The Physics Factbook™
Edited by Glenn Elert -- Written by his students
An educational, Fair Use website
topic index | author index | special index
|Bibliographic Entry||Result |
|Chapman, R. F. The Insects: Structure and Functions. New York: American Elsevier, 1969.||"In the Apis and Musca the frequency is about 190/second."||190 Hz|
|"Invertebrates: Insects." The World Book Encyclopedia of Science, The Animal World Edition. Chicago: World Book, 1987.||"The number of wing beats varies greatly from 4–20 in butterflies to 190 beats/second in bees and up to 1000 beats/second in a small fly."||190 Hz|
|Micucci, Charles. The Life and Times of the Honey Bee. United States: Houghton Mifflin, 1995.||"A honey bee has two pairs of wings that can beat 250 times/second."||250 Hz|
|Romoser, William J. The Science of Entomology. New York: Macmillan, 1973.||"Insect Wing Beats per sec |
Apis: 190, 108-23, 250"
|190 Hz |
|Smith, Robert H. Time Life for Children: Understanding Science and Nature. United States: Time, 1993.||"The bee's wings are small for its body, but beat 200 times per second letting the bee fly or hover in one spot."||200 Hz|
After an exhaustive search of various subject areas I was ableto find five different sources which contained a measurement forthe frequency of bee wings. Although all of the measurements containedin each of the five sources were close in their values, some variationsdid exist. One book even went so far as to give three differentvalues for the frequency compiled from various experiments andother resources. There may be many reasons why these numericalvalues vary even if it is only a slight difference.
One reason for the difference is the varying ages of the beesused in the experiments. It stands to reason that the older thebee the slower the wing beat frequency because of the effectsof aging on the anatomical components of bee wings. Variationscan also be accounted for by slight variations of the size ofthe bee itself and of the wings as well. The larger the bee andits wings the lower the frequency will be because it will takemore time for longer wings to complete one full up and down motion,therefore beating fewer times per second. Yet another reason forthe discrepancy between each source may be that different typesof bees were used as models during the experiments. For exampleone book may have studied the wing beat frequency of Bumble Bees,while another studied the wing beat frequency of a Honey Bee.Wing structure, width, length and muscular components may be differentin each type of bee. There may also be a difference in the wingbeat frequencies of workers, drones, and queen bees. The variationmay be small but any change can alter the calculated frequency.
A measurement such as the frequency of bee wings can neverbe universally accepted. There are many different sources whichcontain conflicting information on this subject each with validdata or references to back their measurements up. It can not bedetermined which source has the correct value, but someone doingresearch has to realize that there are many underlying reasonsas to why the data varies.
Michelle Finnegan -- 1999
External links to this page:
|Another quality webpage by
|home | contact
bent | chaos | eworld | facts | physics