Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hold on to those Petals

Ever wondered how bees and other insects hold on to flowers on a windy day? Well, it appears bees prefer petals with pointed cells, which are found in the majority of flowers from protea to roses. However, the reason for the partiality has remained largely a mystery, until now.

Recently, a team of research experts recreated a 'shaking platform' to imitate the way flowers move in the wind, using both pointed-celled flowers and varieties with flat cells. They found that the more they shook the platform, the more bees opted for the pointed petals. It appears the bees use the gaps between the cells as footholds in blustery weather, locking their claws into them in a similar way to Velcro fabric fasteners, and helping them hold on to the flowers. Until now, nobody knew exactly what these cells were for. All long we've been looking at flowers from a human perspective, but when we put ourselves into the bee's shoes we find hidden features in flowers and their petals that we didn't know existed! 

1 comment:

  1. As Always... Interesting, Informative and Beautiful!! Thanks Mel and Diana...