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Don't Like Cold Food? Bees Don't Either

We've learned that bees may communicate through a quantum dance. But they also know something we don't: the color of a flower indicates how warm the nectar inside it is. That doesn't mean much to us, but it's important to know if you're a bee, because eating their food warm can mean the difference between life and death.

In LiveScience.com, Sara Goudarzi quotes Lars Chittka, writing in the journal Nature, as saying that, from a bee's point of view, "if you need to warm up, you can produce your own heat, at the expense of some of your energy reserves?or you can consume a warm drink, and save on investing your own energy."

Chittka randomly exposed bees to groups of purple and pink artificial flowers, each containing the same amount of false nectar. But so a little over half the bees went to the purple flowers first, because they had the warmer nectar. When he reversed the nectar temperatures, more than half the bees went to the pink flowers.

How do some flowers get warmer nectar naturally? And do bees gradually learn which colors will have warmer nectar inside them? Since flowers need bees to pollinate, they've gradually learned to warm up their nectar in order to attract them. And the bees have learned which color flowers have best succeeded in doing this.

The next questions are: why are hummingbirds attracted to the color red? And what is it with humans and blue apples?

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Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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