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Honey Bees Manage to Stay Cool Even in Hot Summer Days- Study

For the study, the researchers monitored a group of man-made beehives in Harvard University's Concord Field Station.

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Honey bee, beehives
Honey bees live in large, congested cavities, often in tree hollows with narrow openings. Pixabay

Honey bees live in large, congested cavities, often in tree hollows with narrow openings. But thanks to their ventilation strategy they know how to stay cool on hot summer days, says a study by Harvard researchers.

When it gets hot inside the hive, a group of bees crawl to the entrance and use their wings as fans to draw hot air out and allow cooler air to move in, said the study published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

The researchers found that bees use environmental signals to collectively cluster and continuously ventilate the hive.

“We have demonstrated that bees don’t need a sophisticated recruitment or communications scheme to keep their nests cool,” said first author of the paper Jacob Peters from Harvard University.

Honey bee, beehives
A combination of measurements and computational models quantify and explain how fanning bees create an emergent large-scale flow pattern to ventilate their nests. Pixabay

“Instead the fanning response of individual bees to temperature variations, and the physics of fluid flow leads to their collective spatial organisation, which happens to lead to an efficient cooling solution,” Peters added.

For the study, the researchers monitored a group of man-made beehives in Harvard University’s Concord Field Station. The research team measured temperature, air flow into and out of the nest, and the position and density of bees fanning at the nest entrance.

“Over millennia, social insects such as bees have evolved to harness and exploit flows and forces and collectively solve physiological problems such as mechanical stabilisation, thermoregulation and ventilation on scales much larger than the individual,” said senior author of the study L. Mahadevan, Professor at Harvard.

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“A combination of measurements and computational models quantify and explain how fanning bees create an emergent large-scale flow pattern to ventilate their nests,” Mahadevan added. (IANS)

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Taj Mahal: Honey Bees at Historical Monument Alarm Tourists

A proposal with estimates of expenditure is pending at the headquarters for some months

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Though many complaints have been lodged by the visitors in the past, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has not taken the threat seriously. Pixabay

Honey bees at the iconic Taj Mahal and other historical monuments in the city continue to alarm tourists.

Though many complaints have been lodged by the visitors in the past, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has not taken the threat seriously, according to the tourist guides.

ASI sources said that a proposal with estimates of expenditure is pending at the headquarters for some months.

A local resident has even complained to the Ministry of Culture, demanding the immediate removal of beehives at the Taj which pose a threat to the safety of tourists.

Taj Mahal, Honey Bees, Historical
Honey bees at the iconic Taj Mahal and other historical monuments in the city continue to alarm tourists. Pixabay

Tourist guide Ved Gautam told IANS that beehives have always been there but precautionary measures were taken to ensure the safety of the visitors.

The one at the Mehmankhana (guest house) on the east side of Taj Mahal has always been there, as also the one at the entrance gate of Akbar’s tomb, Gautam said.

Old timers recalled several attacks by bees, which caused panic. Only last year, bees attacked visitors at the royal gate entrance to the Taj Mahal.

“Bees attack only when there is serious provocation from someone. In normal circumstances, they mind their own business,” a retired ASI staffer said.

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Not just bees, dogs and monkeys also continue to be a major nuisance at the Taj. Few days ago, photos of stray dogs loitering in the Taj were widely circulated on social media. Last year, there was a huge controversy over some CISF personnel being given catapult training to shoo away the simians. (IANS)