Astronomy

Biology

Chemistry

Computer Science

Earth Science

Engineering

Math

Microbiology

Neuroscience

Optics

Physics

*****

EspaŮol

Sign-up for FTK Bulletin

Biology
  

Building a Better Bee

DAVIS, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Bees are disappearing by the millions! No one knows for sure what's happening, but what we do know is we all need bees. More than $15 billion dollars in crops are pollinated by bees each year in the United States alone. Scientists are now creating the perfect bee to keep our crops thriving.

You need Flash Player 8 or higher to view video content with the ROO Flash Player. Click here to download and install it.

Franklin Carrier has been caring for bees for 52 years.

"I've been stung about 5,000 times," Carrier told Ivanhoe.

Not bad, since he keeps 500,000 bees. Franklin says he's caught bee fever.

"I just love bees!" Carrier said. "That's all there is to it."

Carrier's hives have one queen. She lays about 2,000 eggs a day. There are 1,000 drones, males whose only job is to mate with the queen. The other 50,000 female worker bees feed and care for the queen.

Millions of bees are being wiped out by mites. Other theories of their demise include pesticides and global warming. Now, entomologists at UC Davis are working to build a better, stronger bee.

"We're looking at stocks that are selected in Europe that are more resistant to pests and diseases." Susan Cobey, an entomologist at UC Davis, told Ivanhoe.

Cobey is cross-breeding her New World Carniolan bees with Old World Carniolans from Germany. She places the queen bee inside a tube and artificially inseminates her to produce what researchers hope will be a line of bees that are very productive, winter hardy, well-tempered and more resistant to pests and disease -- which is essential for their -- and our -- survival.

"Without bees, we would have no fruits or vegetables," Cobey said. "They're so essential. Even something as simple as milk; you need to pollinate the alfalfa to feed the cattle to produce the milk and the meat. We are just the foundation of agriculture."

This new, better bee gives Carrier reassurance that his ladies will be there when he gets home.

"With these girls, I get to see them all the time," Carrier said. "They're mine, all mine. Who else in the country has upward of a million young ladies at their beck and call?"

Although worker bees only live a few months, the drones live 90 days and the queen can live up to four years.

Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:

Susan Cobey
University of California, Davis
(530) 754-9390
swcobey@ucdavis.edu


This Month's TV Reports
Detecting Disease In Less Than 60 Seconds

A cotton-swab test at the airport? It could be used to catch viruses before they cause a pandemic.

 

Going Green & Saving Jobs: Win-Win!

In a time where pink slips are being used more than Post-its, one company is going green, opening factories and helping save you money.

 

Comfy Car Seats

No more backaches! A new kind of car seat helps you keep comfortable during those long road trips.

 

Improve Your Golf Game

Changing the dimples in a golf ball may be the key to hitting your drive farther.

 

Sports: Inside Your TV

Where did that first down yellow line come from? How about the NASCAR animation that shows which driver is drafting another driver? We go inside the company to find out how they did it.

 

Tracking Sex Offenders

One in five girls and one in seven boys will become victims of sexual abuse. Records that track convicted sex offenders are outdated and inaccurate. Now a new tool is helping police keep kids safe.

 

Building a Better Bee

No one knows why millions of bees are disappearing, but we do know bees are essential for us to live. Now a better, more indestructible bee is being born.

 

Indoor Allergy Test

Fifty-million Americans suffer from allergies. Now a new test you can do at home will let you know if something inside your house is making you sick.

 

Is Air Pollution Killing You?

Could breathing the air in your hometown be just as bad as smoking two packs of cigarettes a day? Some people say pollution is getting so bad, it could kill you.

 

Video Games Save Lives

Forget the stethoscope. Doctors are using videogames to help save burn victims.

 

Longer Lasting Hips

150,000 people will have hip replacement this year. Now engineers are using a famous work of art to help them build a longer lasting, better fitting artificial hip.

 

Is Your Dog Deaf?

Fido canít tell you if he canít hear you, but now scientists have found a way to detect canine hearing problems.

 

Hibernating Bears Help Humans

Whatís a hibernating bears secret to staying healthy? What does it mean for humans? Bears may actually hold the secret for better bones in humans.

 

Prior Reports
A joint production of Ivanhoe Broadcast News and the American Institute of Physics.
  Ivanhoe Broadcast News
2745 West Fairbanks Avenue
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 740-0789
http://www.ivanhoe.com

American Institute of Physics
One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 19740-3843
(301) 209-3100
http://www.aip.org/dbis
  P.O. Box 865
Orlando, Florida 32802
scitech@ivanhoe.com
 
  © 2009 Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc.  
DBIS