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Radio frequency ID tags on honeybees reveal hive dynamics

Pictured at left is one of the bees to which scientists attached radio-frequency identification tags that allowed them to track the bees’ movements for several weeks. The scientists found that some foraging bees are much busier than others, and if those busy bees disappear, others will take their place. Tagging the bees revealed that about 20 percent of the foraging bees in a hive brought home more than half of the nectar and pollen gathered to feed the hive. "We found that some bees are working very, very hard – as we would have expected,” said University of Illinois Institute for Genomic Biology Director Gene E. Robinson, who led the research. “But then we found some other bees that were not working as hard as the others.”

Visit Website | Image credit: Tom Newman, Robinson Bee Laboratory