Not so very long ago meteorologists were exasperated when bees, bats and other flying creatures caused their data to go askew when they were attempting to track storm paths. Now, however, times have changed and storms are getting in the way of biologists using the same radar systems as meteorologists to investigate the movements of tiny flying creatures.
It is impossible to put a radio transmitter on a creature as tiny as a bee to accurately track its movements, but it will be possible in the near future to track a bee within a radius of 50 km from a radar station.
Understanding the movements of bees and bats will help scientists have a better picture of how we and climate change are affecting small creatures. Bats and bees are good indicators of changing weather patterns and being able to track bats in particular will throw light on insect movements too as bats feed on them.
Meteorologists can estimated how many rain drops are in a rain cloud and biologists are excited at the prospect of being able to calculate the number of bees in a swarm, and of bats in a flock.
The good thing is that radar stations which are government owned are already in existence along with the technology needed to investigate bees and bats movements. Such investigations will not be a drain on tax-payers money and neither will biologists have to look for extra funding to carry out their investigations.
They hope that soon we will understand bees and their movements much better, and those of us who were concerned when there was a threat to our source of honey supply a few years ago can rest easy as the more we know about bees, the more can be done to ensure their preservation and conservation.
Jason Palmer – BBC.com
Science and technology reporter
BBC News, Washington DC.
Retrieved on 28. February 2011
Image: Bill Longshaw / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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