Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh
Airs Weekdays 2:31, 3:31 and 5:49 a.m.

Sore Spot

Here's a weird study that's getting quite a bit of buzz!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Meet Michael Smith, a graduate student at Cornell University. He studies bees ... unusually.

See, recently, one of his subjects flew up his shorts.  It stung his scrotum!  It hurt!

For most people, the lesson might be:  Don’t wear shorts near bees!  But, instead, Michael Smith wondered:  Do stings hurt more some places than others?  How much more?  No one had studied the question.

So Smith collected guard honeybees from hives.  Guards are protective, so they sting readily.

Five times a day, for thirty-eight days, he grabbed a guard by its wings, with forceps.  He held each somewhere on his body and let it sting.  Arm, toe, buttocks – even testicles!  Three times per location.

Eventually, he had an average pain score for each spot.

Result?  His skull, toe, and upper arm hurt the least.

Which spots hurt the most?  His nose, followed by his upper lip and ... his penis.  No joke.

Talk about a honeycomb hideout!  Euh.

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The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.