21 Oct Unwanted Passengers
Imagine this: Unwanted passengers on a Sonoran Bumble Bee.
The bee has just taken flight from a cactus flower with two ants clinging to its legs as unwanted passengers.
The wings appeared blurred because my shutter speed of 1/5000 sec was too slow to catch a sharp photo of them.
According to Douglas L. Altshuler, honeybees move their wings at rates of 230 beats per second. See his paper: “Short-amplitude high-frequency wing strokes determine the aerodynamics of honeybee flight.”
By the way, this is much faster than a hummingbird, which beats its wings at rates as high as 70 per second (unless it’s in a dive – then the rate is up to 200/sec).
Here are two excellent books about birds. I recommend both of them.
Inspiring Respect for Nature, one bee at a time.
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