Dozens of bees immediately plummeted to the ground as soon as the lights they were near turned off, a fascinating video has shown.
Hamish Symington, a biotechnology and Biological Science PhD student shared the astonishing clip to Twitter.
The footage begins with the bees swarming around two light bulbs at the top of a transparent cage.
But when the light is turned off, those that had been flying drop to the ground.
Posting the video, which has been seen more than 1 million times, to his Twitter, he said: “I’m surprised it's an on/off choice for them – no graceful trying to glide to land or anything like that, they literally just stop flying and plummet.
“Surely that's more dangerous than keeping flying?”
It wasn’t long before thousands of people commented their thoughts.
One suggested: “Maybe they've evolved to be afraid of bats? Just a thought, but bees flying would be like using a chainsaw to bats. Much easier to hunt down than a moth.”
Hamish replied: “Several people have suggested this. I am going to spend some of this weekend making a cardboard cutout eagle to test the predator theory. (Really.)”
Another asked: “Is this why I often see bees looking lethargic on the ground in the shade of a large building?”
But the expert responded it was more likely that they are either tired or have accidentally flown into a window.
And someone else added: “I think I would behave quite similarly if I was out jogging and the sun disappeared in an instant or I lost my vision. Doesn't seem that odd to me.
“If this species of bees don't fly at night and suddenly the light disappears this is just their normal behaviour sped up no?”
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