Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Flying Tip Of Bees: Leave Your Legs Dangling!

Date:
April 18, 2006
Source:
Society for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Unlike airplanes, leaving their landing gear down makes bees fly faster. When bees extend their hind-legs they pitch forward to achieve maximal speed, and the legs produce lift forces to either side that help prevent the bee rolling. "The hind-legs resemble airplane wings, which probably explains why they also generate lift," says Dr Stacey Combes from the University of California who explains how her research might contribute to the development of miniature flying robots.

Orchid bees flying towards a feeder.
Credit: Sagiri Horisawa

Unlike airplanes, leaving their landing gear down makes bees fly faster. When orchid bees extend their hind-legs they pitch forward to achieve maximal speed, and the legs produce lift forces to either side that help prevent the bee from rolling.

Related Articles


"The hind-legs resemble airplane wings, which probably explains why they also generate lift", says Dr Stacey Combes from the University of California, Berkeley who presented her research April 4 at the Society for Experimental Biology's Annual Main Meeting in Canterbury, Kent.

This research is interesting as it could be applied to design miniature flying machines to be used for search and rescue missions. "It may be helpful to be able to reduce the number of control components needed by using one structure (like the orchid bee legs) to control both pitch and roll", speculates Dr Combes.

The researchers perform their experiments by encouraging the bees to fly in an outdoor wind tunnel using an incentive of aromatic oils. The bees can reach a maximum speed of 7.25 m/s, but at these speeds they lose rotational stability: "They roll all the way to the side or often upside down, and crash to the ground", observes Combes. This means that what limits the bee's speed is not muscle power or the amplitude of its wing beat, but the pitch of the body balanced with the resulting rotational instability. "Having the legs extended generates stabilizing lift forces and helps reduce the moment of inertia and the slow rolling, similar to when a spinning figure-skater extends their arms", explains Combes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Experimental Biology. "Flying Tip Of Bees: Leave Your Legs Dangling!." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060418091349.htm>.
Society for Experimental Biology. (2006, April 18). Flying Tip Of Bees: Leave Your Legs Dangling!. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 24, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060418091349.htm
Society for Experimental Biology. "Flying Tip Of Bees: Leave Your Legs Dangling!." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060418091349.htm (accessed January 24, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) Experts estimate Ebola has wiped out one-third of the world&apos;s gorillas and chimpanzees. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) Activists hope the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) will label killer whales endangered, allowing lawyers to sue a Miami aquarium to release an orca into the wild after 44 years. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

Buzz60 (Jan. 23, 2015) Some &apos;healthy&apos; foods are actually fattening. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) shines a light on the sneaky foods like nuts, seeds, granola, trail mix, avocados, guacamole, olive oil, peanut butter, fruit juices and salads that are good for you...but not so much for your waistline. Video provided by Buzz60
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