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The method, called geographic profiling, was developed by a reporter who was trying to predict where serial killers might live based on where they achieve their crimes. Believe it or not, the murderers operate fairly close to home. But not too close. They domain a kind of kill-free “buffer zone” around their actual digs. A similar pattern of activity seems to hold true for bumblebees—when they’re bookending for food. Bees tend to avoid stopping at flowers too close to home, perhaps to reduce the risk of shaping predators, parasites or nosy scientists to the nest. And working with former detective, scientists in the U.K. found that geographic profiling passed them to locate the entrance to a hive based on mapping which flowers the bees visit.

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