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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,030

    Default Bees sense charge on flowers

    While the study cited was done on bumbles, it's pretty fascinating and offers an interesting possibility on how bees choose to avoid a recently-foraged blossom.

    http://www.npr.org/2013/02/22/172611...rge-on-flowers
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  2. #2

    Default Re: Bees sense charge on flowers

    That's interesting and it may be true. I have a 500KV power line that goes across my property and the bees were a constant presence in the garden under the power lines. Everything under the power lines has a slight charge at all times due to the electromagnetic field produced by the high voltage and current. I have laid under my old pickup and checked the transmission fluid and got a slight shock when I touched the metal of the truck. It might be a good idea for them to do a study under some power lines. Maybe I have a gold mine and don't know it!

    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,306

    Default Re: Bees sense charge on flowers

    Interesting find Ben.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,306

    Default Re: Bees sense charge on flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Modem View Post
    Everything under the power lines has a slight charge at all times due to the electromagnetic field produced by the high voltage and current.
    What is the polarity when the power lines are alternating current? Maybe the truck got charged on rubber wheels and you grounded it when you got off.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,967

    Default Re: Bees sense charge on flowers

    > I have laid under my old pickup and checked the transmission fluid and got a slight shock ....

    The truck acts like the low voltage side of a transformer. The high voltage powerlines act as the high voltage side of the transformer. Fortunately, the transformer is very inefficient because it is essentially an "air gap" transformer, without a metal core.

    Even fences under powerlines can get charged from this transformer effect. More here:
    http://transmission.bpa.gov/lancom/L...ines_11-07.pdf

    The resulting output of such a transformer would be 60 cycle AC, assuming the high voltage lines were also 60 cycle AC. Most high tension powerlines are AC, although there are a few specialized situations where DC is used.
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 02-23-2013 at 06:16 PM. Reason: activate link
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  6. #6

    Default Re: Bees sense charge on flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Even fences under powerlines can get charged from this transformer effect. More here:
    http://transmission.bpa.gov/lancom/Living_and_Working_Around_High_Voltage_Power_Lines _11-07.pdf
    You're exactly right. Anything I touch under those power lines has a slight charge/tingle feeling to it: Fence posts, tomatoes, chicken wire, okra, corn, etc. It's such high voltage and megawatts on those lines, anything close is affected. But, I had a great garden last year and it doesn't seem to bother the bees any. ...shrug....

    I couldn't get the link above to work.
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,967

    Default Re: Bees sense charge on flowers

    Tomatoes and corn get charged?!

    I fixed the broken link ...
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #8

    Default Re: Bees sense charge on flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Tomatoes and corn get charged?!
    Well it is 500,000 volts and a possible 1200 million watts on those lines. that's a lot of power.
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

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