What electric field strength would allow the bee to hang suspended in the air?

By Allen Kazadi

Honeybees acquire a charge while flying due to friction with the air. A 100 mg bee with a charge of 33 pC experiences an electric force in the earth’s electric field, which is typically 100 N/C, directed downward.
1. What is the ratio of the electric force on the bee to the bee’s weight?
2. What electric field strength would allow the bee to hang suspended in the air?
3. What electric field direction would allow the bee to hang suspended in the air?

Answer:

A) 3.367 × 10^(-6)

B) 2.97 × 10^(7) N/C

C) Upwards

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