Is that 2 bee?
Or not 2 bee?
Hundreds of bees with special number plates attached to their fuzzy abdomens will be released from the rooftops of Queen Mary University of London later today. The bumblebees are from bee colonies raised at the university and are part of a wider effort to step up conservation efforts in the London Pollinator Project. The …
An extract from a school biology essay I came across in my younger days.
The body is divided into three parts, the Head, the Borax and the Abominable Cavity. The Head contains the brains and thinking parts. The Borax contains the lungs, the lights and the liver. The Abominable Cavity contains the vowels. There are five vowels; these are 'A', 'E', 'I', 'O', and 'U'.
I don't think that student got very good marks.
I spent a college year working on a study about bumblebee foraging patterns in a fragmented woodland in the Northeast USA. They are fascinatingly capable creatures. Bumblebees can navigate across open areas, including roads, parking lots, and railway lines, to foraging locations learned on previous visits, within feet of highly productive plant populations, even to the extent of individual tagged bees learning to specialize on specific species of flowers over the course of their careers as pollinators.
I have also heard that coastal bumblebees will fly miles over open water to visit incredibly isolated plant populations on rocky islands, navigating via polarized sunlight or some similar mechanism.
For the record, I handled several hundred individual bees that year, mostly capturing specimens and gluing tags onto them, and received zero stings. Foraging Bombus are completely non-aggressive, and can even be handled gently in the field (although they are delicate, so it is not recommended). People without specific allergies should not be afraid to get close to read a tag or take a picture.
The number plates are there to view the pollinators as individuals, so that people can form an attachment to the bees
And the next thing will be bereavement counsellors for when one's favourite bee expires. And bereavement leave, of course. Or should that be beereavement in both cases?
Bumblebees are actually really relaxed. They are not aggressive at all.
Bees are also relatively cool. I would still be a bit careful. If one stings you, it hurts a bit, but the poor thing dies as it cannot remove the stinger from your skin.
The ones stinging and flying away are wasps. These are hunter-seekers and aggressive, sometimes overly so. Especially in late summer, when they no longer focus on protein rich food, but on sugars. My father-in-law had a nest above his bathroom window, but there were no problems at all. The wasps did not mind him looking out, cleaning the window etc. He was accepted as a moving part of the landscape, I guess...
Hornets are really huge and make noise like a chopper. They actually eat wasps (and other insects smaller than them). They are not very aggressive, but a very impressive sight.
I think all of these are really cool!
So these Bees are being released into an area already stabalised and popualted by nature to its best extent allowing for human pollution and excess for taking over naturally evolving areas. What effect will they have on the already established wildlife?
The most fundamental principle of the world wide web from the very start was endpoint agnosticism - the ability of any browser to get to the content, independent of presentation. I have no objection to bells and whistles - provided they are optional and don't prevent basic access to the content.
Web developers who create sites like this do their clients a huge disservice - they deny the intelligent and infomed access to the content.
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