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Scientists: Bumblebees can detect Flowers’ Electric Fields

Scientists discovered in their study that Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) can detect flowers' electric fields.

Feb 24, 2013 17:58 IST
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Scientists discovered in their study that Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) can detect flowers' electric fields. Scientific study indicated that floral electric fields improve the bees' ability to discriminate between different flowers. When used with visual signals, electrical cues can increase the bee's memory of floral rewards. Scientists hinted that this method of signalling provides speedy and dynamic communication between plants and pollinators.Flowering plants provide pollinators with nectar and pollen in exchange for their assistance in the flowers' sexual reproduction.

Usually, Flowers attract pollinators using cues such as bright colours, patterns and enticing fragrances but this study for the first time revealed the significance of electrostatic information as an additional cue. The investigation done by the scientists put emphasis on the possible importance of electrostatic forces.

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