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:2/3/2016)... 2016 Vigilant Solutions announces today that the ... Missouri solved two recent hit-and-run cases ... from Vigilant Solutions. Brian Wenberg explains, ... victim was walking out of a convenience store and witnessed an elderly male ... vehicle, striking his vehicle and leaving the scene.  In ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2, 2016 This BCC Research report ... by reviewing the recent advances in high throughput ... the field forward. Includes forecast through 2019. ... challenges and opportunities that exist in the bioinformatic ... developers, as well as IT and bioinformatics service ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... RESTON, Va. , Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... contract award from the U.S. Army Research Office ... extend the range and sensitivity of the company,s ... DoD,s Past Accounting Mission and, more generally, defense-related ... its DNA phenotyping capabilities (predicting appearance and ancestry ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... - BioAmber Inc. (NYSE: BIOA ), a leader ... & Co. Ltd., its partner in the ... an additional CDN$25 million in the joint venture for ... to 40%.  Mitsui will also play a stronger role ... Sarnia , providing dedicated resources alongside BioAmber,s ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016  The Maryland House of Delegates and ... that University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean ... of Maryland Medical System President and CEO Robert ... the highest honor given to the public by the ... Dean Reece and Mr. Chrencik for their contributions ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... WASHINGTON , Feb.10, 2016 ASAE is ... and Association Management Companies (AMC) the option of joining ... flat annual fee determined by staff size, every employee ... to join ASAE and reap all available member benefits.   ... CAE. "Our new organizational membership options will allow organizations ...
(Date:2/10/2016)...  IsoRay, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ISR), a medical technology ... applications for the treatment of prostate, brain, lung, head ... results for the second quarter and six months of ... --> --> Revenue was ... which ended December 31, 2015, a 12% increase compared ...
Breaking Biology Technology: