Flowers lure bees with color and aroma.

 

     If you have something to sell,   you have to announce that fact to your future customers. This is also true with plants that rely on insects   for pollination. To gain their services, what better method is there  than for   the plant to offer them food and drink. The flowers let the   insects, their customers, know with   eye-catching displays and delightful odors that the feast is ready.  Most plants generously offer food, giving   the insects enough for themselves and also for the rest of the   household.

Among pollinators, bees are   the most numerous. The flowers that   attract them are generally brightly   colored and fragrant.

These are the ones that usually appeal to us also.    Bees are attracted to shades of yellow, blue, pink, white, purple and   to a lesser degree red.  Bees do not   see red as we do, since it appears black   to them, but they can see the yellow anthers within a red flower.  SInce bees’ eyes are sensitive to   ultraviolet light, they may see some colors and patterns invisible to us with   the naked eye.  To accommodate bees,   many flowers offer them broadly spread petals as landing platforms, and some   even mark the way to the nectar with stripes or bright spots.

Bees get a double reward from   thier chosen flowers, for in addition to nectars, they get loads of pollen to   take home to feed their young.  As   they go from flower to flower finding nectar, their fuzzy bodies become   covered with pollen and they have to pause now and then to scrape the pollen   off.  They push the pollen into   little baskets formed by brisrles on their hind legs. Watch bees at work   sometimes and you might see some with the packed yellow masses near their   knee joints. They really have quite a load by the time they are ready to fly   back home.

Bees usually only visit one   variety of flower on their trip from the hive.  Sometimes   they concentrate on one kind for days. This is how we get varietal honey such   as Orange Blossom   or Tupelo.  As   a result, very little pollen is wasted since what they deposit from flower to flower is   the correct pollen for a particular plant’s pollination.  So the lure of the beautiful flowers with   sweet smelling nectar is good for the plants, the bees and us.  Yum!

Honey Bee with Pollen
Honey Bee with Pollen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *