Would a bumble bee the size of a man be able to fly?

Assuming a 6' tall man weighs 190 lbs, how much would a 6' tall bumble bee weigh?


We only assume that a bumble bee is small because it is small compared to us - yet to a termite it would appear quite huge.

There are hornets in Asia that are 2 inches long. Their wings are no larger in comparison to their bodies than their dim inutive cousins 1/4 their size.

So another way to ask the question, how large could a winged insect become before it could no longer fly given its current physiology?

11 Answers

  • Crash
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    From an aeronautics point of view, bumblebees the size of bumblebees aren't supposed to fly, they're too heavy for their wing area. It's a mystery.

  • 4 years ago

    The people referring to the increase in weight are on the right track. A scaled up bee couldn't live. It would collapse under its own weight. Let's consider a simpler example. Imagine a 1-foot length of rope with a 1-inch diameter. Now double the dimensions so that it's 2 feet long and has a two inch diameter. You could fit eight of the original ropes inside the second (two along every dimension) so it would weigh 8 times as much. However, the length won't add any torsional strength (resistance to stretching or being pulled apart). The strength depends on cross-sectional area, so the new rope has the same cross-sectional area as 4 of the old rope, so it can hold 4 times the weight. So, in math terms, if you scale an object up, the weight increases as the cube (height x width x depth) of the change, while the strength increases as the square of the change (width x depth).

    And yes, this means that whole proportional strength of a spider thing is BS.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Once upon a time science of aerodynamics calculated that it was impossible for a bumble bee to fly. Since then, they have discovered flaws in the science, in particular, the power of vortexes.

  • pat z
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Well, science isn't my strong point. However, if people can get those enormous and incredibly heavy airplanes off the ground, then I think it's safe to say that a man-sized bee could probably go airborne!

    If he were John Belushi in a killer bee outfit, you could bet your bottom dollar on flight!

    (The weight of a six-foot tall bumble bee would depend on its body "type"; is it a beefy bee, for example!?)

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    No, the lifting surfaces necessary increase exponentially as weight increases, therefore the wings would need to be much bigger in proportion to the body. When the wings are that big, there is no way they could beat as fast.

  • Ed
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Not if the proportions were kept the same. The wing area would increase about as the square of the increase in size. The weight would increase about as the cube of the increase in size.

    I guess I would be glad it couldn't fly.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    the limitation would be the exoskeleton

    it could not get to be more than a few inches long, I think

    there were large dragonflies years ago though

    Source(s): opinion
  • 1 decade ago

    I am sure if they grew that big, they

    would function as usaul - why not?

    Look at the large birds of the world

    they manage to fly, regardless of thier

    size and weight - if it is meant to fly

    it will fly. ( Hey, how about Superman )

    Source(s): rebo lb
  • As long as IT reddems ITS miles by Dec 31, probably yes.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm pretty sure that an insect's exoskeloton wouldn't function like they do at that scale. It would be pretty cool.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.