Insects: The tremendous electrical power of honey bees

Science insects

The tremendous electrical power of honey bees

AI rendering bees and electricity CREDIT: Ellard Hunting USE ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH THE STUDY Link to handouts: https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/968506 Photo: Ellard Hunting

Swarms of bees can alter atmospheric electricity by 100 to 1000 volts per meter

Source: Ellard Hunting

You can listen to our WELT podcasts here

In order to display embedded content, your revocable consent to the transmission and processing of personal data is required, since the providers of the embedded content as third-party providers require this consent [In diesem Zusammenhang können auch Nutzungsprofile (u.a. auf Basis von Cookie-IDs) gebildet und angereichert werden, auch außerhalb des EWR]. By setting the switch to “on”, you agree to this (which can be revoked at any time). This also includes your consent to the transfer of certain personal data to third countries, including the USA, in accordance with Art. 49 (1) (a) GDPR. You can find more information about this. You can withdraw your consent at any time via the switch and via privacy at the bottom of the page.

Phenomena such as thunderstorms and dust storms create large electric fields in the atmosphere. Researchers have now identified another source: insects. Clustered in dense swarms, they can charge the air to a similar extent.

EAccording to a study, a swarm of insects can generate as much electrical charge in the atmosphere as a thundercloud and thus influence the weather, among other things. A research team reports that the animals probably also contribute to the transport of air particles in this way in the journal “iScience”.

It should be borne in mind with the hitherto hardly considered effect that birds and microorganisms carry charges and are widespread in the lower atmosphere – the extent of the resulting electrical interactions in the atmosphere must now be researched more closely.

also read

ARCHIVE - 09/20/2022, USA, ---: Vince Burkle, Compliance Officer for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, holds an adult Spotted Lanternhopper Planter found in Huntington.  In the north-east of the USA, many places are currently teeming with red-speckled insects, even on the skyscrapers of Manhattan there are masses of spotted lantern-bearers.  (to dpa "

There are numerous sources of electrical charge in the atmosphere that affect processes such as the formation of droplets and the elimination of dust and aerosols. The electric field there is correspondingly variable. So far, living beings or biological processes have not been taken into account as charge sources in models – although they do play a role in fluctuations in atmospheric electricity, the research team explains.

It is known for numerous species of insects that they carry an electrical charge of picocoulombs to nanocoulombs per individual. Large concentrations of flying insects could thus be an important source of space charge in the atmosphere.

AI rendering bees and electricity CREDIT: Ellard Hunting USE ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH THE STUDY Link to handouts: https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/968506 Photo: Ellard Hunting

“Biology can also influence physics,” says one of the English researchers

Source: Ellard Hunting

The scientists led by Ellard Hunting from the University of Bristol first measured the electric field in the vicinity of swarming honey bees. Such swarms can change the atmospheric electricity by 100 to 1000 volts per meter and increase the electric field strength that usually exists near the ground. “We’ve always studied how physics affects biology, but at some point we realized that biology could also affect physics,” says first author Hunting.

Based on the data obtained, the team developed a model that estimates the impact of other swarming insects, such as flying ones ants, grasshopperswandering butterflies and mosquitoes calculated. “How insect swarms affect atmospheric electricity depends on their density and size,” explains co-author Liam O’Reilly of the University of Bristol.

also read

What can be done to bring insect diversity back to agricultural land?

For certain locusts, for example, where a swarm can contain 80 million animals in less than a square mile (2.6 km²), the impact on atmospheric electricity is likely to be much greater than for bee swarms. Swarms of desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) have the potential to alter their local electrical environment on a scale comparable to meteorological events such as a thundercloud.

The researchers write that this form of atmospheric space charge is not yet taken into account in current climate models. The atmospheric space charge enhances, among other things, the aggregation and movement of air particles, so it is conceivable that the charges generated by insects contribute to spatial changes in air particles. An influence on the long-distance transport of desert dust is possible.

You can listen to our WELT podcasts here

In order to display embedded content, your revocable consent to the transmission and processing of personal data is required, since the providers of the embedded content as third-party providers require this consent [In diesem Zusammenhang können auch Nutzungsprofile (u.a. auf Basis von Cookie-IDs) gebildet und angereichert werden, auch außerhalb des EWR]. By setting the switch to “on”, you agree to this (which can be revoked at any time). This also includes your consent to the transfer of certain personal data to third countries, including the USA, in accordance with Art. 49 (1) (a) GDPR. You can find more information about this. You can withdraw your consent at any time via the switch and via privacy at the bottom of the page.

“Aha! Ten minutes of everyday knowledge” is WELT’s knowledge podcast. Every Tuesday and Thursday we answer everyday questions from the field of science. Subscribe to the podcast at Spotify, Apple Podcasts, deezer, Amazon Music or directly via RSS feed.

See more here

See also  Covid vaccination for young children: why the Stiko only advises a few - knowledge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *