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科学美国人60秒: 日食对蜜蜂来说是灭顶之灾

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Solar Eclipse Was Buzzkill for Bees

日食对蜜蜂来说是灭顶之灾

Last summer's total solar eclipse sliced right through Columbia, Missouri. "It was remarkable. As a biologist I generally reserve that word 'remarkable' for biological phenomena."Candace Galen is based at the University of Missouri, in Columbia. And, being a biologist, she thought, why not use this astronomical phenomenon to study a biological one? Specifically: as the skies darkened, would daytime pollinators, like bumblebees and honeybees, call it quits? "What better activity during an eclipse than to go out with a recorder and record the bees? "

去年夏天的日全食席卷了密苏里州的哥伦比亚。“这是非凡的。作为一名生物学家,我通常对生物现象保留“卓越”这个词。坎迪斯·盖伦(Candace Galen)就职于哥伦比亚的密苏里大学。作为一个生物学家,她想,为什么不利用这个天文现象来研究一个生物学现象呢?具体来说:随着天空变暗,像大黄蜂和蜜蜂这样的日间传粉者会就此罢休吗?“在日食期间,有什么比带着录音机去记录蜜蜂的活动更好的呢?”

So Galen asked 400 citizen scientists—including young students—to place audio recorders in 16 flower patches along the path of totality, in Oregon, Idaho and Missouri. When they analyzed the audio, they found that during partial eclipse, bee buzzing continued. But when totality hit, the bees went silent… and only the conversational buzz of human observers could be heard. Then, as the moon passed and the sun again lit up the sky, the bees regained their buzz.The full write-up is in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America. [Candace Galen et al, Pollination on the Dark Side: Acoustic Monitoring Reveals Impacts of a Total Solar Eclipse on Flight Behavior and Activity Schedule of Foraging Bees]

所以盖伦让400名市民科学家——包括年轻的学生——在俄勒冈州、爱达荷州和密苏里州全食区的16片花丛中放置录音机。当他们分析音频时,他们发现在日偏食期间,蜜蜂的嗡嗡声还在继续。但是当全食袭来的时候,蜜蜂就沉默了……只有人类观察者的谈话声才能听到。然后,当月亮过去,太阳再次照亮了天空,蜜蜂恢复了嗡嗡声。这篇完整的文章发表在美国昆虫学会的年报上。

Galen and her colleagues did notice one strange detail: the individual buzzes lasted longer than normal during the partial eclipse periods. Perhaps, Galen says, because the bees were flying more slowly to navigate darker conditions. Or maybe they were returning to their nests, thinking the day was through. It's hard to tell from the recording, she says. Which is why, come the next American total solar eclipse in 2024, she'll be back out listening once again. "I'm a scientist, my curiosity is never satisfied, right?"

盖伦和她的同事确实注意到了一个奇怪的细节:在日偏食期间,个体的嗡嗡声比正常情况下持续的时间更长。盖伦说,也许是因为蜜蜂在黑暗的环境中飞行的速度更慢。或者,他们可能正在回巢,以为这一天已经过去了。她说,从录音中很难分辨出来。这就是为什么,在2024年下一次美国日全食的时候,她又会回来听。“我是科学家,我的好奇心从未得到满足,对吧?”

Solar Eclipse Was Buzzkill for Bees

Last summer's total solar eclipse sliced right through Columbia, Missouri. "It was remarkable. As a biologist I generally reserve that word 'remarkable' for biological phenomena."Candace Galen is based at the University of Missouri, in Columbia. And, being a biologist, she thought, why not use this astronomical phenomenon to study a biological one? Specifically: as the skies darkened, would daytime pollinators, like bumblebees and honeybees, call it quits? "What better activity during an eclipse than to go out with a recorder and record the bees? "

So Galen asked 400 citizen scientists—including young students—to place audio recorders in 16 flower patches along the path of totality, in Oregon, Idaho and Missouri. When they analyzed the audio, they found that during partial eclipse, bee buzzing continued. But when totality hit, the bees went silent… and only the conversational buzz of human observers could be heard. Then, as the moon passed and the sun again lit up the sky, the bees regained their buzz.The full write-up is in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America. [Candace Galen et al, Pollination on the Dark Side: Acoustic Monitoring Reveals Impacts of a Total Solar Eclipse on Flight Behavior and Activity Schedule of Foraging Bees]

Galen and her colleagues did notice one strange detail: the individual buzzes lasted longer than normal during the partial eclipse periods. Perhaps, Galen says, because the bees were flying more slowly to navigate darker conditions. Or maybe they were returning to their nests, thinking the day was through. It's hard to tell from the recording, she says. Which is why, come the next American total solar eclipse in 2024, she'll be back out listening once again. "I'm a scientist, my curiosity is never satisfied, right?"


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