"[Bumble bees] are really very important pollinators of plants," Professor Combes said. "So understanding how they fly, how they get around, what affects their flight, is really critical."
So Combes teamed up with Andrew Mountcastle and Nick Gravish, also of Harvard University at the time, to figure out how to film bees as they navigate crowded air space.
"These collisions are a fraction of a second. With high-speed cameras, we're able to start to see what these collisions look like and how they affect the bumble bee," said Dr. Mountcastle.
But what these scientists became increasingly interested in was figuring out how, with so many brutal bumps and crashes, something as delicate as a bee's wing survives this abuse.
Their video eventually revealed an answer: bumble bees have joints in their wings.
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