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Bees Surf Their Own Waves




When stuck in water, bees create a wave and hydrofoil atop it, according to a new study.

When a bee lands on water, the water sticks to its wings, robbing it of the ability to fly. However, that stickiness allows the bee to drag water, creating waves that propels it forward.

Walking on Caltech’s campus, research engineer Chris Roh (MS ’13, PhD ’17) happened to see a bee that got stuck in the water of Millikan Pond. Although it was a common-enough sight, it led Roh and advisor Mory Gharib (PhD ’83) to a discovery about the potentially unique way that bees navigate the interface between water and air.

Video shot by Chris Roh / Caltech.

More info: https://www.caltech.edu/about/news/bees-surf-atop-water

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