Navigation Links
Bees attracted to contrasting colors when looking for nectar
Date:2/21/2013

Flower colors that contrast with their background are more important to foraging bees than patterns of colored veins on pale flowers according to new research, by Heather Whitney from the University of Cambridge in the UK, and her colleagues. Their observation of how patterns of pigmentation on flower petals influence bumblebees' behavior suggests that color veins give clues to the location of the nectar. There is little to suggest, however, that bees have an innate preference for striped flowers. The work is published online in Springer's journal, Naturwissenschaften - The Science of Nature.

Very few flowers are a simple block of a single color. Patterns of pigmentation include color patterns within a petal or different colors on different petals. These patterns are thought to be important for pollination. Bees can identify, and are sometimes attracted to, patterned flowers over plain flowers. These patterns can increase the speed with which bees locate the nectar reward in a flower.

Venation patterns - or lines of color on flower petals - are common in Antirrhinum flowers, commonly known as snapdragons. The authors looked at the ways in which these color veins influence bumblebee foraging behavior. They exposed bees who had not seen flowers before to veined, ivory and red types of snapdragon flowers. They observed whether bees could distinguish between ivory and veined flowers and which type of flower they preferred, when they were looking for nectar.

From the bees' perspective, red flowers reflected little light while red veins on ivory flowers slightly changed the color of the flower. The ivory background, however, had the most effect, as it contrasted with the brown background more than the red flowers did. Bees successfully discriminated between ivory and veined flowers but showed no preference for one or the other. In contrast, both ivory and veined flowers were significantly more popular than red flowers.

The authors conclude: "Venation patterns might be prevalent in nature because they can be useful nectar guides, particularly when they also increase flower visibility. But it appears that the color contrast of a flower with its background has a greater influence on bee preference."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joan Robinson
joan.robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Research reveals contrasting consequences of a warmer Earth
2. Looking into a flys eyes
3. Leaner Navy looking at future technology, fleet size and sequestration
4. Looking for the next American hyrax?
5. Better looking birds have more help at home with their chicks
6. Insect-eating bat outperforms nectar specialist as pollinator of cactus flowers
7. Got nectar? To hawkmoths, humidity is a cue
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 Vigilant Solutions , a vehicle ... agencies, announced today the appointment of retired FBI special ... safety business development. Mr. Sheridan brings more ... a focus on the aviation transportation sector, to his ... Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation Liaison Agent Coordinator ...
(Date:3/16/2017)... 2017 CeBIT 2017 - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG solutions "Made ... ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric ... ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... 23andMe , the leading personal genetics company, are ... can now provide customers with personalized nutrition plans that ... biometrics, but also genetic markers impacting how their body ... personalized food decision support platform uses biometrics such as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... for phase I clinical trials comes to Tampa, San Francisco and Boston in ... professionals representing FDA regulated organizations such as Pfizer Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals, Advaxis, Inc., ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... , April 26, 2017  Genisphere LLC, ... platform, has signed a collaborative and sponsored research ... Silvia Muro . The overall goal of ... pharmacodynamics of various 3DNA designs and formulations after ... targeting diseases of the vasculature as well as ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... Medicine & Rehabilitation, P.A. , proudly announced today that acclaimed physiatrist Matthew Terzella, ... duties on May 15, 2017. , Dr. Terzella completed his residency in Physical ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... recognized outstanding manufactures in 10 categories with over 30 nominees and well as ... Manufacturing presented the new award and the event was hosted by CompanyWeek and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: