fahrbot-bot shares a report from Live Science: Swarming bees produce so much electricity that they may affect local weather, new research suggests. The finding, which researchers made by measuring the electrical fields around honeybee (apis mellifera) hives, reveals that bees can produce as much atmospheric electricity as a thunderstorm. This can play an important role in steering dust to shape unpredictable weather patterns; and their impact may even need to be included in future climate models.
Insects’ tiny bodies can pick up positive charge while they forage — either from the friction of air molecules against their rapidly beating wings (honeybees can flap their wings more than 230 times a second) or from landing onto electrically charged surfaces. But the effects of these tiny charges were previously assumed to be on a small scale. Now, a new study, published Oct. 24 in the journal iScience, shows that insects can generate