Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The Buzz Of The Chase: Scientists Test Technique Used To Catch Serial Killers ... On Bumblebees

Date:
July 30, 2008
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
Geographic profiling is a technique used by police forces around the world to help them prioritize lists of suspects in investigations of serial crimes. Now researchers, along with the former detective who invented the technique, have used this criminology technique to look at patterns of foraging in bees.

Researchers have found that by observing bees foraging in the lab, combined with computer model simulations, they could use geographic profiling to distinguish between different types of foraging behavior.
Credit: iStockphoto/Dieter Spears

Scientists from Queen Mary, University of London are helping to perfect a technique used to catch serial killers, by testing it on bumblebees.

Related Articles


Geographic profiling (GP) is a technique used by police forces around the world to help them prioritise lists of suspects in investigations of serial crimes. It uses the sites of a serial killer's crimes to predict where the killer is most likely to live.

Dr. Nigel Raine, and D.r Steve Le Comber, from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, along with Kim Rossmo, the former detective who invented the technique, have used this criminology technique to look at patterns of foraging in bees.

Writing in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface the team found that by observing bees foraging in the lab, combined with computer model simulations, they could use GP to distinguish between different types of foraging behaviour. The work was funded by the Wellcome Trust, BBSRC and EPSRC.*

GP relies on two things; the fact that most serial crimes happen close to the killer's home; and that the killer's home is surrounded by a 'buffer zone' - an area where the opportunity to commit a crime is comparatively low. These two parameters allow criminologists to create a geoprofile, which shows the areas where the killer is most likely to live. The more accurate the GP model – the more precise the geoprofile and the quicker the police can track down the killer.

Dr. Raine explains: "GP is interesting to biologists because it can tell us which strategies animals use when foraging. The approach works well for very different animals: from bees and bats to great white sharks."

The research is also of interest to criminologists, as the experiments can be used to test the GP technique - something which is impossible to do with criminals, for obvious reasons. The results of the lab experiments allow the GP criminologists to perfect their technique, and predict the serial killer's location with more accuracy.

Although GP has been applied to bat foraging data by two of the authors, this bee study is the first time that the assumptions of GP technique have been tested using an experiment. This study suggests that bees could create their own 'buffer zone' around the hive where they don't forage, to reduce the risk of predators and parasites locating their nest.

The results showed that GP can be used to find the entrance to a bee hive, from observing the locations of the flowers that bees visit. This has implications for bee conservation. In future, GP could be applied to help locate bee nests, or areas of potential nesting habitat – a valuable tool for reversing the numbers of rare or endangered bumblebee species.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "The Buzz Of The Chase: Scientists Test Technique Used To Catch Serial Killers ... On Bumblebees." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080729234148.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2008, July 30). The Buzz Of The Chase: Scientists Test Technique Used To Catch Serial Killers ... On Bumblebees. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080729234148.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "The Buzz Of The Chase: Scientists Test Technique Used To Catch Serial Killers ... On Bumblebees." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080729234148.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins