Visit to Pollinatarium – Jan 30th

I spent about an hour and a half at the Pollinatarium today with my son, Kameron.  We both had a lot of fun…Me digging around for inspiration for my BioCreativity project and Kameron learning about bees and pollen, asking a million questions, tasting honey, and playing with “Honeybee”, the staff puppy.

A quick virtual tour of the Pollinatarium
Here is a quick visual panoramic / wide angle tour of the Pollinatarium

A closer look at the preserved bees and butterflies
I decided to take a closer look at the cases of bees and butterflies and the staff allowed me to take the glass covers off and take some close up shots.  Here are some of the shots the bees and butterflies:

My initial idea for my BioCreativity Project: “Bee Facility Condition Assessment”
After talking for a while with Marianne Alleyne and the other staff member (I’m so sorry but I can’t recall her name), I learned that bees see objects as we would see objects if we had Ultraviolet (UV) vision.  The bee uses this UV vision to find pollen with kind of a type of x-ray vision (actually UV vision).   Here’s a quick example of how they see.  These pictures were on the wall in the pollinatarium of flowers.

Here’s what we see:

Here’s what the bee sees with her UV Vision to enable her to go straight to the pollen:

Here’s another example…here’s what we see:

And here’s what the bee sees in UV:

The human eye and most digital camera sensors respond to wavelengths from about 400 nanometers to 700 nanometers.  The UV spectrum is just outside this visible spectrum below 400 nanometers.
UV photography (film based) has been used to take UV pictures for archaeological purposes such as taking a UV picture of an ancient bowl or pot.  The UV picture shows cracks inside the structure of the pot that the human eye can’t see.  Therefore, my idea is why not use UV photography to take a picture of a structure or facility and perform a condition assessment based on what you can see at an UV wavelength? An immediate problem with this is that the UV type of picture that I explained of the pot was taken under very controlled situations.  It is done in a studio using ONLY UV lighting only a UV camera sensor (or a digital camera in which the UV/IR filter has been removed from the sensor and a filter is placed at the end of the lens which blocks all light except UV).
Therefore, simply taking a picture of a building structure with UV film or UV ready digital camera is probably not enough to be able to see any hidden inside information.  Because it hasn’t been done, is exactly why I would like to use this Biological Inspiration from the Bee vision to develop a new way of performing condition assessment from UV photography.

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