Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The trouble with chasing a bee....

Here's an interesting article on tracking bees that has some very amusing images in the first few paragraphs.

"Running behind a bee doesn't help very much," he says. Racing along, an observer can keep a tiny spot against the sky in sight for a good distance, but sooner or later the person glances away from the bee for a second. "If you have lost it from sight, you will never find it again," says Menzel.

One athletic student could keep up for record distances of some 50 meters, "but he was falling down a lot," Menzel recalls. So, Menzel gave up on runners and instead maximized conditions for stationary observers to track the bee. "We had lots of students lying on the ground, following it with their fingers," he says.

This wonderfully low tech biology is then superseded by radar and transponders. Interesting article.

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