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slug Created with Sketch. Science Questions

What makes a bee buzz?

A bee’s wings make it buzz. When an insect flies, the size of its wings and the speed of their flapping affect the sound they make. Small wings push against less air than big wings do, so they have to beat faster in flight. A mosquito has small wings and usually beats them between 400 and 450 times a second. That speed makes a whining sound. Because a butterfly has big wings, it flaps them slowly. Some butterflies flap their wings only 6 times a second. We are not likely to notice their sound. Honeybees have medium-sized wings and flap them about 230 times a second. That’s why bees are all the buzz.

Photo by: GettyImages|bo1982

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