How bees land safely
Who flies also must land again. For insect not always easy. How can they assess the situation landing on a flower? For landing, so they have to take back their speed to zero, to the so called touch-down.
The behavior researchers have studied at Emily Baird of Lund University in Sweden. Is known that bees orient to landmarks in flight. So they can assess their position and speed. This also helps with a landing on a smooth horizontal surface. The bees know how fast they approach a target and slow down their speed accordingly.
With rugged and vertical landing sites, it is difficult for the bees. Now they have to process many signals at reduced speed. The approach takes longer. Researchers have documented numerous flights and find out that bees have constantly changed, analyzed situations. The closer the bees came the goal, the controlled slow they flew. The researchers have developed from their observations, a mathematical model of the landing strategy of bees. This is general data and can also be used for flying robots to control their landing behavior.
Source: www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/10/23/1314311110 and www.diebiene.de