Bees in TVs

Bees are a crucial part of the ecosystem – without bees to act as pollinators, many plant species wouldn’t be able to reproduce at all! It’s unfortunate then that bees are struggling to survive in many parts of the world. However, [Louise Cosgrove] is doing her part – building homes for bees in old television sets.

The project started when Louise’s son-in-law left 100 (!) analog TVs at her home, having already recycled the picture tubes. That sounds kind of impolite to us, but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they had some sort of agreement. [Louise] realised the empty television cases had plenty of ventilation and would make ideal homes for bees. By filling the empty boxes with natural materials like wood, bamboo and bark, it creates nesting places that the bees can use to lay their eggs.

We’ve seen bees on Hackaday beefore (tee-hee) – like this beehive wired for remote monitoring.

[Thanks to Stuart Longland for the tip!]

41 thoughts on “Bees in TVs

    1. I think this would make for really classy observation hives for schools and personal use!
      Especially if you could use a honeycomb starter that would get the bees to make Space Invaders shaped comb. :)

    1. That is why some farmers are reduced to using paint brushes to prevent crop failure.
      Only about 80% of your food is pollinated by bees.

      Locusts are good eating if fried
      Crunchy on the outside
      Chewy in the middle

          1. Actually you are the sort of ignoramus I was thinking about, if you had a clue you would know that fruit flies can be targeted very specifically without impacting other flies. Ever seen those especially coloured targets with the hormones impregnated into them along with a non-volatile insecticide? That is the sort of intelligent solution that is available these days.

            You judge people based on your own ignorance then act as if you know more, what a clown, LOL.

          2. @ [Dan]

            I think [LOL] read your post and didn’t comprehend what you meant by ‘non-specific’ and assumed that you meant *all* pest controls.

            I had to read your post twice because here we call them ‘non-selective’ (non-specific) as in kills everything and ‘selective’ (specific) as in selectively kills only some specific targets.

          3. @RÖB
            No worry, in some places several species of fly egg can survive digestion by humans. Most kids don’t understand perishable food is available year round because of global agriculture agreements, and that farmers have literally been protecting your butts for decades.

            Although increasingly rare in modern times, I’m sure Dan would not gamble on bloody anal maggots for a certified organic crop.

        1. Because labor costs are so high and return on crops so low, farmers really have become the ‘outback hackers’ of crop automation. Necessity has once again become the mother of invention.

          1. The smart ones in my country use drones to map crops and weeds etc. then other drones or robots on the ground to deal with them. It is early days but they are embracing technology very enthusiastically as it gives the little guys an advantage that only larger outfits usually have.

          2. Same here. Especially for insects that colonize. It’s much easier and quicker to use a FPV drone to locate colonies and then treat the colony instead of the whole crop.

          3. Which farmers?
            Surely you don’t mean Agribusiness.
            Where in the world are small farmers thriving over automated, or low paying, Agribusiness?

          4. @[Evil Wizard]

            Some Australian farmers are teaming with university students to solve these problems. I don’t know if there is a central business or facilitator to these projects.

            I also wouldn’t say that anyone is thriving in today’s economic climate, it’s more likely to be surviving.

    2. I have seen that happen. In my little orchard, early bloomers like Japanese plums are dependent on various flies and wind. The TV cases must be for the various bumble bee types which make small nests. There are nice big burly varieties that can muscle their way into the most reluctant of flowers.

      The thing with honey bees is that they work an area 6 miles across, or 9 if they have to. So they can pollinate widely separated plants. They stay within a two mile radius if the sucking is good, which is I think the distance used for pesticide application in farming.

      1. Around my location we have a wind run of over 100 km east to west then back again over night so flies and beetles can travel vast distances in a day if they ride the winds like the flying foxes and some birds to.

          1. There is a vast number of fly types and sizes. I once thought flies were useless, like the mosquito, and could be eliminated without harming the environment but then I learned that they are as or more important than bees.

      2. Re: “The TV cases must be for the various bumble bee types”

        Well, I’m not sure what you mean by “bumble bee”, but Australian native bees are not the huge fuzzy ones that come up on the Wikipedia page for bumble bee.

        From the article:
        “…building ‘hotels’ for Australian native bees.

        Native bees are smaller than the well-known European honey bee. They are also stingless and do not produce honey.”

        1. I’m in Western Washington and used to have 15 or 20 honey bee hives that wintered on the property. I have the solitary bees and sometimes put out brood tubes they fill up and I keep them over the winter. There are also the yellow and orange and black/white “bumble”. Some quite large and they make small nests and no honey. http://speezees.com/western-bumble-bee/ This page says they have vanished in a huge area, including my place. I have not noticed any shortage and there was nest in an old squirrel net in a shed last year. I would say, that the pesticide concerns are reasonable. But the way honey bees like skunky water, I wonder how much borax gets into puddles and drains. Do these declines coincide with California requiring use of gray water – like water from showers and washing machines – on lawns and for general plant watering?

          In California I remember big and very fast shiny bees nearly like a small hummingbird. Apparently the solitary California Carpenter bee. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/338051515753614696/

    3. Did you even read the full article.
      Paragraph 3:
      “Their model shows that in some cases, flies make better pollinators than bees. In many other circumstances, however, bees will likely be the best. Furthermore, in some environments bees are the only pollinators around, and some pollination is better than none.”

      1. I clearly made a point that indicated that the “some cases” claim is wrong, that bees are overrated as pollinators and flies are as or more important.

        Stop inflicting your self-righteous comprehension failures on other people, you just come across as a knee jerking jerk.

  1. There are some memory gems in there. I have serviced may of these models when I was working in domestic electronics. Half of them are VHF only.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-18/collection-of-analog-televisions/8366460

    Another sad point is that TV ‘tubes’ have just stopped production so the good ol’ Arcade game restorers will eventually have to turn to LCD. It’s a pity these old tubes won’t be restored, well old 21″ tubes anyway. It’s not hard to do. Just a tube re-conditioner but the skills are uncommon and it’s is also a dangerous device to the uninitiated.

    1. “The last time I watched bees on TV I think it was Candyman.”
      One day I heard the song on the radio. Later I was asked to watch the nieces.
      I saw the movies on Netflix and let the tv babysit the kids.
      Turns out the song is nothing like the movies.

  2. If the plastics outgasing isn’t a problem. Nor they try to feast on petroleum wax from an overheated flyback’s drippings. I think it’s great.

    TV sucks, try and make honey out of it. Only using shell casings as flower urns exceeds the mission of turnaround.

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