Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Star Wars, but with bees

Late last year I entered the New Scientist science fiction competition. My story told of Chilean beekeepers sabotaging New Zealand's honey crop while being chased by wildlife protection robots.

I have to admit that one of the winning stories, about genetically modified burgers, did the whole sci-fi-food-nightmare thing a LOT better.

But I feel quite pleased to discover that just like in my story, where the robots used lidar (like radar, but with lasers) to hunt down Chilean bees by scanning for wingbeats, the latest bug-zapping technology uses lasers to scan for, and identify, insects. See here!

Almost like I was writing proper science fiction!

All of this is on my mind because a swarm of bees is shifting from tree to tree in the back garden, neither settling nor moving on. Sometimes I hear the buzzy vuvuzela horns being blown at the World Cup matches on TV and think that the swarm has invaded the kitchen.

But have you prepared for an killer BEES?
There will be more science fiction coming to this blog soon when Books and Adventures is joined in July by Professor Mark Brake and Jon Chase the Science Rapper, who are touring the country to promote this year's Summer Reading Challenge.

Until then, you can find out more about the challenge here.

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