News Stories

What Bees See

What attracts them to flowers? Iridescence! - We know what blind people see in their dreams, but what do bees see?why do they zoom in on certain nectar-rich flowers and ignore others? It?s not just the colors they?re attracted to, it's their shimmering iridescence.

In the January 2nd edition of the Independent, John von Radowitz explains that bees can see colors and "landing strip" markings on flowers that are invisible to us. One of the things that attracts them the most is a pearly luminescence of the kind that we can see in an oil slick on a highway. CDs are another example of a man-made iridescent item. Iridescence depends on surface structure of the petal, so the tones change according to the angle at which the flower is seen.

Radowitz quotes researcher Beverley Glover as saying, "?It is intriguing to realize they are signaling to each other with flashing multicolors [that] we can't see."

Let's hope they stay around long enough for us to decipher more of their mysteries. Scientists are studying bees in order to figure out why there are fewer of them than there used to be.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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