The study of bee flight and their collective behavior has been the focus of many studies that have offered us insight into how bees are able to communicate with one another and fly in complex environments. However, even with the extensive research available in literature on insect flight we still do not have a complete picture of how honeybee’s mange to fly and maintain control in turbulence.
In one of our first studies with the hives at Max Planck we have investigated honeybee flight in turbulence. To do so, we use a mobile fan and active grid system identical to the one used in the variable density wind tunnel to create turbulent wind. Additionally, imaging and three-dimensional (3D) tracking of honeybee flight trajectories are performed with a multi camera setup in the field. With endless possibilities for future studies, the bee hives at Max Planck offer a dynamic and exciting opportunity for multidisciplinary research of studying active matter in their natural habitat under various conditions.