberry bees land on a flowering blueberry bush, they attach themselves to the flower and begin vibrating their flight muscles rapidly, shaking pollen free from the flower’s anther. This process is known as buzz pollination, and it is extremely useful on rabbiteye blueberry flowers because of their shape. This process also causes pollen to cling to the bee’s body, and on to the next flower. Bumblebees are capable of buzz pollination, too, but there aren’t enough of them around in the key period of early spring.

    Many large-scale producers have honeybees brought in to supplement the natural pollination, they aren’t all that reliable. They have a tendency to leave fields for other plants, according to the research. Southeastern blueberry bees, however, have a clear preference for their namesake. These insects are ground-nesting solitary bees, meaning they don’t form colonies or hives, and they are particularly fond of shade and leaf litter. Blair Sampson, another coauthor of the study, says that growers wishing to increase their output should consider cultivating blueberry bee–friendly woodlands near their fields.

    Such changes won’t improve yields overnight. According to the study, southeastern blueberry bees had variable populations each year, depending on weather conditions. So for now, researchers suggest that large commercial operations will still need to add non-native honeybees to their crops. But perhaps, over time, the lure of producing the juiciest rabbiteye blueberries money can buy will lead to an increase in forest cover as well.

    https://www.atlasobscura.com/article...berry-and-bees
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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Disrupting one gene could be first step toward treating honey bee parasite nosema ceranae

    by Kim Kaplan, Agricultural Research Service

    https://phys.org/news/2019-06-disrup...-parasite.html

    Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have taken the first step towards a weapon against the major honey bee parasite Nosema ceranae.

    There is currently no treatment for this parasite.

    The scientists found that feeding honey bees a small amount of an interfering RNA compound (RNAi) could disrupt the reproduction of N. cerana by as much as 90 percent in the laboratory study, according to a study recently published in Insect Molecular Biology.

    This RNAi compound targets a single N. ceranae gene called Dicer, explained Jay Evans, research leader of the ARS Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, who headed the study.

    "Dicer is a critical part of Nosema ceranae's machinery for defeating honey bees' immune responses to infestation by these parasites. It also encodes an essential protein in N. ceranae's reproduction. So, it could be a double-barreled, practical route for attacking N. ceranae. Even better, RNAi against Dicer is specific to the parasite and will not interfere with the health of the honey bees," Evans said.

    In earlier studies, the lab had looked at attacking N. ceranea genes that encodes for proteins that make N. ceranae a better parasite such as a polar tube protein that is important in the invasion of bee cells by the parasite.

    "But by striking at a single gene that affects N. ceranae reproduction and the ability of this parasite to counter honey bee immunity, I think we may have found an even better—an excellent avenue of attack," Evans added.

    But this is just the first step toward a possible treatment. The researchers need to prove the concept in the field and beekeepers' apiaries.

    Nosema ceranae is widespread problem of honey bees, although the impacts on colony health remain unclear. The best measure of the damage of Nosema comes from Europe where this parasite has been linked to long-term colony declines in Spain.

    A chemical treatment had been available, but it was taken off the market due to production challenges.

    More information: Q. Huang et al. Dicer regulates Nosema ceranae proliferation in honeybees, Insect Molecular Biology (2018).

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...1111/imb.12534
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