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Bees Communicate With Electric Fields

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the buzz-of-buzzing dept.

Science 133

sciencehabit writes "The electric fields that build up on honey bees as they fly, flutter their wings, or rub body parts together may allow the insects to talk to each other, a new study suggests. Tests show that the electric fields, which can be quite strong, deflect the bees' antennae, which, in turn, provide signals to the brain through specialized organs at their bases. Antenna deflections induced by an electrically charged honey bee wing are about 10 times the size of those that would be caused by airflow from the wing fluttering at the same distance—a sign that electrical fields could be an important signal."

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I am shocked (1)

toxygen01 (901511) | about a year ago | (#43298659)

If that is true, I guess the mother nature is far more advanced than I could even imagine. Sonar, ok, infrared sensors, ok, antibiotics, ok, aero/hydro dynamics, ok, but electric field communication, wtf? I thought this domain solely belonged to human race.

Re:I am shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43298681)

You seriously think that the human race has some sort of advance over what biological systems do? All we do is take simple ideas and push them as far as materials can take it. Like motors, jet engines, computers. But these are all simple toys. Biological systems are much more complex than anything we've come up with, and that's where biology wins, complexity.

Re:I am shocked (2)

similar_name (1164087) | about a year ago | (#43298893)

Evolution is pretty cool. At that scale static becomes a bigger part of the environment. It makes sense that it might be incorporated and improved upon. I've often wondered. We see electromagnetic waves with nerves that pick up different wavelengths. If brains also put out electromagnetic waves it seems that at least from a biological standpoint it wouldn't be too far fetched for a nerve mutation to pick those up. Perhaps a crude telepathy could develop or a better sense for when someone's standing behind you.

Re:I am shocked (5, Funny)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#43298995)

"Bees Communicate With Electric Fields"

So, what do the electric fields have to say? Should we be welcoming our electric field overlords?

Re:I am shocked (1)

Smirker (695167) | about a year ago | (#43299109)

^ This guy.

Re:I am shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43299015)

You are aware that light is also a artifact of an electric field, are you?

Re:I am shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43300637)

You are aware that's not what he was talking about right?

Or are you a failed AI?

Re:I am shocked (2)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year ago | (#43299151)

Sure, why not? After all, fish invented tasers [wikipedia.org] long before we did, why not other electric toys?

Re:I am shocked (2)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#43300021)

I have *NOT* heard of fish dildos before. Please do share.

Re:I am shocked (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43300115)

Ummm... electric eels.

Not suggested for use as a dildo unless you want an experience you will not ever forget.

Re:I am shocked (0)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43300387)

Those things will kill you. In 2010, a healthy 30 year old British woman died of a heart attack from over-stimulation by her vibrator, proving that too much of a good thing is no good for you.

http://newsflavor.com/world/usa-canada/girl-dies-from-arousal/ [newsflavor.com]

Re:I am shocked (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#43299509)

toxygen01, or rather, Bill Simpleton (my nickname for you), this is God. I'm glad you think I'm 'far more advanced than I[Bill] could even imagine'.

And no, none of the domains you list belong to the human race. You only sort of partially understand them.

Re:I am shocked (2, Funny)

oztiks (921504) | about a year ago | (#43299587)

So you're shocked by the fact that Bees use electricity to communicate?

Is that like being puzzled to learn that Mice can find cheese in a maze?

Re:I am shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43302367)

> So you're shocked by the fact that Bees use electricity to communicate?
 

You misread the topic. Its not "bees use electricity to communicate", but "Bees Communicate With Electric Fields"

So, no. Its not about a discovery that gamma rays might in fact be the bee equivalent of pitiful prose.

The consequences of "Bees Communicating With Electric Fields" are indeed horrifying. Just imagine what might happen if the bees chose to convince the electric fields to bit rot prepositions.

Re:I am shocked (2)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year ago | (#43299611)

Bees have been evolving for over 100 million years and they've evolved from wasps which have been evolving for over 400 million years IIRC. Only humanity has the hubris to underestimate creatures that could survive for so long. I would expect they will still be here long after we're gone.

Don't feel too bad; biologists are notorious for underestimating the creatures on this planet. It wouldn't surprise me if we we're a good 100 years behind the knowledge we should have about them because of it.

Re:I am shocked (1)

XiaoMing (1574363) | about a year ago | (#43299625)

If that is true, I guess the mother nature is far more advanced than I could even imagine. Sonar, ok, infrared sensors, ok, antibiotics, ok, aero/hydro dynamics, ok, but electric field communication, wtf? I thought this domain solely belonged to human race.

If that is true, I guess the mother nature is far more advanced than I could even imagine. Sonar, ok, infrared sensors, ok, antibiotics, ok, aero/hydro dynamics, ok, but electric field communication, wtf? I thought this domain solely belonged to human race.

Haha was the remainder of that post just used to justify your punny subject line? Sharks have actually been using electric fields for quite awhile to hunt various prey. And while I woudln't be surprised if it were true, the summary doesn't really suggest causality or even correlation with the bees, it just says "this number is big, it must be useful for something!". Odd for scientists to do that...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampullae_of_Lorenzini [wikipedia.org]

Re:I am shocked (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43302945)

Sharks have been able to sense electric fields [wikipedia.org] for a very long time, migratory birds see magnetic fields [dailymail.co.uk] , good luck sorting out the venemous platypus [wikipedia.org] and all its strangeness... natural processes have had hundreds of millions of years to get a head start on us.

I think most people are no longer surprised by such things. Nature has been at this stuff way longer than we've even existed.

Unexplained Collapses??? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43298673)

So, this may suggest that our ever increasing use of EM may be responsible for colony collapse disorders.

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43298987)

I am EM Hypersensitive and I know the damage these field can do. Animals that are relying heavily on the use of specialised and sensitive sensory tools might suffer badly.

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about a year ago | (#43299569)

So, how's your Morse key to HTTP work, exactly?

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43299947)

You tell me

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (4, Informative)

Warma (1220342) | about a year ago | (#43300517)

Everything suggests that EM hypersensitivity does not exist. Not one person suffering from it has been able to prove that he could, directly or indirectly, sense an electric or magnetic field of any magnitude.

If you have the supernatural ability you state to possess, please demonstrate it for science. This will benefit society greatly.

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43301079)

The studies refuting EMS are done by researches who are either liars or incompetent. I can tell you WITHIN SECONDS of turning on a variety of appliances BLINDFOLDED and from up to 5 meters distance. I am well aware the majority of studies conclude against EMS, but the research is POORLY DONE. I am constantly in DAMN AWE of the insolence and I hope these researchers will be held responsible for their DECEIT and GROSS NEGLIGENCE. There is however much positive research particularly coming out of the Scandinavian countries.

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43301325)

Capital letters does not make it true. Source please, because if you live in a world where magic doesn't exists you would realize that the EM field emitted by those appliances are insignificant in magnitude compared to those that exists naturally all over the world.
The claim of EM sensitivity is essentially a claim that you are oversensitive to very many specific frequencies of EM but not at all to just as many others existing between those and there is no biological explanation to why that would be the case.
The reason Scandinavian nations are more accessible to people claiming EMS is that they are more willing to shape society in a way that caters to minorities quirks. It doesn't matter if you are a devoted Muslim, think that you are the children of God, that the world is flat or believe that you are EM sensitive. They smile politely, agree with you and then leave you to yourself while they go on doing whatever they enjoy doing.
Sometimes running a few tests and agreeing with you might be the least effort possible to make you shut up and never hear from you again.

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43301493)

Capital letters are used for emphasis. For sources Google, Google Scholar and your university's database subscription is your friend. There are many explanations but nothing conclusive. I am also one of the few people you will meet that will outright tell you that BELIEF is a disgusting word. So it goes without saying I am not religious. I do my best to not make unfounded or faith based arguments. Hence why I don't want to be associated with atheism. Its proponents make faith based arguments when they often dismiss anything that can't be proven with current scientific methods as myth or lunacy. If you want to shut me up find me then blow my head off with your 44. It's the only way.

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43302961)

I have a similar sensitivity. I can clearly perceive EM fields when they are strong enough. I first clearly noticed this when I would walk up to a coworkers desk and inevitably be standing behind their CRT monitor where the field is stronger. It was clearly noticeable. This was long before there was much talk of such things so it wasn't just something influenced by something I read. It was feeling the field that caused me to start reading more about these things.

Just because some cannot perceive this does not mean it does not exist or that it's simply imagined.

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (1)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | about a year ago | (#43302037)

I used to believe that I had EM hypersensitivity. Whenever I turned on the wireless hub in my home for visitors, I got a headache. But I forced myself to leave it on, and after a while I realized that it had no effect on me. If anything it was the blinking blue and red lights on the hub that were causing my headaches. I covered those up and have been living happily with a wireless network for years, now.

Psychology is stronger than science. If you believe in something it will become true for you, and your belief can be passed to others if you preach about it. I think EM hypersensitivity is a psychosomatic illness, but that's not to minimize how disruptive it can be to the individual.

On the other hand, bees are small and have antennae, so I can easily believe that they are sensitive to EM effects. More study needs to be done here.

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43301049)

I don't want to play the devil's advocate here but, there are no conclusive studies that support the theory that EM Hypersentitivity is a real condition. Either the methodology of the study was flawed or the people claiming to be exposed to an EM Field were exposed to a sham field.

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43301403)

It is a difficult thing to test for. Those with EMS often have chemical sensitivity. Very strange but this is how it is, even for me. The testing facility must be in a rural location and no other electronics must be present anywhere nearby. Any VOCs must be at extremely low levels. The subject must be at a stage of their condition where they recognise and can control their exposure to EMR and chemicals so that they are in good health. Prior to this stage the subject may often feel quite ill and be unable to give an accurate assessment of their symptoms. After several years I have learned to become extremely perceptive and careful about my exposure to EMR and chemicals. I am now quite healthy and don't feel ill at all, however that can change very fast if I'm not careful. The EMR measurements effecting us wont necessarily register on a gauss meter.

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (5, Informative)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#43299031)

Unexplained? We've had several stories about bees and pesticides, including just today: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21958547 [bbc.co.uk] .
It's only unexplained if you think there's something more sinister at work than common poison.

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43300411)

The article you quoted calls colony collapse disorder, "mysterious".

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (1)

MachDelta (704883) | about a year ago | (#43299041)

Quick! Build giant faraday cages over all the worlds beehives!

Also, another thought; I wonder how well a simple radio tuned to spew out the right frequency of noise would work for pest control.
Stuff a few batteries in it, turn it on, and place it next to the hive... would it get rid of the bees (and/or other similar insects) with minimal fuss and insecticides?
Should I be running to the nearest patent office?

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43300185)

Ultrasonic at the right frequency would probably work great.

Insects, being smaller, have parts that would resonate at frequencies inaudible to us.

They would find those emissions just as annoying as we find those high-pitched piezo alarms that drive McDonald's employees crazy.

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43299073)

Actually, the mass extinction of bees lately has been traced back to a Bayer pesticide. One of the most used ones. I saw a press release or something where Bayer themselves admitted to it in a convoluted way.

Strangely, a few days later, it couldn't be found anymore, and a "article" on Snopes popped up, calling it "fake", based on bullshit references that were horribly bad and didn't state anything, and vague unsubstantiated claims.

I'm sorry. I have seen Bayer admitting it. On their own site. And no statement about being "hacked" of something ever left Bayer after that. Which they could easily have done.

This, among other things that I myself *actually* checked and found to be not correct, is why I don't trust Snopes anymore. Apparently they fabricate whatever they want, if you pay them enough money.

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43299283)

Apparently they fabricate whatever they want, if you pay them enough money.

I wonder if that's true. I should go look it up on Snopes...

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (2)

mat8913 (2654467) | about a year ago | (#43300733)

Obligatory XKCD: http://xkcd.com/250/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43300893)

I saw a press release or something

That sounds like the new "bloke down the pub said."

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43301463)

Hi there, this is your official Slashdot Bayer representative, posting as AC because of the evil space goats. Yes, we poisoned all the bees, then we admitted it and then we covered it up by paying the people at Snopes to say it was all a fake.

Also, George Bush, but not George W Bush, were controlled by the galactic tooth fairy, and you should all eat dog faeces to prevent her from taking over the planet.

That is all.

NB This is all super-true, no matter what you read anywhere else, no take backs.

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (1)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#43299079)

"this may suggest that our ever increasing use of EM may be responsible for colony collapse disorders."

Except, it doesn't. [usda.gov] Maybe if the bees wore tin foil hats?

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43299177)

No no no no NO.

Colony collapse has ALREADY been explained by pesticides, specifically a pesticide made by Bayer AG. Their own internal testing proved it, and third parties have proved it. It has been documented extensively. It is absolutely crystal clear that this pesticide causes colony collapse disorder, to the point where it was banned in Germany and the EU for it's harmful effects. Since Bayer is greedy, they decided to sell it in America where it wasn't banned (or well known) and suppress their own research from the public, forcing others to re-discover the same results they'd already found only after significant damage had been done.

Mindless speculation like this is why some people still think vaccines cause autism or that weed cures cancer.

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43299257)

That may be so but EM hasn't been ruled out as another possible factor. I'm constantly astounded by so many juvenile and inexperienced science commentators such as yourself, who may only have a degree or masters degree but no real world experience, but are always screaming "case closed". Speculation is a word used to often discredit worthwhile hypothesis.

I thought it was the changed import rules on bees. (2)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about a year ago | (#43299439)

Colony collapse has ALREADY been explained by pesticides, specifically a pesticide made by Bayer AG.

Really? That's interesting.

I was under the impression that it was most likely caused by the relaxation of import restrictions on bees into the US from areas which had significant bee diseases and parasites which were not (yet) present in the US. From what I hear these occurred shortly (like a couple years) before the "collapse" phenomenon was noticed.

I'll have to see if I can find the claims and research reports you refer to. (Citations from you would be nice.)

Re:I thought it was the changed import rules on be (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43299757)

I looked for something from a respected news source, Forbes has no reason to lie about this.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/markgibbs/2012/04/26/bayer-pesticide-profits-or-bees/

Re:I thought it was the changed import rules on be (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43299771)

Damn should have read it first. Just a petition, but shows that it is in the forefront of peoples minds.

Here is the pesticide
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neonicotinoid

Bees are mentioned at the end.

Re:I thought it was the changed import rules on be (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43300897)

Damn should have read it first.

Damn, yes you should have.

Italy bans bee killing pesticide, Bees recover (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43299463)

http://www.enn.com/wildlife/article/38233

"The Italian government banned the use of several neonicotinoid pesticides that are blamed for the deaths of millions of honeybees. The Ministero del Lavoro della Salute e delle Politiche Sociali issued an immediate suspension of the seed treatment products clothianidin, imidacloprid, fipronil and thiamethoxam used in rapeseed oil, sunflowers and sweetcorn. The Italian government will start a monitoring program to further investigate the reasons of recent bee deaths."

Where the ban has been in place, Bee collony collapses are dramatically reduced. So no, it's the bug killer that kills the bugs. Who'd have thunk it!

Re:Unexplained Collapses??? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43301645)

No, this is electrostatic field communication. Radio or even microwave isn't going to have any effect on it. Even the shorter wavelengths, down to the visible range, can be ignored for all but a few materials that demonstrate light-dependant resistance (Handy in photocopiers).

Colony Collapse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43298695)

I wonder if this could help explain Colony Collapse Disorder?

Bees communicate with electric fields (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43298697)

I wonder if the electric fields have anything interesting to say?

Re:Bees communicate with electric fields (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year ago | (#43298845)

Buzz off. We Bees have the right to privacy!

Re:Bees communicate with electric fields (1)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#43299497)

Well then you better come up with BeeDRM and protect yourselves then.

Or maybe you should just start using bcrypt.

Question for Mr Gil Grissom... (3, Interesting)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year ago | (#43298703)

I wonder if this can be linked in any way to the dramatic drop in honeybee populations? Does the population drop-off begin near the implementation of any new wireless technology? Correlation may not lead to causation, but it has been known to lead to wild speculation.

Re:Question for Mr Gil Grissom... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43298887)

Unlikely - the frequencies of the wireless technologies are many orders of magnitude higher than anything associated with a physical wing vibration. The dramatic drop in honeybee population is more likely tied to certain nicotine-derived insecticides [npr.org] . Hmm, an insecticide harming insects? Didn't see that one coming.

Re:Question for Mr Gil Grissom... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43299305)

The mass extinction has already been traced back to a Bayer pesticide. One of the most used ones. I saw a press release or something where Bayer themselves admitted to it in a convoluted way.
Strangely, a few days later, it couldn't be found anymore, and a "article" on Snopes popped up, calling it "fake", based on bullshit references that were horribly bad and didn't state anything, and vague unsubstantiated claims.
I'm sorry. I have seen Bayer admitting it. On their own site. And no statement about being "hacked" of something ever left Bayer after that. Which they could easily have done.
This, among other things that I myself *actually* checked and found to be not correct, is why I don't trust Snopes anymore. Apparently they fabricate whatever they want, if you pay them enough money.

Re:Question for Mr Gil Grissom... (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43300903)

Sounds like you have a bee in your bonnet about this.

Why wouldn't animals be communicating? (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year ago | (#43298705)

I don't see why science has such difficulty accepting that the noises birds make are a language, that the interractions of bees are communication, that elephants communicate over vast distances using noises too low a frequency for the human ear to detect or that whales can and do communicate over vast distances.

What? It isn't real if we can't prove it? That's just plain silly.

Re:Why wouldn't animals be communicating? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43298769)

It's not a matter of IF, it's a matter of HOW.

Re:Why wouldn't animals be communicating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43298907)

Simple. Human arrogance.

Re:Why wouldn't animals be communicating? (1)

similar_name (1164087) | about a year ago | (#43299055)

I don't know that science has difficulty with it. It's pretty accepted that other animals and plants [google.com] can communicate is some fashion. It's just depends on how language is defined. Dogs can communicate by peeing on trees, is that a language? If a plant emits a foul odor when threatened and that chemical triggers the release of more in nearby plants to drive the herbivore away is that a language? Does communication==language or is language a specific subset of communication?

Re:Why wouldn't animals be communicating? (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about a year ago | (#43302667)

Generally, language would be considered a subset of communication. However, if you gather two linguists, you will end up with three definitions of language.

It is generally seen as probably the most important distinctive property of human languages compared to other modes of communication that human languages are open-ended, i.e. capable of forming an essentially unlimited set of expressions. This is not the case for any known animal communication system. There have been several other properties proposed as defining for a true language - for example metalinguistics, i.e. the ability to talk about a language in the language itself

Re:Why wouldn't animals be communicating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43299117)

Because we humans are oh-so special, superior, and "chosen by God". Especially white Caucasian male bigots, apparently. ;)

Can't be that we're just one solar system among many.
Can't be that the earth revolves around the sun.
Can't be that (other) animals think and have feelings too. (Yes, they actually thought other animals are primitive automatons that exist solely for our enjoyment.)
Can't be that we are also just animals. (My grandma still thinks humans aren't animals.)
Can't be that black people aren't inferior.
Can't be that Aryans aren't the master-race.

It's always the same pattern. Some of the dumbest of our species apparently can't handle being nothing special.

Re:Why wouldn't animals be communicating? (1)

Z34107 (925136) | about a year ago | (#43299779)

Congratulations on not only invoking race, religion, and sex within two posts (in a story about bees, no less), but also on your exceptionally obnoxious use of emoticons.

4/10, 'cuz I replied.

Re:Why wouldn't animals be communicating? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43301663)

I'm a bird, so I get to use :>

Re:Why wouldn't animals be communicating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43300119)

My opinion is that humans are not animals. I don't think should class all "animals" as just animals. The classification of animal is too broad. I prefer insect, fish, mammal, higher mammal and so on. The creatures intelligence is really the definitive factor. Animal is really just a convenient word the human calls everything with an intelligence potential greater than plant life, but less than the human.

Re:Why wouldn't animals be communicating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43302335)

Your opinion is bad and you should feel bad.

Re:Why wouldn't animals be communicating? (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about a year ago | (#43299581)

...but science is how you know these things are happening. I'm not seeing if you have a point here at all.

Technically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43298715)

so do the deaf.

True Bee fact (3, Interesting)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43298739)

Over it's lifetime the average bee will produce only 1/10 of a teaspoon of honey.

The more you know...

Re:True Bee fact (2)

similar_name (1164087) | about a year ago | (#43299107)

But if you could interbreed African bees with European bees you could get the higher production of African bees in tropical environments with the docile behavior of European bees. Of course you'd want to make sure and keep them under tight wraps until you get the kinks worked out. :)

802.11BEE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43298753)

Bzzzzt.

Re:802.11BEE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43299321)

Sounds more like NFC, but yours is punnier.

Title and summary (1)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | about a year ago | (#43298785)

It might be a good idea to use a consistent vocabulary to describe uncertainty in the title and the summary.

Re:Title and summary (0)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#43299021)

Not only that, but there is a very significant difference between bees communicating "with electric fields", and communicating by using electric fields.

Misleading Title (1, Funny)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | about a year ago | (#43298961)

Upon reading the summary, I discover the much less amazing story that bees may communicate with other bees using electrical fields. Call me when we discover the sentient electrical fields.

static (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43298983)

I rubbed a bee on my head and stuck it to a cat once.

Waggle dance (5, Insightful)

Spottywot (1910658) | about a year ago | (#43298993)

It occurred to me initially, that if the effect is only really noticeable after flight then the only information that they could usefully communicate by this method would be how recently they had completed a flight. It then occurred to me that bees perform a waggle dance [google.com] which is believed to instruct other bees in the hive where to find food sources. The electrostatic effect on the antenna would be most effective at this time, and also seems to solve one of my issues with the waggle dance theory, which is that it seems most effective as a visual form of communication when viewed from above, which of course the bees do not do.The electrostatic explanation would work, as the dance could manipulate the antennea in the manner of an operator inputting directions using a joystick.

Re:Waggle dance (1)

Spottywot (1910658) | about a year ago | (#43299057)

Bad form to reply to myself, but I have just RTFA and it mentions the waggle dance theory. So just before people start to reply telling me this, I know.

Note to OP: (3, Funny)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year ago | (#43301779)

The likelihood of anyone noticing you quoted something in the article is on the order of plucking a single hair from a mosquito's back wearing boxing gloves.

Tin FOIL ALERT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43299083)

To think all those years people screaming about electromagnetic radiations from all types of things and trying to avoid it by using tin foil hats might of actually be sensitive to the same things bees are. Go figure. Keep them coming science!

Re:Tin FOIL ALERT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43299191)

I'm EM hypersensitive and I don't wear tin foil hats. I haven't heard of anyone else with EHS that does either. I have tried it so I know it doesn't work!

Re:Tin FOIL ALERT (1)

chromas (1085949) | about a year ago | (#43299337)

Was your hat really tin? Or aluminum? Was it properly grounded?

Re:Tin FOIL ALERT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43299391)

No just the stuff that comes in rolls that goes into the oven. I didn't ground. But I do have special grounding pads that ground my body but I don't use it as it doesn't seem to take away the more obvious effects of my condition. The EM radiations that effect me can't be measured/doesn't register with the gauss meters or multimeter I have. The radiation some appliances throw out appear to be of a different kind or frequency that doesn't register, at least on the cheaper equipment in my possession.

Re:Tin FOIL ALERT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43300101)

Everybody, I suspect, is electromagnetically reactive, but most are too damaged or drugged at this point to notice.

If you feel it still, you're one of the lucky ones who isn't walking around with what amounts to an EM lobotomy.

I find I'm much smarter and much more aware of things than nearly everybody around me these days, not because my brain is built any better, but simply because I've gone to pains to cut as much of the regular garbage out of my system as possible, feed it on good stuff, and minimize exposure to environmental toxins. The result is clarity and focus where everybody else is very clearly zombified and brain numb.

It's kind of cool on the one hand to be the super-power in any given room, but it's also very disappointing and sad at times as well. Everybody could be shining and wonderful if they chose, but that choice which seems so obvious is apparently a difficult one to make.

Re:Tin FOIL ALERT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43300193)

I also suspect we are all EM reactive, and I also suspect after being exposed to a high level of toxins part of my part immune response was hightened. Fortunately after several years I feel in control of things. I only keep appliances that don't put out noticeable EMR. I feel more alert and alive than ever and hardly ever feel sick, get headaches or poor sleep. I'm not noticebly sensitive to wifi or mobile phones but there are others who say they are and I don't want to doubt them. If I became that sensitive I might have to pack up and leave to some remote island and live off the land.

Re:Tin FOIL ALERT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43300269)

And to add to this I also have chemical sensitivity. EMS and MCS often appear together for some unknown reason. If you have the symptoms and are not perceptive enough to rid yourself of alot of crap and pay close attention to EVERYTHING you wear and use - clothing, clothing, paints, perfumes - your quality of life is massively reduced.

in my day, they were just narcasistic jackasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43302875)

I find I'm much smarter and much more aware of things than nearly everybody around me these days

holey crap, we have a bona fide indigo child [wikipedia.org] posting to slashdot!

Jumping to conclusions (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#43299295)

The research only shows that bees can sense the electric fields of other bees. We don't even know whether bees are able to control their own electric fields, claiming that they communicate with each other that way is a bit of a stretch.

Spartan Bees (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43299341)

"Our bees will blot out the sun!"

"Then we shall alternate in the shade."

Holy Crap! So do we! (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43299461)

Don't bother me. I'm Bz.

the bees better get encryption or an adblocker... (1)

Max DollarCash (2874161) | about a year ago | (#43299467)

If the bees are communicating via electrical signals that means it can be intercepted and understood in the long run. So google will be mining the bees conversations and injecting ads into it for netflix and cheap canadian meds. They are doomed!

ESP (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | about a year ago | (#43299593)

So bees essentially have a method of short range physic communication.
Ima fill this under "damn awesome."

title vs. synopsis. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about a year ago | (#43299727)

The synopsis speaks that the electrical field MAY allow communications. But the title make it definitive.

So this is how they.. (1)

stillpixel (1575443) | about a year ago | (#43299797)

I guess that's how they make their Foursquare check-ins and Facebook status updates? colonydrone223311: suckin' some nectar (22122 likes) colonydrone243354: stung a human.. lost my needle, monday's suck pesticide.. lol

Electric Bees (1)

Cyfun (667564) | about a year ago | (#43301039)

So THIS must be where that buzzing sound is coming from...

English befuddles the unwary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43301289)

Bee do not communicate with electric fields.
They communicate with other bees.

Build up to Smart Meter paranoia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43301513)

The next step in this argument is to claim that smart meters or cell phones interfere with this mechanism and therefore are the cause of reductions in bee populations.

Or some other horse shit like that.

Bees Communicate With Electric Fields (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | about a year ago | (#43302423)

Experiements Suggest That Bees Communicate With Electric Fields

FTFY...
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