Ultra slow motion video shows bees using their wings to surf the water surface to avoid sinking
- When a bee falls into the water, the liquid sticks to its wings, preventing it from flying.
- The bee is able to create a wave in the water that can & # 39; surf safely & # 39;
- The researchers used an ultra-slow camera to watch the bees surf
- The bee can reach the side of a pool of water and break free.
An ultra-slow motion video was used to reveal how a bee is able to use its wings to surf safely. when it falls into a pool of water.
Engineers at the California Institute of Technology spotted a bee fighting in a lake on the university campus. They took him to the lab to study him in the water.
When a bee falls into a lake or pool, she can use the fact that the water makes her wings sticky to create a wave she can use to get to the side and let go.
The team used the video to examine the way the insect interacts with water and air in an attempt to prevent sinking.
Bees do not seem to be able to generate enough force to release themselves directly from the water, but the movement of the wings can propel them to the edge of a pool or pond.
When researcher Chris Roh spotted the bee by the pond, he realized that the shadows from the sun above showed the breadth of the waves produced by its wings.
"I was very excited to see this behavior, so I brought the bee back to the lab to examine it more closely," he said.
The researchers worked to recreate the conditions of the pond by pouring water into a pan and allowing it to remain perfectly still.
So they put the bees one at a time. As each one hit the water, the filtered light was aimed straight at him, casting shadows at the bottom of the pan, mimicking the effect seen in the pond.
They found that when a bee comes into contact with water, its wings get trapped, preventing it from flying.
However, this viscosity allows the bee to drag water, creating waves that propel it forward.
Instead of just flapping up and down, their wings bend down to push water down and bend up when they pull up.
The pulling motion provides momentum, acting as a recovery stroke.
Bees also flap their wings slower, with a blow range of less than ten degrees – as opposed to 90-120 degrees when flying in the air.
Throughout the process, the upper side of the wing remains dry while the lower side clings to water.
On hot days, the hives need water to cool off. Then, when the temperature rises, workers are sent to collect water instead of pollen. Stock Image
Water that remains attached to the underside of the wing gives the bees the extra force they use to propel themselves forward.
Roh added: 'Water is three orders of magnitude heavier than air, which is why it catches bees. But this weight is also useful for propulsion.
Bees do not seem to be able to generate enough force to release themselves directly from the water, but the movement of the wings can propel them to the edge of a pool or pond where they can pull to dry land and fly.
Roh said, “On hot days, the hives need water to cool down. Then, when the temperature rises, workers are sent to collect water instead of pollen.
Bees will find a source of water, swallow some in a special chamber in their bodies, and then fly. Sometimes, however, they fall. And if they can't break free, they die.
Innovative research is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE BEES?
In recent months, the decline in bee numbers and health has caused global concern due to the critical role of insects as a major pollinator.
Bee health has been closely observed in recent years as available nutritional sources for bees have decreased and pesticide contamination has increased.
In animal model studies, the researchers found that combined exposure to pesticides and poor nutrition reduced bee health.
Bees use sugar to feed flights and work inside the nest, but pesticides lower their hemolymph sugar levels (sangue bee blood)) and thus reduce their energy stores.
When pesticides are combined with a limited food supply, bees have no energy to function, causing a drop in survival rates.
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