Bees with radio tags glued onto their backs have been busily demonstrating just how long it takes them to get home, and how much easier it is to travel west. The tags are 13.75MHz RFID tags – very small ones – and were glued to individual bees by researchers Mario Pahl and ShaoWu Zhang. Once properly tagged, the bees were released from various locations and an RFID reader on the hive noted their eventual arrival. That data then enabled the apicultural boffins to deduce that nearby mountains were used for navigation, and the speed of journey was heavily influenced by landmark availability. About 1km to the west of the test hive was a distinctive mountain, which (the researchers conclude) guided the bees who were released to the east, enabling them to make their way home from as far as 11km away. Those poor bees released as little as 6km to the west were, sadly, never seen again. The tags used are 1x1.6mm and weigh 2.4 milligrams. Given that a bee can collect 35 milligrams of nectar that's not a big deal, though having the thing glued to their backs can't help the aerodynamics much. One of the test subjects (G0BEE) poses for a close-up with the new Kenwood TS 590 on board.