Flowers And Bees Communicate With Electricity
Researchers at Bristol's School of Biological Sciences have discovered that flowers are able to communicate with bumblebees and maybe other species, including humans, through electricity.
The study was published in the journal Science, and describes how, whereas bumblebees have a positive electrical charge, flowers tend to have a negative one. Electricity is conducted slowly through plants, which have an electrical connection to the ground.
"We just now have discovered that electrical potentials, an unavoidable by-product of flying in air for bumblebees and being grounded for the flower, are being exploited to benefit both parties," co-author of the study, Daniel Robert, told Discovery News. It's "another example of the beauty of evolution."
Robert and other scientists conducted the study by placing petunia flowers in an area populated by free-flying foraging bees. They then examined changes in the electric fields and the bees' behavior as a result of interactions between the two groups. Results of the experiment indicated that an electrical field was generated by a bee landing on one of the flowers. The resulting force seemingly improves the bee's memory of the flower's pollen and nectar supply, while also leaving the flower with a charge for a short time thereafter.
"This novel communication channel reveals how flowers can potentially inform their pollinators about the honest status of their precious nectar and pollen reserves," Robert said. "The last thing a flower wants is to attract a bee and then fail to provide nectar; a lesson in honest advertising since bees are good learners and would soon lose interest in such an unrewarding flower."
It is well known that flowers use bright colors, patterns and fragrance to attract pollinators, but the idea of electrical communication is a new development. It was also found that bees in the study were able to distinguish colors more quickly in the presence of electrical signals.
"The co-evolution between flowers and bees has been a long and beneficial history," Robert said, "so perhaps it's not entirely surprising that we are still discovering today how remarkably sophisticated their communication is."
Drone Bees May Take Over Pollination Functions As Performed By Real Bees
Considering the decline in bees and other natural flower pollinators in the US, Japan and other parts of the world, scientists are hard put to the task of creating artificial pollinators such as drones to help undertake the task of pollinating flowers for crop yield. This idea of drone pollinators is still in its infancy, but it is already being tested in several parts of the world, and promises to be perfect with time.
Robot Bees Create Buzz As They Promise To Help In Pollination
The rapid decline of bee population have pushed scientists to design robot bees that could potentially help in pollinating crops. The design needs more time to be fully effective but it holds so much promise given the current problem with bee shortage.
Beekeepers Step Up To Save Honey Bees
Beekeepers in South Carolina are joining forces to save bee colonies by offering beekeeping classes. The classes raise awareness on the importance of honey bees, teach how to cultivate bees, and how to harvest your own honey.
Zika Virus Hoax Kills Millions Of Bees
Millions of bees were killed as public officials ordered massive aerosol spray of insecticides due to the Zika virus hoax. Beekeepers are devastated as they lose beehives and nature's pollinators.
South Korea’s Limitless Energy Sets A New World Record; Details Inside
How essential is South Korea’s claim regarding the limitless source of energy? What’s the truth behind the country’s fusion reactor that can sustain plasma for more than a minute? Find out what authorities have to say
MORE IN ITECHPOST
How to Protect Yourself on Facebook
Facebook is an application that takes on an all-encompassing role in our social media lives. It is a space where we communicate with friends and family about our personal lives, browse through an endless stream of content, and interact with other companies and entities on groups and pages.
How Do Personal Emergency Response Systems Work?
Personal emergency response systems, known as PERS for short, are systems that help people to raise the alarm and get immediate help when a medical or personal emergency occurs. They are ideal for older people and anyone with a mobility issue or an injury or illness that can cause falls.
The 9 Most Popular (And Fun) Internet Games of 2019
Are you bored of board games? What are the most popular internet games from this year? These nine are popular for a reason. Check 'em out!