Study on bee navigation

Hello everyone,

I sadly can’t find it anymore, but I had read about a study a few days ago that as a beginner I found rather interesting.

The researchers did a test where they caught bees that were just leaving the hive. They then moved them to a different place before releasing them and followed their movements (with radar!).

The bees started to fly into the direction they’d be flying out of the hive to go where they’d expect a food source. Once they noticed it wasn’t at the expected place, they turned around towards their starting point (not their hive) and then flew around a little before going directly towards the food and back to the hive.

The researchers concluded that bees must have some kind of “map” with known markers in their head that they use for orientation. Once they realized, they are in the wrong place, they searched for these markers and - instead of flying back to the hive - “calculated” a route towards the food before using their known route back home.

I find this rather impressive. Also there is so much more we don’t know about our little workers…

Regards from Germany,

PS: I’m going to get my first colony the week after Easter and am both excited and a little scared. But I’ve consumed so much knowledge over the last weeks, I hope I - with the help of a seasoned beekeeper - will be able to care for them properly.


So glad you posted this, it’s so amazing the new things we learn about the bees !

I recently stumbled on an old edition of an English documentary series with Richard Hammond called “Invisible Worlds” . They put an infra red heat detector inside a hive and discovered “heater bees”. Apparently these bees go into the empty spaces within the comb and start generating heat to control the brood temperature, those little ladies glowed white hot and measured up to 45degrees (I think) which was previously thought to kill a bee. What I’m not sure about is whether all bees have this ability or if it’s just some “special” bees.

Just mind blowing really. Go the girls :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

By the way, I tried to learn as much as I could about beekeeping before I got my bees too, it is challenging and I’m so grateful to have this forum and so many helpful beekeepers advice, its priceless :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: