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Busy Bees Under Surveillance Get Number Plates to Buzz Around London

CC0 / Pixabay / Bee
Bee - Sputnik International
The atmosphere is buzzing in London - not just with the upcoming Brexit referendum - but because more than 500 bees have been released from a rooftop and put under surveillance.

​Five hundred bees have been fitted with special number plates on their black and yellow abdomen and released from the rooftops of Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

​Basically, researchers want to know where the bees are going, what they get up to and how they manage to get back to their hive after drinking so much nectar.

Project leader Professor Lars Chittka from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, said: "Bees are fascinating subjects: they travel the distance of London's congestion charging zone everyday foraging for nectar and somehow remember to return to their hive.

"Not easy when you have a brain the size of a pin."

The QMUL bees each have a weather resistant number plate on its back to enable the public to track the bees and so researchers can see how successful efforts to grow more bee-friendly flowers have been.

​"We hope the London Pollinator Project will encourage the public to plant flowers in our urban spaces that will help supply the right nectar and pollen resources for our threatened urban bees, and hopefully increase urban pollinator populations is a large enough effort is made across the city."

"Endlessly Entertaining"

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However, it's not just pollinators that might find surveillance a pest — some pussy cats are also put under surveillance using a kitty-cam.

Animal charity Cats Protection has established a live kitty cam allowing cat lovers to watch the cats in a pen throughout the day. 

Viewers can log into to the Kitty Cam through the charity's website giving cat-lovers an insight into daily life at the National Cat Adoption Center in East Sussex.

Cats Protection's Virtual Homing Manager Clare Kiernan said: "The cameras will always be in the same pen, but the cats will change as they find new homes, so there will be a great mix of feline characters to get to know."

Kiernan says the live stream is "endlessly entertaining."

​But for the bees buzzing around London with trackers on their back — it is serious business as the species is facing decline.

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