Last night Dr. Jason Lim from Rothamsted Research give a fantastic talk with some wonderful demonstrations about his research on the use of radar technology to track high flying insects and bees. Jason is the Chair of the Radar Entomology Unit at Rothamsted Research which is currently seen as one of the world leading units in the use of remote sensing technology for studying insect movement around the globe.
In his talk Jason introduced the two types of radar his group operates: Vertical-Looking Radar for tracking high flying insects during their annual migrations and Harmonic Radar for tracking bees and other low flying insects over a distance of approximately 1 km. He went on to explain how radar worked using a torch, some paper moths on a stick, and some coloured tubes. In this photo he is projecting a paper moth onto the ceiling to demonstrate how Vertical-Looking Radar works.
Jason described how research using Vertical-Looking Radar has revealed the 9000 mile migration route of the painted lady butterfly. His recent research showed for the first time that bumble bees are able to optimise their foraging routes to ensure that they travel the shortest possible distance between sources of nectar in their territory.