Webster University researcher will study effects of eclipse on b - KMOV.com

Webster University researcher will study effects of eclipse on bees

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Webster University researcher will study effects of the eclipse on bees. (Credit: KMOV) Webster University researcher will study effects of the eclipse on bees. (Credit: KMOV)
WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Many have asked how a total eclipse will affect animals and insects and Webster University biology professor and researcher Nicole Miller Struttman is trying to provide some answers.

 She said the fact that eclipses so seldom happen in the same place has made it hard to do comprehensive research.  
Miller-Struttman told News 4, "We have a little bit of evidence but most of its anecdotal."

She and her research colleagues will be recording the sounds of bumble bees in St. Louis, Columbia, Mo, Idaho and Oregon to get a comprehensive look at how the insects react to the darkness in the middle of the day and then the return of the sunshine.

Students at Steger 6th Grade Center in Webster Groves will be helping with the study.

"They are all working with their science teachers to actually put out the microphones and track light intensity and temperature throughout the day," said Miller-Struttman.

According to Miller-Struttman, light tells bees when it's time to forage and when it's time to go back to the hive. But she said there have been reports through the years of bees being more active during an eclipse and reports of them being less active.

She hopes the recordings made on Monday will provide some definitive answers.

"My hunch is during the eclipse, during totality, they'll reduce their activity. But following that when the sun starts to emerge again they'll become active."

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