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Bees Bugged With Tiny High-Tech Backpacks to Solve Death Mystery



Why are the bees disappearing around the world? An international conclave of scientists, beekeepers and farmers are employing cutting-edge technology to unlock the mystery. The Global Initiative for Honey Bee Health team has glued tiny sensors to the backs of 10,000 healthy honey bees around the world to learn why bees are suddenly dying. The sensor, like an adult wearing a backpack, weighs a third of what a honey bee can carry. This extra load will remain glued in place for the rest of the honey bee's existence.

The minuscule sensors weigh just 5.4 milligrams. The sensors hold a battery that generates energy by vibration. They can record a bee's travel time away from the hive and the distance traversed. This fantastic microscopic technology was developed by Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Tasmania. Scientists say wild bee populations have drastically declined thanks to habitat loss, pesticides diseases and possible cross-pollination with GMO crops. "We just don't understand the combination of stressors that affect honey bees, and we don't know why bee numbers are declining around the world," CSIRO Science Leader Professor Paulo de Souza said. “They might go through extinction; we just don't know."It's happening so frequently that it's now a syndrome called colony collapse disorder, and no scientist working alone would be able to solve this." Colony collapse disorder has been investigated by Linda Moulton Howe on several C2C shows, most recently on 6/25/15.
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