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.

Jul 11, 2017
The Scientist Staff

A bumblebee buzzes against a flower.

KEITH BRUST, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

 

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.