500 bees will be released from the rooftops of Queen Mary University London in Mile End on Tuesday — but don't worry, it's not a winged apocalypse.
The release is part of a conservation and research programme by QMUL School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, which aims to uncover the secret life of London's bees (which, by the way, is not the name of a hyper-local Pixar sequel).
Tomorrow's 500 bees are the pioneers of the project. Hundreds more will be released each week over the next month, and best of all, each bee will have its own numbered, weather-resistant, teeny tiny tracking collar.
Project leader Professor Lars Chittka said:
The fact that the bees have individual 'license plates' will allow anyone interested to develop their own science project, and ask scientific questions about the behaviour of bees.
What's this got to do with you? Well, if you happen to spot a be-collared bee and snap a photo of it, you could be in with a chance of winning a prize. There are prizes for the best photo of a QMUL-tagged bee on a flower, for the highest number of QMUL-tagged bees spotted and for the best photo of a London bee-friendly garden (as judged by the research team).
Visit the Save London Bees website for further information on the project and how to enter the competition.