Scientists to see if bees' buzz differs around Wales


Scientists are trying to find out if bees make different sounds depending on where in Wales they are.

A team from Cardiff University has appealed to more than 3,000 beekeepers to send them photos, videos and audio files from hives over the summer.

The noises will be analysed at the School of Pharmacy.

The research will also help them learn where the bees find their feed by mapping the exact locations they were pictured or recorded.

"The Africanised honey bee makes different sound to the European bees," said microbiology professor Les Bailie.

"The bees we have on the roof of the school here are Italian. Do the bees in Cardiff make the same sound as those in Aberystwyth or Wrexham?"

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Prof Bailie said bees could make up to 10 different noises depending on their mood, including angry, calm or ill.

Analysing the "known noises" can help determine where bees are from, but could also be used to play to bees to help their mood.

"A happy bee is a productive bee. If you can make the bee happy by playing them the right sound they can produce more honey," Prof Bailie said.

"Plotting these differences could ultimately help us in our bid to find out which plants help bees the most.

"Gathering photos, video and sound files will help us understand where gaps lie and will help put plants in the right places to make bees more productive."

If enough beekeepers respond, and investigators detect initial differences, the project could be rolled out to include more than 40,000 beekeepers across the UK.

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