This 16-millimeter distance seems to be the ideal placement for the honeybee to make contact with the surface with any one of its feet. The foot that first contacts the surface varies by landing orientation. A horizontal platform initiates a hindleg landing, while a vertical platform initiates a foreleg landing.
“The most interesting finding of the present study is that, during the final hover phase, bees keep the distance from their head to the landing surface amazingly constant at a value of about 16 mm, irrespective of the tilt of the surface. Presumably, this is the perfect distance from which to initiate the final landing manoeuvre, namely, extending the legs for touchdown. From about 16 mm away a bee can just reach the surface with one or more of its appendages, be it merely extending the hind legs onto a horizontal surface, or grabbing an overhead surface by extending the forelegs over its head.” (Evangelista et al. 2010:268)