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BEE SCIENCE Project to look at tiny compasses in bees

Ashland, MA: September 9, 2018

Research organization Soundwave Research Laboratories, Inc. today said it will explore the design and funding of a new research field in Hadley, MA to expand its environmental monitoring development work. The company performs research into acoustic (sound) and other physical phenomenons, including ways to track very small objects and small changes over wide areas. Soundwave is interested in using its extensive background in microphones and other pickup devices to better understand the routes taken by native and introduced bees, the effect of sun angles, and the natural magnetic field of Earth, which all are thought to alter bee foraging and navigation. It will also look into developing a better understanding of the tiny particles that have been found in the abdomens of some bees which are thought to help direct bees to and from the hive. "We worked to understand how very small structures, particles, pigments and chromophores affect living and nonliving systems" said Robert J Crowley, who runs much of the research. "The challenge today is finding a good way to track bee flight paths along magnetic North and South routes with few obstacles or other influences such as wind and sun angle, so you need an open space with a reasonably long North-South axis." he added.  Crowley feels it is urgent to understand how pollinating insects, such as bees, are affected by Earth's magnetic field, which changes over time and is currently undergoing significant changes. No login needed  - - LINK TO MORE ON FACEBOOK


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Bee Science field in Hadley Surveyed

On Friday we had our surveyors out at the Hadley field to mark the boundaries of the future Bee Science Farm in Hadley.  Over 7 acres were marked out, and even though there are corn and potatoes growing, it is clear that many native and domesticated bees are visiting the various existing wildflowers and weeds. The North side of the farm is located next to a busy road, but is well shielded by a stream and a lot of overgrown bittersweet - some that we intend to remove to try to save the trees being choked by that invasive vine.  Along the road there were numerous honeybees already present, though we don't know the location(s) of any local hives.

The day was partly overcast and not too hot, so the work went smoothly and comfortably! We are thankful for the great job Surveyors Eaton & Associates of Hadley performed.

Were there any surprises? Yes! The property seems much bigger than we expected, probably because you cannot access the North end from the South due to the stream and t…

Location of the old hives

Along Bay Rd. we have a triangular piece of elevated land where the existing hives are located.  I spent several hours trying to reach where two of the hives are as the bittersweet had grown in so densely I couldn't get past it!  Also found was buckthorn. That's for another day. Lots of invasive species along that entire roadway choking the trees and even killing a big elm that is now in danger of falling.

This portion is a good 10-15' higher than the field, and there is a utility pole with power and cable on the corner, and a utility shed owned by the town.

Running a power line from the corner over to the field would require placement of one more pole, but the cost will be very high.