There is a remarkable relationship in nature between bees and flowers. The flowers provide food for the bees, while the bees play an important role in the reproductive process of plants. Both sides benefit from the arrangement and no one is getting the upper hand in the relationship.
Built for Attraction
In a way, bees and flowers are really meant for each other. Scientists say that flowers are mostly colourful and attractive not by accident. They are visually captivating for a reason. They are supposed to attract the attention of animals such as birds and especially bees. The plants need the bees in order to complete their pollination which is an important step in the reproductive process of most plants.
When the bees move from one flower to another, they transfer the pollen and that completes the process. There is no way for the flowers to transfer the pollens without any help. They would really require outside agents for that.
A Major Food Source
While bees are helping out flowering plants, they are not doing it out of charity. They are getting their food out of the process. The main reason why bees are drawn to flowers is because they are drawn by the nectar in the flower. They gather the nectar and they bring it back to their hive. The nectar is what they process into honey.
It is not just the nectar that they get from the flowers. The pollen which is what the flowers need to be transferred in order to reproduce can also become food for the bees. Pollen is an excellent source of protein for bees. If you can see the bees at work, you would see them carrying pollen on their legs which especially adapted to the purpose. They carry it back to the hive where they feed from it.
The bees mix pollen that they have gathered from the flowers with the honey that they make from the nectar. The resulting food is what they give to the young bees. Some bees in the colony also produce a special kind of food called royal jelly. Feeding this kind of food to bee larva would result in a queen bee.
Since honey is directly produced from the nectar gathered from flowers, it is not surprising that the flavour of the honey that can be had is influenced by the kind of plant where the nectar came from. This information is important to beekeepers who would like the honey that they can gather to be of the highest quality possible.
Bees and Electric Fields
Traditionally it has been held that bees are drawn to flowers through their normal senses, but there could be more than that. Researchers have proven that bees have the ability to detect the natural electric field of flowers. They use this in order to tell the flowers from each other. It seems that they can differentiate between the electric fields around each flower, making it a sort of signature mark. This discovery provides a new light in the way that bees and flowers interact.
This article was brought to you thanks to the team at Gaddys Plant Hire in Sydney, Australia. All round good guys of the indoor plant hire scene!