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Name: Unknown
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1993


Question:
How can Bees Fly?
Can you please explain exactly how bees are able to fly?



Replies:
Well, the first question is what the "theory" referred to is. I would guess this is based on standard airplane construction, that if you built an airplane with wings like a bees that was as heavy as a bee and was run by some engine (propeller or jet) that was as powerful as a bee, it would not get off the ground. The solution is that a bee does not run like an airplane - its wings are not fixed, for one, and like all flying animals, it does not power itself with a jet or propeller, but by the actual flapping of its wings.

The result is probably some very complex air currents - I assume they can be modeled these days, and maybe somebody has done it, but in any case the flight of a bee cannot be described by any simple theory.

A. Smith


They fly because they flap their wings. The flapping motion imparts downward momentum to the air, and as a result, the bee stays aloft.

The wings do not just move up and down. The tip of the wing also moves forward and backward and the end of the wing moves in an oval shape. In addition the wings tilt during each flap.

All of this complicated "paddling" allows it to fly. It is not really known "exactly" how the bee flies.

The direction the wings move was not known until high speed photography was invented. Even then, to get a GOOD understanding of air flow requires that some tracer be put in the air (like smoke) so that the researchers can find out how the wings are pushing the air around.

If a bee hovers over your hand, you can feel a gentle breeze from the little wings.

Bob Erck



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