For nearly two years now, scientists in the Western Hemisphere have been racking their brains over the mystery of the vanishing honeybees. Now German Professor Juergen Tautz and his team are trying to get to the root of the issue, by attaching a microchip to three bee colonies.
With almost 50,000 bees in every colony, it is hard to monitor all their activities. In the past scientists have used color-coding but it hasn't worked that well.
Now thanks to new technology, each bee in three different hives will be attached with a 2mg radio frequency identification (RFID) chip, as soon as they are born. Each of the chips has a serial number that scans like a grocery item through a scanner placed outside the hive. This will help monitor the movement of each and every bee, as they enter or leave the hive.
With about 150,000 bees involved in this program, scientists are hoping to be able to find some clues on this phenomenon, which has been named, Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. As time goes by the situation is becoming increasingly urgent, as these tiny creatures are important pollinators and in the U.S. alone, responsible for one-third of the pollination of certain crops such as almonds, peaches, pears, soybeans and many others.
Scientists are also hoping to glean into why some bees' die in less than four weeks, while others live for as long as ten months. We certainly hope they will have some answer to all their questions soon. While there is no video on the bees with microchips, we thought the picture showing a honeybee with two balls of pollen (the yellow blobs on each side), was pretty cool - what do you think?
Sources: Dailymail.co.uk, Wikipedia.org