How Does Smoke Subdue A Bunch Of Bees ?

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Offline neilep

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How Does Smoke Subdue A Bunch Of Bees ?
« on: 17/06/2009 16:21:53 »
Dearest Bee-ologists,

As a sheepy I am a rather chilled out sort of fellow...I like to visit jazz clubs at 2am and chat up women in smoky filled atmospheres (not here in the UK)..the smoke adds an ambiance and je ne sais quoi  that completes the scene. Following all the coughing, spluttering and hurling up of the congested contents of our lungs we fill nice and relaxed.


So, smoke has a calming influence eh ?

Especially on a bunch of bees like this:


[attachment=8567]


Nice eh ?..being delivered, aggravated and poked..... then stuck through my neighbours letterbox next Tuesday....which is nice !


So, how does the smoke calm the bee down ?..Is it a special kind of smoke ?..wood ? paper ?  hay ?..mary jane ??


I asked a bee (whilst stroking it) http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=7204.0 and all it did was buzz and fly away...so..no joy there !


Can ewe help me ?

I'll bee here beeside the puter to receive your answers.

Thank ewe




neil
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Men are the same as women, just inside out !

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Online chris

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How Does Smoke Subdue A Bunch Of Bees ?
« Reply #1 on: 17/06/2009 19:59:54 »
The smoke triggers a primitive reflex in the bees which makes them think that a forest fire is nearby and that there is therefore a danger that their honey is about to be consumed by the inferno. Rather than surrender it to the fire they therefore eat (a proportion of) it themselves! In reality they do this with the aim of moving the honey to a new nest site. Nevertheless, this sugar fix has a stupefying effect on the bees, reducing their aggression and making them drowsy, which makes the beekeeper's life much easier!

Chris
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Offline neilep

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How Does Smoke Subdue A Bunch Of Bees ?
« Reply #2 on: 17/06/2009 22:04:38 »
Thank you very much Chris.

That's wonderful. No doubt prolonged exposure to the smoke will actually have them really move on then.

It would be interesteing to know further how a new nest site is then found in the limited time that they would have.
Men are the same as women, just inside out !

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Offline Karen W.

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How Does Smoke Subdue A Bunch Of Bees ?
« Reply #3 on: 17/06/2009 22:31:22 »
The smoke triggers a primitive reflex in the bees which makes them think that a forest fire is nearby and that there is therefore a danger that their honey is about to be consumed by the inferno. Rather than surrender it to the fire they therefore eat (a proportion of) it themselves! In reality they do this with the aim of moving the honey to a new nest site. Nevertheless, this sugar fix has a stupefying effect on the bees, reducing their aggression and making them drowsy, which makes the beekeeper's life much easier!

Chris

Thats really interesting and i did not know that they begin eating it themselves... very interesting... thanks Chris for the answer and Neil for the great question! 

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Offline turnipsock

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How Does Smoke Subdue A Bunch Of Bees ?
« Reply #4 on: 17/06/2009 23:23:50 »
...also, when bees are stuffed full of honey, they can't bend very well in order to sting. This also happens when they swarm, they take as much honey as they can and can't do the stinging thing.

It still beats me how bees know so much and must have tiny brains.

(did I mention that I keep bees?)
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Offline dentstudent

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How Does Smoke Subdue A Bunch Of Bees ?
« Reply #5 on: 18/06/2009 07:45:17 »
So, Turnipsock, maybe you can have a stab at answering my bee blood question?

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Offline Don_1

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How Does Smoke Subdue A Bunch Of Bees ?
« Reply #6 on: 18/06/2009 08:26:41 »
I have another theory on the effects of smoke on the bees:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIckHmwZAeI

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Offline JnA

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How Does Smoke Subdue A Bunch Of Bees ?
« Reply #7 on: 18/06/2009 13:05:40 »
“According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way
that a bee should be able to fly.
Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the
ground.
The bee, of course, flies anyway.
Because bees don’t care what humans think is impossible.”

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Online chris

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How Does Smoke Subdue A Bunch Of Bees ?
« Reply #8 on: 18/06/2009 18:04:55 »
“According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way
that a bee should be able to fly.
Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the
ground.
The bee, of course, flies anyway.
Because bees don’t care what humans think is impossible.”

The answer to this conundrum was discussed on this week's programme in the context of a piece of research by David Lentink, a Dutch researcher at Harvard. He had a paper in Science in which he solved the question of how helicopter-like seeds remain airborne for so long. It turns out that they use exactly the same strategy as insects:

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/news/news/1735/

Chris
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception - Groucho Marx