back to article Boffins build bugged bees bearing backpacks

Boffins at the University of Washington have developed a portable sensor system for bumblebees, an improvement on previous research that saddled bees with GPS tracking chips, if not a prelude to the autonomous drone insects depicted in Black Mirror. The researchers – Vikram Iyer, Rajalakshmi Nandakumar, Anran Wang, Sawyer B. …

  1. gypsythief
    Coat

    "Minimize harm done to their surveillance bees"

    I'm glad to hear the researchers earned their stripes and beehived themselves by treating the bees fairly.. Animal cruelty can create such a buzz in the media.

    I'm sure they will continue to hone-y their skills in this area, and wax lyrical about their results.

    Anyway, time for me to stop droning on... mine's the white one with the mesh hood.

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: "Minimize harm done to their surveillance bees"

      Very Punny, Honey :-)

      My rational, boring conscience is however still trying to vocalise the what-the-fecking-fracking-feck from the substance of the main article. What's wrong with just getting a bit of honey from them and otherwise leaving the poor things alone?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: "Minimize harm done to their surveillance bees"

        Concur. I grok the research factor, but honestly you can already get all the data these guys are getting from watching the bees dance, and analyzing the nectar and pollen being collected.

      2. gypsythief
        Happy

        Re: "Minimize harm done to their surveillance bees"

        "Very Punny Honey :-)"

        Nice one! Though I prefer thick-set myself.

        It gives you more time to spread it on your crumpet before it starts dripping out the bottom.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps one day the assassin wasp. A genetically engineered wasp that has recognition of it's human target that delivers a sting of ricin or botulism toxin

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Perhaps one day the assassin wasp.

      You need to pay copyright fees. The closing page of this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nano-Flower-Greg-Mandel-Book-ebook/dp/B003GK21AS

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >You need to pay copyright fees. The closing page of this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nano-Flower-Greg-Mandel-Book-ebook/dp/B003GK21AS

        Never read it, is it any good ?

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Never read it, is it any good ?

          Passable. You have to keep in mind that some of the political aspects of the background to Greg Mandel's exploits were written in the days when it looked like the Bliarism will rule forever.

          All in all it is not as good as the hell going quantum in Night's Dawn or the Primes, Humans and Post-Humans in the Commonwealth Saga + Void Trilogy. It is a good read though (keep in mind - the book mentioned is No 3).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            >Passable.

            Pity, still looking for something to fill the void left Ian Banks culture novels, thanks for the info.

            1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

              Pity, still looking for something to fill the void left Ian Banks culture novels, thanks for the info.

              Neil Asher.

  3. Unicornpiss Silver badge
  4. Spherical Cow

    Lasers would be more fun

    But that would ruin the alliteration. Bouncing bombs? Or perhaps something to do with Arthur Jarrett (a convicted criminal who has been allowed to choose the manner of his own execution).

    1. Killfalcon Bronze badge

      Re: Lasers would be more fun

      "Blaster" is a good sub-in for laser.

  5. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Blimey!

  6. Someone Else Silver badge
    WTF?

    Sounds like yet another instance of, "Just because you can do it, doesn't mean you should do it." MyffyW is right; what-the-fecking-fracking-feck is the point? Is the US military planning on launching a swarm of surveillance bees to oversee corn pollination in the Midwest? Or maybe a phalanx of suitably outfitted spy-bees will fly in (on command, of course) and work the spireas in front of a known drug lord's mansion. Or...

    This is just another way of proving that these "researchers" have too much time...and too much money.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Corn (maize) isn't pollinated by bees.

      Corn pollen is distributed by the wind (the two-bit word is "anemophilous").

  7. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    "...their sensor pack design lacks power-hungry high frequency oscillators that typically provide the signal phase information used for localization."

    Oh THAT'S what it is. I've always wondered why a passive radio system needed so much power. Transmission requires more power than reception, especially the more distant your base is, and GPS is receive-only for the client.

    I've never heard an explanation, just blind assertion that GPS eats power. Now it makes sense. Thanks for throwing in this tidbit.

  8. Empire of the Pussycat

    i'm waiting for BEES WITH FRICKIN' LASERS

    maybe one day

    sigh

  9. Woza
    Joke

    Could they send one over the ocean?

    A bee sea?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scientific Python

    They need to answer the important questions.

    Like how far a 1/10 of a gram bee could carry a 1 lb coconut.

  11. veti Silver badge

    Somebody's got their terminology mixed up

    I think you mean honeybees. Bumblebees don't live in hives.

  12. H.Winter

    "weighs 102 mg, 70 mg of which consists of battery weight"

    My mind is blown that it can be so light. I had no idea batteries could *that* small.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Nifty

    This reminds me of a nature doc that showed how Aboriginals locate a beehive high up on a cliff face. By hooking a small feather to the bee, then watching its now visible route home.

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