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bees attracted to GPS receiver

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  • Rob Irwin
    A survey crew in the Klamath mountains in California noticed a large number of solitary bees landing on their GPS receiving antenna. See the attached
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 16, 2013
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    A survey crew in the Klamath mountains in California noticed a large
    number of solitary bees landing on their GPS receiving antenna. See the
    attached photograph. The bees arrived over the morning, landing on all
    parts of the GPS, but not on other equipment. The GPS antenna does not
    transmit signals but is an amplified receiver.

    Has anyone noticed bees being attracted to electronics? Maybe they are
    responding an electric field?

    Rob Irwin
  • Doug Yanega
    ... The resolution on the photo isn t good enough to tell what kind of bees they are, though they are clearly over 1 cm long, and not carpenter bees; as such,
    Message 2 of 4 , Apr 16, 2013
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      On 4/16/13 3:41 PM, Rob Irwin wrote:
       

      A survey crew in the Klamath mountains in California noticed a large
      number of solitary bees landing on their GPS receiving antenna. See the
      attached photograph. The bees arrived over the morning, landing on all
      parts of the GPS, but not on other equipment. The GPS antenna does not
      transmit signals but is an amplified receiver.

      Has anyone noticed bees being attracted to electronics? Maybe they are
      responding an electric field?

      The resolution on the photo isn't good enough to tell what kind of bees they are, though they are clearly over 1 cm long, and not carpenter bees; as such, they are likely to be honey bees. Is it possible that the antenna gives off some sort of odor? At the very least, a black pipe will give off heat.

      If you're genuinely curious, just plant one of those black pipes in the ground nearby, but do not mount an antenna on it. If similar number of bees land on it, then it is the pipe itself that is attracting them, perhaps as a substrate that elevates their body temperature.
      -- 
      Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
      Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
      phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
                   http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
        "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
              is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
    • Anita M. Collins
      I do know that honey bees are attracted to the black foam TV crews use to cover microphones. While filming any number of segments on Africanized honey bees,
      Message 3 of 4 , Apr 16, 2013
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        I do know that honey bees are attracted to the black foam TV crews use to cover microphones.  While filming any number of segments on Africanized honey bees, that was the major attraction point for the disturbed bees in the air.  Small dark spots, like eyes or insignia on white shirts are also targets of defending honey bees. 
         
        Anita Collins
         
         
         
        If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research.
        Albert Einstein
         
        On 04/16/13, Rob Irwin<robsbugs@...> wrote:
         
         
        [Attachment(s) from Rob Irwin included below]

        A survey crew in the Klamath mountains in California noticed a large
        number of solitary bees landing on their GPS receiving antenna. See the
        attached photograph. The bees arrived over the morning, landing on all
        parts of the GPS, but not on other equipment. The GPS antenna does not
        transmit signals but is an amplified receiver.

        Has anyone noticed bees being attracted to electronics? Maybe they are
        responding an electric field?

        Rob Irwin

      • Rob Irwin
        Attached is a pdf with better photos of these bees. Looks like /Halictus/ sp. Thanks so all the good comments. On the news that Bombus can use floral
        Message 4 of 4 , Apr 22, 2013
        Attached is a pdf with better photos of these bees.   Looks like Halictus sp.

        Thanks so all the good comments.  On the news that Bombus can use floral electric fields (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/340/6128/66 ), I couldnt help wondering if these bees were drawn to some non-visual EM field.  As pointed out, an experiment would be needed to rule out this behavior being driven by scents, visual reflectance, warmth, etc...

        Rob

        On 4/16/2013 3:41 PM, Rob Irwin wrote:
         

        A survey crew in the Klamath mountains in California noticed a large
        number of solitary bees landing on their GPS receiving antenna. See the
        attached photograph. The bees arrived over the morning, landing on all
        parts of the GPS, but not on other equipment. The GPS antenna does not
        transmit signals but is an amplified receiver.

        Has anyone noticed bees being attracted to electronics? Maybe they are
        responding an electric field?

        Rob Irwin


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