Upside down foraging and more

“Bees prefer to forage upside down on these flowers so their hind legs and bee butts are warmed by the dark petals as they drink nectar and collect pollen –

Peter Bernhardt, Ph.D., a professor of biology at SLU and research associate at the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust in Sydney, New South Wales, has been studying reproductive patterns in wildflowers in six countries for more than 40 years and, like most dedicated scientists, thrives on new discoveries such as how bees respond to the color of the flowers they pollinate.

“Remember how you were told that a dark coat keeps you a little warmer on a cold but sunny day?” Bernhardt said. “Some plants blooming in chilly environments have dark purple or almost black patches on their flowers to keep cold-blooded insects toasty warm as they pollinate.”

Exerpt from ‘News from the world of bees’ 14 Jan 2017

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