For humans, the garden with a breeze blowing is a tranquil scene: dandelion seeds float, leaves rustle, and flowers crumbling.
However, if you are a bee, it is a minefield. For a small creature with dexterous wings, aerial seeds, flowing leaves and messy flowers are basically projections, trap doors and Godzilla’s towering skyscrapers.
This is the situation that bees and other pollinators have to deal with when collecting nectar and pollen every day. However, although researchers have studied how bees travel on days of heavy winds and dust storms or in narrow spaces, “no one really understands how bees move through moving obstacles in the wind,” University of California, Davis’ Nicholas Burnett, a postdoctoral researcher, said.
To conduct this study, the researchers established a training course for bee obstacles. They separate the four rods by an inch and a half on a swinging platform and can move them back and forth like a swinging rod. Then they placed the entire device in the flight tunnel and installed fans at both ends.
Bee volunteers are recruited from around the campus. The researchers asked them to fly under different conditions at once-in still air, heading upwind, downwind, and with fixed or moving obstacles-and filmed their efforts with high-speed cameras. . Unfortunately, the bee was later sent home, but there was no prize.
When they walked on the tape, the researchers found that the bee’s flight strategy changed according to the conditions they faced. When they encounter moving rods in still air, their flight speed is slower than when they encounter fixed obstacles.
Dr. Burnett said: “You might interpret them as being more cautious because such an accident happened in front of them.” (In nature, trembling vegetation on a still day may indicate the presence of predators or mowed Lawn mower.)
He said, but when the wind blows in either direction, the bees “actually accelerate their flight speed when the pole is moving compared to when they are stationary”, which is about 50% higher.
He said that in the face of complex airspace, bees seem to “be cautious in still air and show courage in the wind.”
The study emphasizes that animals including bees are actually Glenna Clifton, an assistant professor at the University of Portland, said that they are complex decision makers-“not tricks”, study insect movement and did not participate in the study. In addition to wind, “many other factors may also play a role in their flight choices”, including light levels, time of day and abundance of food.
As for the reasons for these different strategies, Dr. Burnett hypothesized that this might be the force that puts us under heavy rain: “overcoming obstacles as soon as possible.” Further analysis highlights this idea, focusing on how successful bees avoid collisions. In still air, slowing down is helpful. But in the wind, speed is not important, and barrier-free flight is determined by how much the bees aim at themselves when they fly over the rod.
Dr. Clifton said that bees used “grinning, sprinting through it strategies” as an interesting assumption, adding that she hopes to see more research on whether bees decide to speed up.
It also reminded her of the human competitors in the live TV show of the obstacle course.
She said: “If you watch these shows, it will be an interesting moment, a cautious and deliberate metaphor raises his arms, hoping to achieve the best results, and then work hard.” Sometimes, this is the most effective strategy .