Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Effects of a Solar Eclipse on Honey Bees


     With a solar eclipse scheduled for tomorrow morning (beginning at 9:10 am, reaching it's maximum at 10:21 and ending at 11:37am in Vancouver) and the obvious concern for eye safety I wondered how bees and other critters coped with this phenomena.  It appears that unlike stupid humans animals generally don't stare at the sun so don't suffer from the damaging effects of the sun on eyesight.


       As for honey bees, studies like the one above from HOBOS honey bee research in 2015 show that foraging bee activity is decreased during an eclipse as it would be at the normal setting of the sun.  "The reduction in flight activity commenced as soon as the brightness was lower than 400 watts/m2. Only as the re-emerging sun reached a brightness of 400 watts/m2 did the bees’ flight activities begin to increase once more. The bees also reduced their flying ventures in the evening when the brightness level falls below the 400 watts/m2 mark."  Similar conclusions were drawn in a 1957 study of Apis Dorsata in India (Behaviour of Apis Dorsata during a partial solar eclipse in India).  I'm relieved I don't have to look for solar eclipse glasses for my bees.


Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget