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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

BEE-CLIPSE 2017: DID THE SOLAR ECLIPSE AFFECT HONEY BEE (APIS MELLIFERA) BEHAVIOR

Abstract

Honey bee (Apis mellifera) foraging behavior is intimately connected with the sun. During the day, honey bees actively forage for nectar and pollen and utilize the sun as a navigational beacon to determine and to communicate the relative position and distance of a food or water resource to the hive. On August 21, 2017, a group of faculty, staff, and students (and all others interested) gathered at the University of West Georgia’s Department of Biology campus apiary to see if honey bee foraging activity would be affected by a near total (97%) solar eclipse. Honey bee foraging behavior was affected by the solar eclipse. Foraging activity, as measured by the number of bees entering and exiting the hive, decreased prior to and during the solar eclipse event. The decrease in foraging activity positively correlated with a decrease in temperature and light intensity.

Acknowledgements

UWG Department of Biology, UWG Department of Physics

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