As long as there’s sunlight, bumblebees and honey bees will stay busy from dawn to dusk.
But how do the insects respond during that rare occurrence when the moon passes directly in front of the sun, casting the daytime world into shadow?
Last year, ecologist Candace Galen of the University of Missouri, a team of researchers and a few hundred elementary school students set out to find the answer.
Using tiny microphones suspended among flowers, the team recorded the buzzing of the bees through all stages of the eclipse.
Increased buzz length suggests the bees started flying more slowly, they were taking longer flights, or some combination of both.
As excitement about the 2017 eclipse grew, people started asking her what animals might be doing when the darkness hit.
“The next total solar eclipse will come through Missouri in 2024,” says the conclusion of the new study. »