Thursday, 15 October 2015 00:05

Fireside Chats with Mike Williams - October 2015

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Fireside Chats with Mike Williams - October 2015

Colony collapse.

Most of us have learned that honey bee populations are falling at an alarming rate. The decline is from a number of factors and could be devastating for agriculture. In order to gather new information, an international team of scientists have attached microsensors to thousands of honey bees. Every month this article shines a light on the technology of the future, this month’s Fireside Chats is on Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization's (CSIRO) tech-forward honey bee research project.

The decline in the populations of honey bees spells big trouble for economies that produce crops pollinated by honey bees, which is around 70 percent of global crops. An even worse scenario is food scarcity if honey bees are wiped out. This past year has been the second worst year for bee deaths on record. In the US, beekeepers reported losing 42 percent of colonies from May 2014 through May 2015.

CSIRO’s sensors captures information including pesticide and pollution exposure, weather, and diet. The tiny sensors have already been glued to 10,000 honey bees in Tasmania, where the sensors were developed. in Brazil, roughly the same amount of bees have also been tagged. The next batch of bees to be tagged are located in the Australian cities of Sydney and Canberra.

CSIRO’s research project is paving the way for scientists to use new technology to study our environment. This approach will allow greater insight into many different aspects of ecological study by capturing data using insects. As our understanding of the natural world increases, so does our responsibility to preserve the habitats we share with plants, animals, and future generations.


Read 10792 times Last modified on Thursday, 15 October 2015 00:09
Mike Williams

Mike has been with HITECH since November 2011. He is a man of many hobbies, including drums, bikes and beer. Some of his certifications include: A+, Network+, MCPS, MCNPS, MS, Watchguard Firewalls


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