Bees Develop Electrical Charge that Make Them easy Prey for Spiders

Bees Develop Electrical Charge that Make Them easy Prey for Spiders

According to scientists, bees build tiny electrical charges when they fly. These electrical charges attract spider silk and make the bees more likely to be caught in a web. They said electrostatic charge is a result of the friction of the bee's wings in the air.

It is more than enough to deform the web and bring it closer to the insect. Dr. Victor Manuel Ortega-Jimenez is a research fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.

He said that insects have a high tendency to walk over charged surfaces or fly in an airstream of charged particles. This leads the insects to easily acquire electrostatic charge.

Such deformations increase the risk of capturing of free-flying prey. Electrical charges of hundreds of coulombs are developed by flying insects such as honeybees, bumblebees and flies. This ability helps them have nectar and pollen stick to the bees. However, it makes them vulnerable to predators as well.

Dr. Ortega-Jimenez said, "Using a high speed camera, you can clearly see the spider web is deforming and touching the insect before it reaches the web. You would expect that if the web is charged negatively, the attraction would increase". The study was published in the journal Scientific today.


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