Bumblebees have an amazing homing instinct that allows them to forage for food up to eight miles away and find their way back to their nest, according to new research. Scientists are dropping off bees at famous North East landmarks to study their flight patterns in a bid to save the symbolic British summer insect. The bees, which are tagged with tiny identification numbers in the laboratory, have already been found to fly back to their nest on the Newcastle University campus from the Metro Centre and the Angel of the North, both three miles away, and the Tyne Bridge and Manors Metro station, which are a mile away. But the record flight was from a garden centre in Heddon on the Wall in the Tyne Valley, some eight miles from their nest. The researchers have found it is only the worker bees which make their way back – they suspect the queen bees find shelter elsewhere. The results are surprising because scientific literature says the bumblebee they are studying, a common species called Bombus terrestris, travels just three miles for its food. The project to find out how far the bees can travel […]

Read the Full Article