Olga Shishkov (email): is an interdisciplinary engineer and scientist focusing on experimental investigations of collective behavior of insects. Currently she is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado Boulder. She received her PhD in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech, where she investigated black soldier fly larvae as an active material, and her undergraduate and master's in mechanical engineering at Cooper Union. She is active in the soft matter community as managing editor and writer at Softbites.org and student representative of the American Physical Society's Division of Soft Matter.
Talk details: Internal structure of honey bee swarms
When searching for a new hive, thousands of western honey bee workers and a queen self-assemble into a swarm that hangs outside for several days. We reconstruct the non-isotropic arrangement of worker bees inside swarms made up of 3,000 - 10,000 bees using x-ray computed tomography. Our results show that swarming bees form a scaffold that supports the weight of the swarm, responds to changing ambient temperature, and leaves a fraction of the bees free to move within the swarm.