Why Hexagons Are The Best Building Block For Bees and Their Hives

Honeycomb is hexagonal. Not circular. Not square. Not triangular. Why did bees settle on that particular shape? It was no accident; like many of their compatriots in the animal kingdom, it turns out the lil' insects are excellent mathematicians and stellar architects. The repeated pattern makes perfect sense when you… » 6/16/14 6:40pm 6/16/14 6:40pm

20 million bees swarm out of a truck in Delaware road accident

One of your worst nightmares just happened in Delaware: A truck carrying 460 crated hives from Florida to Maine overturned, breaking and releasing 16 to 20 million angry bees. The police has asked drivers to stay away because they can't do anything about it except spraying them with water to calm them down. » 5/21/14 8:42pm 5/21/14 8:42pm

Millions of these robotic bees may roam the world in the near future

This science-fiction infomercial was made to raise awareness of the fact that bees—which are crucial for the survival of all species, including ours*—are dying all around the world. The fact is that this video isn't too far from the truth: bees may go extinct if we don't act promptly and scientists are already working… » 5/01/14 7:59pm 5/01/14 7:59pm

These Are the Most Painful Places to Get Stung by a Bee

You've probably gotten a bee sting at some point in your life, but have you ever gotten a bee sting on your testicles? Well, one Cornell grad did, and it sent him off on a journey to find out once and for all the worst places on your body to get stung by a bee. And he was going to test the whole thing out on...… » 4/06/14 7:00pm 4/06/14 7:00pm

Bees To Humans: We'll Make Hives Out Of Your Plastic Trash

It's hard to be a bee these days, what with the sinister—and still mysterious—Colony Collapse Disorder decimating millions of hives over the past decade. But a few highly resourceful Canadian species have started adapting new nesting techniques, using plain old everyday plastic garbage to build their homes. » 2/12/14 10:40am 2/12/14 10:40am

Australia Is Outfitting Thousands of Bees With Tiny Tracking Backpacks

Bees populations are mysteriously dying worldwide, and that's a problem: one-third of the world's crops are pollinated by the black and yellow fellows. To try and figure out what's causing the bee decline, Australia's national science agency is strapping RFID tags on bees' backs to detect changes in their movement.… » 1/16/14 4:00pm 1/16/14 4:00pm

Concrete-Printing Bees And Other Living 3D Printers

Gizmodo's 3D Printing Week, a collaborative project with GE that comes to a close this evening, would only be partially complete without a look at the use of animals as living 3D printers. They are sentient printheads, we might say: biological sources of material, whether it's silk and honey or plastic and even, as… » 12/06/13 5:20pm 12/06/13 5:20pm

Bees Can't Find Flowers Thanks to Diesel Exhaust

Diesel exhaust is pretty nasty stuff. Pass an overloaded 18-wheeler clouding up the highway, and that acrid plume of hydrocarbons will overpower even your best little tree air freshener. As new research lays out, that exhaust doesn't just smell bad, it messes with the scent of flowers. And that's big trouble for our … » 10/03/13 4:20pm 10/03/13 4:20pm

Croatian Bees Are Being Trained to Hunt Down Deadly Land Mines

Sending animals to do our dirty work—specifically of the drug-sniffing, bomb-hunting variety—isn't a novel concept by any means. But while an animal bomb-sniffing squad might conjure up the image of a noble K9 dog, Croatians are now depending on a very different, perhaps not quite as lovable bomb fiend: the common… » 5/20/13 12:01pm 5/20/13 12:01pm

Flight of the (Robotic Spy Drone) Bumblebee

Harvard researchers have spent the past five years developing a robotic bee, and while it may never serve as a backup for whatever's wiping out colonies across the country, it could serve as an inconspicuous alternative to spy drones. Particularly now that they've figured out how to steer the tiny winged bots during… » 10/09/12 10:24am 10/09/12 10:24am

Digital Beehive Counter Accurately Tracks Your Colony's Collapse

Trying to count the bees buzzing about in a hive is like trying to count the grains of sand on a beach. But if you're worried the deadly virus that has been decimating beehives across the country might be jeopardizing your source of fresh honey, check out this honey bee counter that tracks the comings and goings of… » 9/24/12 3:40pm 9/24/12 3:40pm