Nectar Guides

What we see as a plain white or yellow bloom is revealed to a bee as a complex diagram complete with lines and patches that serve as landing guides to efficiently move bees to nectar and pollen. Some overly hybridized flowers bred for human purposes and not insects’ abilities can be very confusing to six-legged visitors. I have watched a honey bee stagger aimlessly on a florist’s lily. What to me was a lovely pattern of white, yellow and pink spotting on an ivory background was incomprehensible to the bee. It was as if someone had pulled out all the street signs and rearranged them randomly, and the bee could find no guidance to the nectar in the flower’s throat.

William Cullina–Flowers with a touch of the blues (

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