Image of the Day: Bees, Flowers, and Pollen Showers

Bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) can amass pollen by “buzzing”—or oscillating—against a flower, creating a gentle flurry of grains.

The Scientist Staff
Jul 11, 2017

A bumblebee buzzes against a flower.



A study published in Behavioral Ecology this spring (May 16) explores how bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) learn to collect pollen—an intricate process that, researchers find, they may be born knowing. One collection strategy involves vibrating or vigorously agitating a flower while accumulating the falling pollen.    

See A.L. Russell et al., “How a generalist bee achieves high efficiency of pollen collection on diverse floral resources,” Behavioral Ecology, doi:10.1093/beheco/arx058, 2017.