A recent study conducted in London tackles the “traveling salesman problem” of foraging bees. The “traveling salesman problem” is the travelling distance between multiple destinations and a home base. The challenge is to find a route that visits each destination while traveling the shortest possible route. Bumblebees first explore their territory; and based on past experiences must come up with an efficient route. Researchers used artificial flowers and harmonic radar technology to follow individual foragers. Data was collected on bee flight patterns and took an in-depth look at route development. As bees gained experience, flight distance and duration decreased; but bees never became set in their ways and continued to explore at random. The study did reveal that bees visited the feeders in the same order and flew along the same path time after time.
Read more about the study here: https://www.morningagclips.com/radar-reveals-how-bees-develop-routes/