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Thread: HELP

  1. #1
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    I have this experiment that I am working on. It reguires me to take an aquarium, filled with honey bees and hive, into a 0 gravity atmosphere. My only issue It that I have no idea how to keep the tank warm enough, that the bees will remain active and forrage for food. What can I use to warm the tank?

  2. #2
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    Sorry, I've got to say it.

    Wow, you've already figured out how to get zero gravity? That is impressive.

    Pugs

  3. #3
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    it is not what it seems. It is a project to be proposed to NASA for independant study. IF it is accepted then they will take my team and I into what is known as the vomit commet.

  4. #4
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    Handwarmers? They're packages filled with iron filings and some sort of reactant. Non-toxic, dry, hot, last several hours. They'll reach a temp of 135. No idea if it would work, but it would be interesting to find out.

    http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...berId=12500226

  5. #5
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    Hannah, do you know about those bees sent into space back in the ‘80’s? It was reported they constructed comb (according to bee researcher, Mark Winston, they should not have been able to do so) and stored sugar syrup within it; mortality was low. The queen laid about 35 eggs, but they didn’t survive transfer to a hive on their return to earth.

    If you haven’t read the write-up on it your library might be able to help you with this citation:

    Vandenberg, J.D., et al, (1985) Survival, behavior and comb construction by honey bees, Apis mellifera, in zero gravity aboard NASA Shuttle Mission STS-13. Apidologie 16(4): pp369-384.

    Dr. Vandenberg is with Cornell University. His email address from the Cornell site is jdv3@cornell.edu He might offer some advice.

    Here’s another URL you might find interesting to read:
    http://www.beekeeping.com/articles/u...ation_mars.htm

  6. #6
    kookaburra Guest

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    Where will they be and what is the ambient temperature where they will be located? How long will they be there? How are they foraging?

    If the ambient temperature is above maybe 60-70f, then they don't need heat, although some insulation may be necessary to cover the glass. If you are concerned only about foraging, that may not be necessary. If it is cold and they will be there for a while, then consider some sort of electrical type heat, maybe coils that you can run under the insulation.

    -r

  7. #7
    jfischer Guest

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    Airplane cargo holds, if unheated, can get VERY cold.
    I'd ask about moving the bees from the cargo hold to
    the passenger compartment, as any self-contained heating
    gizmo would likely pose more risk to the plane and crew
    (in the form of fire, exploding batteries, etc) than a
    well-designed enclosure bolted to a bulkhead in the heated
    area of the plane.

    But what is the basic purpose of the experiment?

  8. #8
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    Hannah1,

    I'm not trying to discourage you, as I'm not sure what kind of information that you're planning to get, but you should be aware that the near 0-g portion of the KC-135 is only about 25 seconds - that wouldn't give a lot of observation time, particularly on a bee's time scale.

    [This message has been edited by AstroBee (edited October 14, 2004).]

  9. #9
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    A presentation on “Bees in Space” was done at the W.A.S. conference held in Missoula, Montana in July. This is the write-up appearing in the last issue of the ‘W.A.S. Journal’:

    “Bob Madsen is a devoted supporter of the Native American colleges in Montana. He has helped a number of them establish excellent science programs and he interacts with the students whenever he can. When NASA was soliciting for projects for the Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities, Bob rounded up some students and the “BeeGs” were selected to fly their experiment on the “vomit comet.” That is a big jet plane that climbs up, then dives, over and over, again. On each dive, the G forces approach zero. The students and anything else not bolted down start floating around in the plane.

    The experiment was to see if *Osmia lignaria* (no fear of stings, which was not the case with honey bees) could learn to fly under non-gravity conditions. For most of the experiment, the extra G forces pinned the bees, motionless, to the floor of the cage. but, late into the flight some of the bees were crawling around pretty well, despite the added pressure. The first few weightless flights were haphazard, with a lot of wall crashing. Instead of changing bees, as planned, the same bees were left in the cage for many cycles. After gaining some experience, the bees were able to fly from one spot to another quite well in weightlessness. Turning corners seemed a little rough, but it was obvious that the *O. lignaria* had adapted to flying under zero gravity conditions. It is hard to imagine how that ability can help them on earth.”

    Bob Madsen can be contacted here:
    http://spacegrant.montana.edu/Text/DullKnife.html


    ....go for it Hannah...

  10. #10
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    the experiment is to see if the bees will be able to find thier food, communicate thier findings to the other bees, then find thier way back to the source again in 0 gravity.


    I am aware of the flight patter of the plane.Thank you for the concern.

    a " bee expert" had told one of my collegues, that because of the time of the year that this is to take place, and because the temp inside of the cabim will be around 60 f, that the bees may not search for food. That sounded pretty incorrect to me, so I thought I would ask if anyone on this forum had any advice

    Yes, I have read the report from the study that was done in the 80s. thanks for the input though.

  11. #11
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    Bees will forage in 60 degree F weather. The won't have TIME to forage unless your zero-G lasts a while though. They will stop foraging at around 50 degree F.

    If they are lacking in food, they will be more motivated to find some food but more like finding some stores to eat than foraging. Bees are horders and it's what makes them so valuable and helps them survive. So they will gather it even if they aren't hungry.

  12. #12
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    These are the numbers sometimes given:

    • Below 8 C (46 F) - no foraging*
    • 8 C - 16 C (46 F - 61 F) - some activity*
    • 16 C - 32 C (61 F - 90 F) - optimal conditions*
    • Above 32 C (90 F) - reduction in foraging, increase in water collection.

    Doesn't look like you'll need too big an increase in temperature. Maybe look into Coyote's idea of the handwarmers.

  13. #13
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    hannah1
    If you use hand warmers be careful, they give off CO2 which will kill the bees. The main temp to be considered for forging is 55 - 60 F degrees. The bees were sent up back in the 80's and several experiments were done, flight, comb building, just to name some. My question is they should be able to survive but like being in a green house most of your forgers will die trying to fly farther than the enclosure. A plain ride will provide very little data as the the behavior of the bees. Any ways good luck with your experiment. If I might suggest try using a nuc say 4,000 to 5,000 bees. That would give you a nice representation of a hive. Include some honey and brood for the bees to work with. The brood will make them try to forge for food and their moral will be so-so.
    Dan

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