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Apis_mellifera_flying

Photo credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim – Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6699147

 

Having had great success with recipe Saturdays, I’ve decided to add Vocabulary Sundays. Short and sweet vocabulary building for beekeepers and those interested in learning more before taking the leap.

Today’s word is: Flight

In Antoine Magnan‘s 1934 book Le vol des insectes, he wrote that he and André Sainte-Laguë had applied the equations of air resistance to insects and found that their flight could not be explained by fixed-wing calculations, but that “One shouldn’t be surprised that the results of the calculations don’t square with reality”.[54] This has led to a common misconception that bees “violate aerodynamic theory”, but in fact it merely confirms that bees do not engage in fixed-wing flight, and that their flight is explained by other mechanics, such as those used by helicopters.[55] In 1996 it was shown that vortices created by many insects’ wings helped to provide lift.[56] High-speed cinematography[57] and robotic mock-up of a bee wing[58] showed that lift was generated by “the unconventional combination of short, choppy wing strokes, a rapid rotation of the wing as it flops over and reverses direction, and a very fast wing-beat frequency”. Wing-beat frequency normally increases as size decreases, but as the bee’s wing beat covers such a small arc, it flaps approximately 230 times per second, faster than a fruitfly (200 times per second) which is 80 times smaller.[59]

Source Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bee#Flight

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