Can we stop killer bee swarms or even locust plagues using high-powered sound waves? Some believe it is possible and others say we can steer them using sound waves too. In an online think tank this subject came up and think tank member Warren states;
“I would be astounded to see a bee survive flight through all of that sound energy. I suspect swarms have frequency related dynamics that can be modified as you suggest for some other advantage, or destroyed as I suggest, to completely destroy their ability to continue organized flight.”
Yes, I would believe this to be so. Although if the bees could survive, through modulation of their frequency that would not surprise me; although I would like to see how they do it, if they are able too.
Warren states; “For me, at this moment in time; I’d just like to see our species gain the ability to exact some measure of control over one more unknown, therefore intimidating phenomena; swarms, whether bees or others. If their ability to fly is disrupted with a sound weapon then when a bee swarm is found, call 911 and the fire department comes out, opens up the side of a van and targets the swarm.”
Well the doom and gloomers predict the Earth heating up and as it does the dynamics of the food chain will change and the insects as you say are more adapted to us to survive and will indeed be rulers of the surface of said planet well after humans are extinct. If such an unfortunate set of events; ‘global warming’ climate cliff occurs and a rapid increase in temperature occurs [15 degrees F average] then there will be hell to pay with over populated human populations, water supplies and weather. Such things could cause more swarming as insects move to greener pastures. They will want their species to survive and use survival group efforts [swarming] to do that.
In the case of Bees, they provide pollination and help crop yields, if we take out the bee populations due to being afraid of swarms, then we do a disservice to feeding the world of humans. Although Locust Swarms have been touted as plagues and religiously made evil, they are merely fulfilling their niche and do not come that often. Perhaps using the sound to build barriers in areas of dense human populations might be an idea or use the sound to steer them away makes sense. Knocking out an entire swarm of Bees and killing the Queen Bee, means we create a problem for ourselves as those colonies will not divide later to increase the bee populations which are currently dwindling due to a pathogen in the larva. And this is very bad for crop yields. Also we have crop yield issues with the butterflies, which also help pollinate things.
I am not opposed to the idea of finding out the answer to the question, but would warn against a bunch of yahoo first responders and fearing citizens calling in natural bee colonies, which are our friends and help us survive and feed human populations.
If on the other hand some nut case Bio-scientist makes a superior Bee swarm or Bees adapt and evolve in our lifetime to attack humans or any swarming insect for that matter then well that is a different story really. Sounds more like the makings of a Sci Fi novel really like the book “Prey”. But if so I agree that such a device could be mounted in a helicopter for rapid deployment and delivery. Perhaps we might consider all this in 2006.