Using honey bee as environment sensor|
The basic solution developed in the project is based on the interconnection of the honey bee universe with self-organizing capabilities as a carrier of possible radioactive particles with the computer universe that processes information about the presence of radioactive particles and transmits alert messages, in different topologies of communication networks, in case of radioactive contamination of the environment.
A bee hive contains about 40-50,000 bees of which 10,000 are collectors, each visiting about 2,000 flowers daily, it is estimated that a colony of bees can provide 20 million samples of radioactive particles daily. Bees posses an electrostatic field around their body, thus attracting all the suspended particles during the flight. Bees are capable of transporting masses (nectar, pollen, water) weighting up to 30-40 milligrams, the radioactive particles usually having dimensions in the range of 2.5-10 micrometers and weights in the nanogram range. It is known that radiation in the form of particles (alpha, beta or neutrons) or electromagnetic waves (X or gamma radiation) can induce biological effects in insect cells as in any living cell. Bees can fly in contaminated environments, returning to the hive if the radiation level does not exceed values of about 2-3,000 mSv (miliSievert). Even in case of mortality due to excessive radiation this phenomenon can be identified by means of the bee flight controller which keeps track of the bees coming out and in the hive. Anyway, it is known that even at 10,000 mSv in the case of an acute poisoning with radiation, the living organisms survive for several weeks, so the bees may return to the hive on the same day. They can explore an area of about 30 square km and the pollen and nectar collected and transported to the hive provide precise information on the presence of radioactive particles through a network of suitable sensors located in the bee entrance area.
Although most radiation detectors are commercially successful and have increased in popularity, especially by using video cameras from mobile phones as ionizing radiation detectors, they have the following disadvantages:
-the detection is performed only for radioactive particles already in the immediate neighborhood of the device;
-the presence of radioactive particles in the neighborhood of the devices may involve a major risk for their users;
- the detection may be too late for immediate protection measures because in the existing detection systems, the sensor is already in the contaminated environment.
The problem solved by the project eliminates these disadvantages by offering a real-time solution for detecting radioactive particles at long distances from the receiver by developing a method using honey bee as main carrier.
The method is similar to that used by Noah (Genesis 8.8-11) for remote sensing of land.