Sat watching the bumble bees and a curious fly . #bumblebee #pollen #fly #flowers #insects #photography #canon
bumblebees are large, fuzzy insects with short, stubby wings. they are larger than honeybees, but they don't produce as much honey. however, they are very important pollinators. without them, food wouldn't grow.
two-thirds of the world's crop species depend on animals to transfer pollen between male and female flower parts, according to ecologist rachel winfree, an assistant professor in the department of entomology at rutgers university. many animals are pollinators — including birds, bats and butterflies — but "there's no question that bees are the most important in most ecosystems," she said in a 2009 article in national wildlife magazine.
while other animals pollinate, bumblebees are particularly good at it. their wings beat 130 times or more per second, according to the national wildlife federation, and the beating combined with their large bodies vibrates flowers until they release pollen, which is called buzz pollination. buzz pollination helps plants produce more fruit.
there are over 255 species of bumblebees, according to the integrated taxonomic information system(itis), so bumblebees can be many sizes. the largest is the queen of the bombus dahlbomii, which can grow up to 1.6 inches (4 centimeters) long. this is three to four times longer than the american bumblebee, according to scientific american.
it has often been said that bumblebees defy aerodynamics and should not be able to fly. however, a recent study resolved the enigma and showed how the tiny wings keep the bee in the air. the study, published in the journal proceedings of the national academy of sciences in 2005, used high-speed photography to show that bumblebees flap their wings back and forth rather than up and down.
the wing sweeping is a bit like a partial spin of a "somewhat crappy" helicopter propeller, researcher michael dickinson, a professor of biology and insect flight expert at the university of washington, told live science in a 2011 article. however, the angle to the wing also creates vortices in the air — like small hurricanes.