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#1
01-28-2011, 03:59 PM
 PSXer Guest Join Date: Jan 2010
Is a box full of flying bees heavier than an empty box?

my friend wants to know
#2
01-28-2011, 04:08 PM
 magellan01 Guest Join Date: Jul 2004
My guess is, it depends. If the box is airtight, it would be heavier, as some of the space that would be occupied by air (which does have weight) would be taken up by bees, which are heavier. But if the box was not airtight, let's go to the extreme of a box with a screen mesh on top, then, no, the box with bees would not be heavier, it would weigh the same.
#3
01-28-2011, 04:18 PM
 Fear the Turtle Charter Member Join Date: Dec 2002 Location: SoCal High Desert Posts: 651
Mythbusters just covered this. In order to stay aloft a flying bee exerts a downward force on the air (and hence to the bottom of the box) equal to its weight. Therefore

Box of flying bees = box of dead/on the ground bees > empty box
#4
01-28-2011, 04:20 PM
 Skald the Rhymer Member Join Date: Jul 2003 Posts: 22,523
If the bees are flying, then they are exerting pressure on the air by beating their wings. Said pressure would be transmitted to the base of the box, and I should tink it would be equal to the pressure the bees' bodies would exert on the bottom of the box if the bees' bodies were lying directly on it. So I should think the weight would be the same.

I could be wrong, though. Anyway, I see a simple way to determine it. Acquire box suitable for containing bees in sufficient number to be noticable on your scale. Weigh box. Place bees in box, seal it, weigh it again. Allow bees to die; weigh a third time. The tricky part is not being stung to death by the scores of bees you're screwing with.

Last edited by Skald the Rhymer; 01-28-2011 at 04:22 PM.
#5
01-28-2011, 04:20 PM
 Enderw24 Charter Member Join Date: Sep 2000 Location: KC. MO -094 35.3 39 4.9 Posts: 9,941
You'd also have to assume that some of the bees are hitting the walls of the box, even if just to bounce off and keep flying. So not only is the box heavier, but also more unstable and thus harder to carry.
#6
01-28-2011, 04:25 PM
 Skald the Rhymer Member Join Date: Jul 2003 Posts: 22,523
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Enderw24 You'd also have to assume that some of the bees are hitting the walls of the box, even if just to bounce off and keep flying. So not only is the box heavier, but also more unstable and thus harder to carry.
You don't carry a box full of bees unless it is airtight. That's how my great-aunt Virginia died.
#7
01-28-2011, 04:43 PM
 Mangetout Charter Member Join Date: May 2001 Location: Kingdom of Butter Posts: 47,520
Imagine the box has walls a foot thick, so you can't tell there are bees inside. To you, it's a block of something.

The block has mass. Nothing that happens inside that block is going to change the mass (nitpicks about bloody quantum fluctuations and proton decay notwithstanding)

The movement of the bees within the box might exert temporary reaction forces perceptible outside, but they will all add to zero over time. The box weighs the same as a box of dead bees.

A box of air weighs less, because it has no bees in it.
#8
01-28-2011, 04:54 PM
 JThunder Guest Join Date: Nov 2000
Next question: Is a hovercraft heavier when the eels within it are swimming?
#9
01-28-2011, 05:01 PM
 Shodan Charter Member Join Date: Jul 2000 Location: Milky Way Galaxy Posts: 22,254
My nipples explode with delight at this thread.

Regards,
Shodan
#10
01-28-2011, 05:51 PM
 x-ray vision Charter Member Join Date: Oct 2002 Location: N.J. Posts: 3,858
#11
01-28-2011, 06:01 PM
 Siam Sam Elephant Whisperer Join Date: Nov 2006 Location: Bangkok Posts: 20,787
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer You don't carry a box full of bees unless it is airtight. That's how my great-aunt Virginia died.
What a coincidence! So did both my Aunt Beas.
#12
01-28-2011, 06:24 PM
 Nametag Atheopoiesist Charter Member Join Date: Apr 2002 Location: California Posts: 7,515
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Siam Sam What a coincidence! So did both my Aunt Beas.
Could they fly?
#13
01-28-2011, 06:28 PM
 Siam Sam Elephant Whisperer Join Date: Nov 2006 Location: Bangkok Posts: 20,787
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Nametag Could they fly?
I don't know if they were flying, but they sure raised a ruckus. Before all went silent.
#14
01-28-2011, 07:41 PM
 robert_columbia Guest Join Date: Oct 2009
Your ideas intrigue me and I would like to subscribe to your mailing list.
#15
01-28-2011, 07:43 PM
 Snarky_Kong Guest Join Date: Oct 2004
Not if they're flying down.
#16
01-28-2011, 07:46 PM
 xoferew Guest Join Date: May 2009
If a horse is carrying a man who is carrying a boy who is carrying a box of bees, and the boy is supporting the full weight of the bees, how can the man and the horse also be supporting all the weight?! And what if they are all flying because it's not a horse, it's a Pegasus!
#17
01-28-2011, 08:13 PM
 tomndebb Mod Rocker Moderator Join Date: Mar 1999 Location: N E Ohio Posts: 34,380
Despite the silly tangents in this thread, it is still more of a General Question than a Great Debate. I am moving it to GQ, (although introducing conveyor belts to allow the bees to take off is prohibited in this thread).

[ /Modding ]
#18
01-28-2011, 09:55 PM
 Lamar Mundane Charter Member Join Date: Aug 2000 Posts: 7,080
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Fear the Turtle Mythbusters just covered this. In order to stay aloft a flying bee exerts a downward force on the air (and hence to the bottom of the box) equal to its weight. Therefore Box of flying bees = box of dead/on the ground bees > empty box
What if they were flying upside down?
#19
01-28-2011, 09:59 PM
 Snarky_Kong Guest Join Date: Oct 2004
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Lamar Mundane What if they were flying upside down?
In which direction are they accelerating?

If they are accelerating downwards faster than 32.2 ft/s^2 then the box will be lighter than a beeless box. If they do it at a freefall then it's the same as a beeless box (until they hit the bottom) if they are stationary then it's equal to a box with dead bees, and if they accelerate upward then it'll weigh more than a box with dead bees.
#20
01-28-2011, 11:14 PM
 Autolycus Member Join Date: Nov 2002 Location: Ainran Posts: 11,449
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tomndebb (although introducing conveyor belts to allow the bees to take off is prohibited in this thread). [ /Modding ]
Awww, party pooper! If conveyor belts are off limits, then maybe it has something to do with 14 k of g in a f p d.
#21
01-28-2011, 11:17 PM
 x-ray vision Charter Member Join Date: Oct 2002 Location: N.J. Posts: 3,858
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Autolycus Awww, party pooper!
Yeah, a real buzz kill.
#22
01-29-2011, 12:09 AM
 Fear Itself Charter Member Join Date: May 2000 Location: 847 mi. from Cecil Posts: 25,663
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Siam Sam What a coincidence! So did both my Aunt Beas.
Thanks a lot. Now you have given me the mental image of Aunt Bea's box.
#23
01-29-2011, 03:30 AM
 Sam Stone Charter Member Join Date: Jun 1999 Posts: 24,729
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer You don't carry a box full of bees unless it is airtight. That's how my great-aunt Virginia died.
You put your great-aunt Virginia in an airtight box?
#24
01-29-2011, 04:01 AM
 Yllaria Charter Member Join Date: Nov 2001 Location: Stockton Posts: 6,421
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer You don't carry a box full of bees unless it is airtight. That's how my great-aunt Virginia died.
When you carry a box full of bees, two sides of the box had better be screen or they'll overheat and die. Apparently Sears stopped shipping bees and beekeeping supplies in the eighties, but before then you could send away for, say, two pounds of bees and the box they came in would look a lot like the one in the link. The queen was in a separate little box inside.

It was the seventies when Dad bought bees from Sears. We were living in the suburbs and discovered that when a box of bees comes into a suburban post office on a Sunday, the Postmaster will drive them out to you immediately just to get them out of his building.

The first thing you do when you get a box of bees is to paint the screen with sugar water, to restore their little bodies after the trip, during which they were fasting. They do not fly around in the box. They crawl carefully, following their instinct to keep the queen covered and protected. When they lick the sugar water off of the screens, their little tougues uncurl and poke through the screen. You have to look carefully, but up close they make the screen look like living velvet, undulating the sweetness off of the screen.
#25
01-29-2011, 04:33 AM
 cochrane Guest Join Date: Jun 2006
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Mangetout Imagine the box has walls a foot thick, so you can't tell there are bees inside. To you, it's a block of something. The block has mass. Nothing that happens inside that block is going to change the mass (nitpicks about bloody quantum fluctuations and proton decay notwithstanding) The movement of the bees within the box might exert temporary reaction forces perceptible outside, but they will all add to zero over time. The box weighs the same as a box of dead bees. A box of air weighs less, because it has no bees in it.
However, the bees are neither alive nor dead as long as the box is sealed.
#26
01-29-2011, 04:52 AM
 pseudotriton ruber ruber BANNED Join Date: Sep 2002 Location: Outer Control Posts: 10,394
Quote:
 Originally Posted by cochrane However, the bees are neither alive nor dead as long as the box is sealed.
Wrong. They're both alive AND dead.
#27
01-29-2011, 07:42 AM
 freckafree Guest Join Date: Jan 2006
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Yllaria .... You have to look carefully, but up close they make the screen look like living velvet, undulating the sweetness off of the screen.
This description is both very beautiful and very creepy.
#28
01-29-2011, 11:03 AM
 miragesyzygy BANNED Join Date: Jan 2011 Posts: 100
how close does someone have to be to smell you or your shoes?

Last edited by miragesyzygy; 01-29-2011 at 11:04 AM. Reason: meant to start new thread sorry lol
#29
01-29-2011, 12:14 PM
 Gymnopithys Member Join Date: Dec 2004 Posts: 1,094
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer If the bees are flying, then they are exerting pressure on the air by beating their wings. Said pressure would be transmitted to the base of the box, and I should tink it would be equal to the pressure the bees' bodies would exert on the bottom of the box if the bees' bodies were lying directly on it. So I should think the weight would be the same. I could be wrong, though. Anyway, I see a simple way to determine it. Acquire box suitable for containing bees in sufficient number to be noticable on your scale. Weigh box. Place bees in box, seal it, weigh it again. Allow bees to die; weigh a third time. The tricky part is not being stung to death by the scores of bees you're screwing with.
Nice reasoning. But what if the screen mesh is on the bottom ? Would the box soar ?
#30
01-29-2011, 12:23 PM
 loshan Guest Join Date: Feb 2009
Boxes of bees, dead Aunts and exploding nipples. All in one thread. Awesome.
#31
01-29-2011, 12:31 PM
 Mangetout Charter Member Join Date: May 2001 Location: Kingdom of Butter Posts: 47,520
Quote:
Originally Posted by pseudotriton ruber ruber
Quote:
 Originally Posted by cochrane However, the bees are neither alive nor dead as long as the box is sealed.
Wrong. They're both alive AND dead.
Wrong and wrong. They're BOTH neither alive nor dead, AND both alive and dead

Last edited by Mangetout; 01-29-2011 at 12:32 PM.
#32
01-29-2011, 12:40 PM
 cochrane Guest Join Date: Jun 2006
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Mangetout Wrong and wrong. They're BOTH neither alive nor dead, AND both alive and dead
Excuse me, Dr. Schrödinger, but have you seen my cat?
#33
01-29-2011, 01:30 PM
 Mangetout Charter Member Join Date: May 2001 Location: Kingdom of Butter Posts: 47,520
Quote:
 Originally Posted by cochrane Excuse me, Dr. Schrödinger, but have you seen my cat?
Yes and no...
#34
01-29-2011, 01:38 PM
 california jobcase Guest Join Date: Dec 2009
Are conveyor belts and treadmills considered the same?
#35
01-29-2011, 07:14 PM
 Shmendrik Guest Join Date: Nov 2007
It's a moot point, since Science has proven that bees can't fly.
#36
01-30-2011, 01:04 AM
 wbeaty Guest Join Date: Oct 2009
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Shmendrik It's a moot point, since Science has proven that bees can't fly.
Yes. No. Part of the bumblebee myth is that the myth is mythical. The main myth was that insect flight isn't a mystery. Wasn't. Until recently (like 1995.) Navier-Stokes equations don't necessarily have solutions, so bumblebee flight remained unexplained. Even supercomputing numerical simulations don't match real world flows. Science proves that bumblebees can't fly, since Science doesn't know about several different vortex phenomena.

Today we know that, among other things, insects form and launch vortices, they slap wings for increased vortex shedding, and they push off from their own spinning wakes. If all we know is steady flight of fixed wings, and if math doesn't work, then we need an underwater robotic model of giant flapping Hawk-Moth wings to make any research headway, like Ellington's at Cambridge.

http://www.zoo.cam.ac.uk/zoostaff/el...odynamics.html

Last edited by wbeaty; 01-30-2011 at 01:06 AM.
#37
01-30-2011, 01:44 AM
 Shmendrik Guest Join Date: Nov 2007
Quote:
 Originally Posted by wbeaty Yes. No. Part of the bumblebee myth is that the myth is mythical. The main myth was that insect flight isn't a mystery. Wasn't. Until recently (like 1995.) Navier-Stokes equations don't necessarily have solutions, so bumblebee flight remained unexplained. Even supercomputing numerical simulations don't match real world flows. Science proves that bumblebees can't fly, since Science doesn't know about several different vortex phenomena. Today we know that, among other things, insects form and launch vortices, they slap wings for increased vortex shedding, and they push off from their own spinning wakes. If all we know is steady flight of fixed wings, and if math doesn't work, then we need an underwater robotic model of giant flapping Hawk-Moth wings to make any research headway, like Ellington's at Cambridge. http://www.zoo.cam.ac.uk/zoostaff/el...odynamics.html

Quote:
 Let us begin with aeroplane wings and a basic understanding of how they generate lift. Structurally, aeroplane wings are rounded at the leading edge, sharp at the trailing edge and are often cambered, meaning they have a slight curvature when viewed in cross section. An aeroplane wing generates lift when the airflow becomes separated at the leading edge, and the air moves faster over the upper wing surface than along the lower surface. This causes a pressure difference to develop between the upper and lower wing surfaces because, in accordance with Bernoulli's principle, fast-moving fluid has a lower pressure than slow-moving fluid. It is the pressure difference above and below the wing that causes lift.
O RLY?
#38
01-30-2011, 02:21 AM
 wbeaty Guest Join Date: Oct 2009
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Shmendrik O RLY?
Nah, the classic mistake is to insist that the parcels must race to "rejoin" at the trailing edge. Java simulator: http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/right2.html

A box of hovering bees with screen on the top and the bottom of the box will emit a collimated jet of air downwards. To better visualize this, set bees on fire, then quickly blow them out again. That way the smoke will mark the air flow. The intake above the box will be a radial laminar flow, like a shrinking onion centered on the box. Better provide a smoke marker of a different color by setting yourself on fire, then blowing yourself out again.

Oooo, I just remembered. Titanium tetrachloride! It's an oily liquid that oxidizes on contact with air to create big white clouds of smoke. If you paint TiCl4 on a surface, that surface starts emitting smoke. If you fill a christmas ornament with TiCl4, then dress all in black and fling the ball at the ground between your feet, you'll vanish in a huge cloud of white titanium oxide smoke. On second thought, throw the ball at your enemy. Apparently TiCl4 is fairly nasty stuff.

Another misconception not usually discussed: a widespread misunderstanding about where the other end of the lifting force lands. After all, forces exist in pairs, and if the wing is being forced upwards, where specifically does the other half of the force-pair attach? Surprising answer: in a 2D world it attaches to the starting vortex miles behind. The wing is pushed up, and all the gas associated with the starting vortex is forced down. BUT, if the distance to the starting vortex is greater than the wing's altitude above ground, then the airfoil remains trapped in "air cushion" or ground-effect mode, and it directly pushes upon the ground. Fortunately in the 3D world these weird phenomena don't arise except when the aircraft is less than a wingspan above the runway. 3D aircraft fly by shedding 3D vorticies. 2D flight isn't that great for explaining 3D aircraft. After all, in a 2D diagram the wing is infinitely long.
#39
01-30-2011, 07:58 AM
 xoferew Guest Join Date: May 2009
I was all excited to see a video of a giant underwater robot hawk moth! Is that it in the photo where it looks like it's lit from within by the nuclear fury of the sun and it's just landed on a darkened, volcanic planet, and is eating it?
#40
01-31-2011, 11:30 AM
 umop ap!sdn Guest Join Date: Sep 2003
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Lamar Mundane What if they were flying upside down?
¿ʇɐɥʇ op sǝǝq uɐɔ
#41
01-31-2011, 11:36 AM
 Ludovic Charter Member Join Date: Jul 2000 Location: The Black Parade is dead! Posts: 21,618
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Mangetout Imagine the box has walls a foot thick, so you can't tell there are bees inside.
I stinging your dog!
#42
01-31-2011, 11:59 AM
 Ruken Charter Member Join Date: May 2003 Location: DC Posts: 1,871
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Yllaria When you carry a box full of bees, two sides of the box had better be screen or they'll overheat and die. Apparently Sears stopped shipping bees and beekeeping supplies in the eighties, but before then you could send away for, say, two pounds of bees and the box they came in would look a lot like the one in the link. The queen was in a separate little box inside. It was the seventies when Dad bought bees from Sears. We were living in the suburbs and discovered that when a box of bees comes into a suburban post office on a Sunday, the Postmaster will drive them out to you immediately just to get them out of his building. The first thing you do when you get a box of bees is to paint the screen with sugar water, to restore their little bodies after the trip, during which they were fasting. They do not fly around in the box. They crawl carefully, following their instinct to keep the queen covered and protected. When they lick the sugar water off of the screens, their little tougues uncurl and poke through the screen. You have to look carefully, but up close they make the screen look like living velvet, undulating the sweetness off of the screen.
My mailman was NOT happy about delivering boxes of bees to us. She would honk so that we would come and get them from the truck. The queens come in an envelope, which she didn't mind. I don't remember if it has LIVE BEES stamped on it.

While Sears doesn't sell them, plenty of other place will ship bees.
#43
01-31-2011, 12:49 PM
 goodie Guest Join Date: Jul 2007
PSXer, tell your "friend" that what the box weighs is not terribly important as long as the carrying is consensual and your "friend" and the bees (and the box) are all of age and having fun. Just be careful not to carry that box across state lines...
#44
01-31-2011, 01:02 PM
 Enderw24 Charter Member Join Date: Sep 2000 Location: KC. MO -094 35.3 39 4.9 Posts: 9,941
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Mangetout Wrong and wrong. They're BOTH neither alive nor dead, AND both alive and dead
But can it be, philosophically, that, ipso facto, the bees will half not be?
#45
01-31-2011, 02:30 PM
 Petrobey Mavromihalis Guest Join Date: Jun 2008
Back to a serious answer.

I think it would be correct to say that a box of flying bees is not only heavier than an empty box, but that it would also be heavier (very slightly) than the same box now full of dead bees.

Just scanned the thread so sorry if this has already been pointed out.
#46
01-31-2011, 02:41 PM
 spenczar Guest Join Date: Jul 2010
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Petrobey Mavromihalis Back to a serious answer. I think it would be correct to say that a box of flying bees is not only heavier than an empty box, but that it would also be heavier (very slightly) than the same box now full of dead bees. Just scanned the thread so sorry if this has already been pointed out.
No, it would be - on average - exactly the same mass if it were full of dead bees.

Think about one bee. It can be in one of four states:
1. On the floor
2. Going up
3. Hovering
4. Falling
That's it. What is the effect of each of these?

On the floor: The same as a dead bee, clearly.
Going up: Slightly more than a dead bee. The bee is moving upwards, which means it needs to be pushing downwards with a force greater than its own weight. That force gets transmitted to the bottom of the box, and feels like weight.
Hovering: Equal to a dead bee. The bee has to push down with a force equal to its own weight.
Falling: Less than a dead bee. The bee is pushing down with less than a force equal to its own weight, which is the reason it falls.

Since the box has a top and a bottom, none of the bees can be going up for very long, nor can they be falling for very long. Indeed, to do any falling, they need to have done some rising. In the end, if you average the weight over a small bit of time, the average weight will be exactly the same as the dead bees.

But if you take a snapshot at some instant, you can't know. If all the bees suddenly stop beating their wings and fall, they are all weightless, and the box will weigh less than a box full of dead bees. If they all take off from the bottom at the same time, it will weight more. But averaged, it's the same as the dead bees.
#47
01-31-2011, 02:54 PM
 Fear Itself Charter Member Join Date: May 2000 Location: 847 mi. from Cecil Posts: 25,663
Quote:
 Originally Posted by spenczar On the floor: The same as a dead bee, clearly. Going up: Slightly more than a dead bee. The bee is moving upwards, which means it needs to be pushing downwards with a force greater than its own weight. That force gets transmitted to the bottom of the box, and feels like weight. Hovering: Equal to a dead bee. The bee has to push down with a force equal to its own weight. Falling: Less than a dead bee. The bee is pushing down with less than a force equal to its own weight, which is the reason it falls.
Walter Brennan could not have explained it better.
#48
01-31-2011, 03:01 PM
 Petrobey Mavromihalis Guest Join Date: Jun 2008
Quote:
 Originally Posted by spenczar Hovering: Equal to a dead bee. The bee has to push down with a force equal to its own weight.
No, I think you're wrong, because the hovering bee has kinetic energy and hence more mass (relativistically). This would, of course, be a tiny effect and I'm probably being horribly pedantic.
#49
02-01-2011, 06:25 AM
 Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems Guest Join Date: Jul 2009
Ahh, but no one has mentioned that the dead bees WOULD weigh less than the live ones as their souls would have fled their lifeless little bee corpses...
#50
02-01-2011, 07:09 AM
 Hypno-Toad Guest Join Date: Sep 2004
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Enderw24 But can it be, philosophically, that, ipso facto, the bees will half not be?
That only applies to Eric.

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