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Bees and ... photovoltaic systems

 
Richard Gorny
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I have been asked a question that I cannot answer and I would like to share it here:

There are plans to build a large photovoltaic power plant that is supposed to produce 1 MW of energy. Can it have any impact on honey bees, and if yes, what might be harmful to them?
 
David Livingston
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I cannot see how unless it's depriving the bees of a vital forage space . I assume you are just talking about a site of conventional panels . If you mean one of those mirror and lens set ups I suppose bees and birds might get " fried " in the concentrated light but it seems unlikely to me .
Why does the qustioner think there may be an issue either in general or in a particular site?

David
 
Richard Gorny
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David, people fear everything what is new to them. Here if in any village anything new is going to be built, people instantly say no and ask to go away. They instantly point out at neighbor county and say "built it there, not here" lol

Yes, I'm talking about regular panels, I know that lenses and mirrors in such instalations are dangerous for anything that flies.
 
Tomas More
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I have a client that asked me to set up bee hives next to conventional solar panels. I have decided move them further back to make sure that the reflection of the sun does not effect orientation flights. I remove bees all the time form electrical boxes, panels, and cell phone towers so they don't seem to mind electricity.
 
Justin Dorr
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If its solar panels I doubt the bees will have a problem, what's a megawatt about 7000sqm of land.

What I would do is to find out what is to be done to the land after the installation, grass seeded or mere left to nature, if the latter get in there and scatter as many local bee loving seeds to produce natural flora, bee food.

NB. reflected light from a solar module is missed energy therefore reason quality modules contain anti-reflective properties to capture those photons and prevent glare.
 
frank li
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Location: Michigan
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There is some talk of pv system communications radios and signal over powerline schemes that affect people in ways from subtle to cronic. If there is no radio telemetry (especially module level = a huge mesh of radios) i wouldnt be too overly concerned with emf from pv wires, the are usually bundled tight with positives and negatives together which is supposed to keep the field tightly bound also. Most utility scale plants use high voltage dc string inverters, central or individual on the racks, its the wifi and signal over line, transformer fields and mega ac line dirty electric shedding i worry about occupationally and for the bees. Seemingly we could stop allowing gmo and chemical inputs to fields and lawns and give the pollinators a break.
 
Max Kennedy
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In general if wildflower are planted with the pannels there is net benefit to the bees. If they try for grass and use chemicals it can be detrimental.
 
Brian Karlsen
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Location: pietermaritzburg, South Africa
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from my experianve they dont bother the bees and at least here in africa the bees act as added security for the solar pannels with the panels giving shade for the bees win win win
 
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