Bumble bees are beneficial insects, no one will argue with that, but they are also smart. They can find their way through a maze! They can carry nearly their own body weight in pollen and/or nectar. They can be trained! And new research is indicating that they may be able to choose what to forage for based on wind speed. One of the (many) things I love about entomology is the creativity that goes into research projects. For this experiment, not only did they attach tiny tracking devices to the bee’s back, but they also glued miniature weights to either the legs or the abdomen to simulate either pollen (legs) or nectar (abdomen). The researchers found that the bee’s flight was affected by what it was carrying. Could this mean that a bee might decide what to forage for based on wind conditions? Interesting thought! The paper is soon to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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