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Scientists Glue Tiny RFID Chips on Bees

Posted By ASC, Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Bees are essential pollinators that contribute to as much as one third of the world’s food supply. But their numbers are declining due in part to Colony Collapse Disorder and the Varroa mite. To better understand the daily stresses that impact bees, tiny RFID chips are being glued to the backs of worker bees and will transmit information about when and where the bees travel and the conditions in which they live. Professor Paulo de Souza—CSIRO Science Leader—commented, “The tiny technology allows researchers to analyze the effects of stress factors including disease, pesticides, air pollution, water contamination, diet and extreme weather on the movements of bees and their ability to pollinate.” The research requires manually gluing the tiny RFID chips to the backs of individual bees. The chips are 0.1 inch squares weighing 0.0002 ounces. When glued in place, they are less weight than the bee commonly carries in pollen.

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