This paper examines the aerodynamics and power requirements of forward flight in bumblebees. Measurements weremade of the steady-state lift and drag forces acting on bumblebee wings and bodies. The aerodynamic force and pitching moment balances for bumblebees previously filmed in free flight were calculated. A detailed aerodynamic analysis was used to show that quasi-steady aerodynamic mechanisms are inadequate to explain even fast forward flight. Calculations of the mechanical power requirements of forward flight show that the power required to fly is independent of airspeed over a range from hovering flight to an airspeed of 4.5 ms−1

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