Scientists tried to trick the bees by offering shortcuts between individual flowers that increased the total distance they travelled. Initially, the bees fell into the trap, opting for short-term gain but ending up with a longer, more exhausting journey as they visited every flower in turn. But gradually the insects refined their flight paths and found the most effective “travelling salesman” solution. Instead of taking the obvious shortcuts, they altered the order of their flower visits to reduce the overall travel distance.
Photo ©Nick Ansell