Do Bees Fly Like an Aircraft?
Of course not! This may be the answer to an impulse by many people who will focus the comparison merely on the wings of the bees and the engine of an aircraft. Aircrafts do not have wings to flap and bees do not have engines to fly but there is a similarity in the principle involved that they use to fly. The Law of Physics and aerodynamics state that the speed of air reduces the air pressure.
Bees fly because they have wings to flap. The flapping movement of their wings pushes the air downward enabling them to go up. Their wings flap in a circular movement in a forward and backward direction as well as upward and downward movements.
The tip of the wings tilts in every flap in a circular motion. The complex air current that the wings create by flapping and paddling enables bees to fly. But the direction where the wings indicate their motion was not determined until the discovery of high-tech photography was done. When a bee is hovering around, there is breeze in the air that you can feel created by the fast flapping of its wings.
A research was conducted by using a high-speed digital camera and metal robot bees with main focus on their wings to determine how bees can fly. A film was photographed concentrating on the flapping movements of the wings for many hours. The speed of flapping was imitated by the robotic bees with sensors installed to measure the degree of both speed from original bees and the robots.
It was found out later that their ability to fly was more unusual than thought of. The wings of the bees were found to have very fast beat. The smaller honeybees recorded a fantastic flapping movement of 200 flaps per second while the bigger ones had 230 flaps per second.
This is unbelievable because if we base it on the scientific principle, it is believed that the smaller the insects are, the faster their wings flap considering that their aerodynamic performance is reduced. The findings on the frequency of their flapping showed that they were only intended for hovering. They need more of that in transferring pollen and nectar as well as carry loads heavier than their body mass at times.
To have a clear understanding on how the honeybees can carry heavy loads, the researchers filled a test chamber with a blend of oxygen and helium which are lighter than ordinary air. The bees which were placed inside had a hard time flapping their wings that allowed the observers to keep track of their flight mechanisms. The bees were observed to stretch out their wings to produce more stroke amplitude but it was observed also that they did not increase the beat frequency of their wings.
This discovery can lead to the making of an aircraft which is patterned from the hovering flight movements of the bees. The plane can be used to carry disaster reliefs to victims of calamities and it can also be used to monitor and survey weather disturbances.
With this scientific proposition in mind, who said bees do not fly like an aircraft?