By Malin: Bees are important pollinators, especially so for agriculture, and they tend to bring out the insect lover in most people. I mean , who can resist the fuzzy lite honey-makers. Bees are so important and so liked that the EU parlament is stepping in to help protect them with this little film to explain some of the problems bees face. However, as an old coworker alerted me to, in the close up on the honeybees, who is it we see, if not the great bee mimic Eristals. Indeed hoverflies of the genus Eristalis are so good mimics they been fooling humans for several millennia, and most recently the EU parlament filmmakers. I think this shows us that the love and care for insects is important but that more knowledge is still needed, even as high up as the EU parlament. If the use of bees is done correctly in terms of preserving other pollinators is another discussion that I'll leave for another day.
By Marissa - After 8 years of service, the data acquisition computer to the CRT set-up decided it had had enough. Before the Christmas break, I arrived at Uni eager to run experiments, but as I switched on the computer smoke started billowing out rapidly.
In response to one piece of equipment breaking, it was decided that most of the equipment for this set-up would be replaced. After a week setting up, the CRT set-up now has a new screen, new data acquisition computer and a new stimulus computer! Hopefully nice new equipment also means nice results in the new year.
The hoverfly vision group can be found at 2 locations: At Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, and at Uppsala University in Sweden.