Busy Bees Efficiency

Aug 30, 2021 | Blog | 0 comments

How do bees know if there is nectar in a flower?

Many flowers provide a visible sign on their petals. Consider the small desert lupine flower; it would take a bee hundreds of visits to get enough nectar to make honey from this small flower. As the bee flies along, it notices the bright yellow spot on the desert lupine’s blue petals. This bright yellow spot says, “Here’s nectar!” So the bee will stop in and get the nectar. But after it leaves, the yellow spot turns black. When another bee comes along, it sees the black spot and knows the nectar is gone! Somehow bees know to stop only at the flowers with yellow spots thus creating efficiency for the worker bees.
 

When a bee picks up its nectar, it also pollinates the plant.

If the flower has already been pollinated, there is no need for it to be pollinated again. Other flowers provide similar clues. When the nectar is gone from the flowers of the vetch, the petals show black splotches. Many flowers advertise on their petals using splotches and spots saying, “Here’s nectar”, and when there is no nectar, “Don’t stop here, the nectar is gone.” It’s not by chance that both the bees and flowers are designed to work together in a symbiotic relationship.
 
(Source: Inspired Evidence – Joanne De Jonge, Silent Signals and Secret Codes) 

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