Saturday, January 14, 2017
First US Bee Declared Endangered
Unlike honeybees, bumblebees live in colonies underground and only live for a year except the queen who remains dormant underground during the winter then emerges in the spring to found a new colony with eggs prepared in the fall. Back in the 30's it was popularly thought that the flight of the bumblebee was aerodynamically impossible--its short, stubby wings not exerting enough lift for its rotund body. Today, science has solved that problem thanks to high speed photography. Writing in the journal of the National Academy of Sciences in 2005, Michael Dickinson of the University of Washington, observed that rather than flapping their wings up and down, bumblebees flap their wings back and forth creating a low-pressure, wing-tip vortex that provides the necessary lift force.