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The electric way that bees find flowers

Photo Credit: P7r7 via Wikimedia Commons

Researchers from the University of Bristol have found that bees sense the electrical field of flowers when choosing their floral destination.

For years scientists have been studying how color, scent, and pattern lure in potential pollinators, but now new research reveals an additional stimulus that brings all the bees to the yard. It turns out flowers have a minor negative charge that can act as a draw to bees. As bees fly through the air they gain a positive charge and when they land on a flower the negatively charged pollen sticks to them. In the study, bees quickly learned to choose charged flowers rather than indiscriminately foraging. It seems there is much more to learn about the complicated symbiotic relationship between bees and flowers.

Read more about the complex ways that bees find their flowers at NPR.

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Photo Credit: P7r7 via Wikimedia Commons

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