25 March 2017 | 8 °C

How Doth the Little Busy Bee…?

SallyB2
By SallyB2 Last edited 104 months ago
How Doth the Little Busy Bee…?
3007.bee.jpg

You know, scientists don’t half have lots of fun. Today we learnt that boffins at Queen Mary University London are studying the foraging habits of bumblebees. Londonists like honey (if not hacorns), and we love bees, and so this story immediately caught our attention. Especially as the bumblebees in question are aiding the fight against crime.

Apparently bees behave in the same way as serial killers. Er, to elaborate… Bees will seek out hot pollen spots near but not right next to their hives: they always leave a buffer zone between their ‘hunting grounds’ and home. The same way that criminologists reckon serial criminals do. The geographic profiling of animals is helping scientists with all sorts of biological conundrums, and it has been made much easier with the development of tiny radio frequency ID tags: as chief bee-man Nigel Raine says:

"Before we had them, we would have to stop the bee, record which bee it was, weigh it, then put it back to continue its business."

Which can’t have been very easy.

Anyway, all of this got Londonist thinking. This animal stuff could be very useful. For greater insight into politics perhaps (even if they don’t bury their heads, they act pretty daft). And then there’s Londonist itself: even though we should and do aspire to be just like that little busy bee and ‘In Books, or Work, or healthful Play’ ‘Improve each shining hour’, the truth is probably something less industrious.

Happy Bee from daviddave’s flickr stream under the Creative Commons Licence.

Last Updated 30 July 2008