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Straight to the point

Posted by Henry on February 03, 2004

In Reply to: B Line posted by Keith Pelton on February 03, 2004

: I have always heard that when someone is in a hurry, you B line it to that point. Where does that come from?

Bees apparently return to the hive in a straight line, navigating by the sun. Thus they travel in a bee line!

If the bee does not know where to find food, she will take a somewhat irregular path away from the hive until she finds a suitable food source which may be up to 10 km distant.[1] She will then fly a straight line path back to the hive and make a peculiar ``dance'' on the vertical combs in the hive.

From the archives; "There is no disagreement among scientists that returning foragers dance in the hive. Everyone also agrees that once a forager locates a good food source, she will be able to fly directly to and from that flower patch. That is, she flies a straight line (a bee-line) to the food patch from the hive using local landmarks and the sun for orientation."
[Dead link removed - ed] Accessed July 28, 2003. Bee Research Digest, ABJ - October, 1992 - Pages 641-644, by Edward E. Southwick, Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York.