BEES NEED YOU HELP!!!
Thursday 21 April 2011
WE NEED YOUR COLLABORATION!!!!
As you most likely know, bees need water for their living, same as we do. It is known that they use all sources of water to fulfil their needs: ponds, puddles or the little droplets of “water” that the plants exudate. We need your collaboration to gather information about the activity of bees collecting these exudates.
Young plants eliminate droplets of sap through their leaves. Science has called this phenomenon guttation. Simply put, at risk of betraying the complexity of plant physiology and its many areas still unexplained or unexplored, we can present the guttation as a mechanism involved in the "water management" of the plant. You can find a lot more detailed information in here.
When guttation water is contaminated by pesticides, bees collecting this water can be intoxicated. You can see this effect in the following video. However, the authorities consider this way of exposure of minimal importance because there is no information about how important this source of water is for bees. This is the reason way we are asking for your collaboration.
HOW TO OBSERVE GUTTATION?
Guttation is fairly easy to observe: whenever you have clear skies (no clouds, followed by a sunny day), at night a lot of plants will start to guttate, even if the temperature drops below 0° in the night, as it is in the early spring or in the late fall. Even frozen guttation props can be collected for testing!!
Therefore, the only thing you need is your camera (photo or video) and get up early! If you want to catch bees drinking, you have to be out at the apiaries before the first bees start to leave the hive (6:30-7:30). This can differ a lot, depending on the position of the hive, e. g. early morning sun on the entrance will entice them to leave quite early, even if the temperature isn't much beyond 10° yet. Here you can find a video about bees drinking these guttation droplets.
You can help yourself by collecting very simple information like:
Localization (city, post code)
Number of bees going out and going in in the following periods of observation1: 6:50-6:55; 6:55-7:00; 7:00-7:05; 7:05-7:10
1 According to the conditions of your area, you might have to modify these times.
We would be very thankful if you could observe the crops/plants around your hives, each of them a couple of days. It is vey important for us that you send us pictures or videos about with guttation droplets and bees collecting them. Please make that the date and time of the picture/video appear on the picture/video.
Whenever you have this information, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org just mentioning where you come from.
If you have any question you can contact us by e-mail or at the telephone +32(0)10 47 34 16.