Bees can sense – and learn from – the electric fields of flowers | Ars Technica

In the past, scientists have suggested that these differing charges encourage the transfer of pollen between flower and bee, helping the tiny pollen grains “jump” onto the pollinator. However, the new study showed that the bee’s landing actually influences the flower’s electrical charge—increasing it slightly—for a short period of time. The study’s authors hypothesize that this change may signal to the next bee that the flower has just been visited and that its nectar stash is depleted. Other cues, such as a flower’s shape or color, sometimes change in response to a bee’s visit, but these changes can take hours. The electrical field, on the other hand, changes almost instantaneously, providing a nearly immediate signal to incoming bees.

Via Bees can sense—and learn from—the electric fields of flowers | Ars Technica.

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