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Wearable Tech For Bees

Tiny Tech like it’s never BEE-n seen BEE-fore 

New technology has allowed for tiny trackers to be placed on bees in order to monitor their BEE-haviour.  

Okay, I’ll stop the BEE-themed puns because honestly, hive tried to comb up with some more and I’m stuck for ideas.

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Right, enough’s enough. So, about this ground breaking tech: The tracking devices have been developed by Newcastle based firm, Tumbling Dice. They have collaborated with the Botanical Gardens in Kew, to get these trackers in action and on the backs of 50 lucky bees.

Doctor Mark O’Neill, the creator and director of Tumbling Dice, says the technology used in the trackers originally comes from the same equipment used in warehouses to track pallets.

The tags then pick up signals and log readings to Raspberry Pi computers, back at HQ. 

These devices, though small in size, have a pretty big range– the early models were restricted to having a reach of 1cm… meanwhile, these new bad boys can reach up to 2.5 metres (8.2ft).

The trackers are pretty standard: just your average RFI (radio frequency identification) chip plugged in with an aerial (they definitely look like something Wallace and Gromit would have made).

Now, there is one question on everybody’s lips. How do they get the bees to pop these chips on!?

Apparently, the bees are chilled to make them all dozy and calm and then they stick the chips on with superglue.

This could be where things get a bit hairy in terms of animal rights, but Dr O’Neill says it is attached to the bee’s centre of gravity so that it won’t affect their flight or balance.

But hey, if the data collected from these tags helps us to understand why bees are declining, then maybe we can control and manage the threats more effectively. A life without bees would BEE no life at all

Megan Herdson
Megan is a country girl who moved to the city with some big dreams. She is studying her MA in Creative Writing whilst also managing an American Football Team.  She loves her blog and wants nothing more than to have her words read. That and to win the Championship, obviously. Follow her @MeganAtSMF

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Wearable Tech For Bees Reviewed by Megan Herdson on Monday, March 30, 2015 Rating: 5
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