Francis Ratnieks (University of Sussex)
"The honey bee is a common British insect, found in any garden or park near you. It is also one of the most important and amazing of all animals. Important because it does things of great value to humans and for the environment. For example, honey bees worldwide produce 1.3 billion kg of honey annually. They also pollinate plants, including wild flowers and many of the plants we eat including apples and coffee. The proportion of our diet that is bee pollinated is actually increasing. Honey bees are amazing in their social life living in colonies of up to 60,000 workers and a queen. How are the activities of the many individuals coordinated so that the colony functions effectively? Research has shown that honey bee colonies have an effective policing system that prevents individual worker bees acting antisocially by laying eggs instead of working, and have complex communication abilities including the famous waggle dance by which forager bees can tell their nestmates the direction and distance of profitable flower patches. Over the past 100 years the number of colonies in Britain has diminished 75% from 1 million to 250,000. Although this is not yet a crisis, it is a wake up call to help the honey bee”."
7:30pm for an 8pm start.
Meetings are FREE (although a contribution to expenses is appreciated)
Official Website: http://www.cafe-scientifique-brighton.org.uk/
Added by dallaway on January 19, 2010