Learn how bees know which flowers have more nectar.
Flowers can communicate with bees using electric fields.
The bees pick up on the signals being given off by plants, which might be a way to let the bees know what kind of flower the plant is, and if the flower has already by drained of its nectar by another pollinator.
A study from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom shows that the bees react to the small negative electric charge given off by the plants.
The bees have a positive charge caused by flying through the air, so when the plant and bee come together there is an electrical reaction.
The charge of the plant remains changed for a while after the bee flies away.
Bees and flowers evolved together in a symbiotic relationship, and scientists already know that the petal color and scent of a flower are sensed by pollinators.
Co-author of the study Professor Daniel Robert said: “They are talking to each other and continually exchanging information."
Researchers think that the bees pick up on the electrical fields of the plants with tiny hair on their body, similar to how the small electrical current of a television can cause static to make a human’s hair stand up.