Wasps and Hornets

How do wasps find their way to the hive?

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2011-03-07 05:53:39

Bees and wasps use sunlight as a compass. They know the

direction of the sun with respect to the direction that they are

flying so they can find their way back.

Bees rely primarily on the Sun as a reference point for

navigation, keeping track of their flight direction with respect to

the Sun, and factoring out the effects of the winds that may be

blowing them off course. The Sun is a difficult landmark for

navigation because of its apparent motion from east to west, but

bees are born knowing how to compensate for that. When a cloud

obscures the Sun, bees use the patterns of ultraviolet polarized

light in the sky to determine the Sun's location. When an overcast

obscures both Sun and sky, bees automatically switch to a third

navigational system based on their mental map of the landmarks in

their home range.

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