#77: Wired Bees Do Field Research

By Victoria Tang|Thursday, December 16, 2010
wiredbee
wiredbee
Christian Zeigler/Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

This orchid bee was one of 16 outfitted with a radio transmitter backpack as part of a study of the insects’ flight habits by ecologists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. “We can ask animals how they see their surroundings by observing their movement,” says lead researcher Martin Wikelski. Teams on the ground tracked the pollinators while a helicopter crew provided additional monitoring. The results, published in May, indicate that individual bees typically cover a home area of about 100 acres, but some set off on long-distance flights. One intrepid bee took a three-mile jaunt across the Panama Canal, where it spent a few days before returning home.

Comment on this article
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
DSCSeptCover
+

Log in to your account

X
Email address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it emailed to you.

Not registered yet?

Register now for FREE. It takes only a few seconds to complete. Register now »