Flowers with Special "Velcro" for Bees

bee on a flower

Bees have a very special relationship with flowers and they have evolved to adapt to them. Flowers have even evolved a kind of “Natural Velcro” which helps bees hang onto the flower when they collect nectar.

Microscopic conical cells line the petals of most flowers, but scientists were never absolutely positive about what they were for. But now researchers in Britain have shown that they serve the purpose of helping bees latch on, which makes it easier for them to feed.

Beverly Glover of the University of Cambridge says that without these cells bees would be left, “scrabbling and sliding.” She added, “I have been studying these cells for many years and had always wondered whether this simple explanation could be the reason for their presence.”

“For bees to maintain their balance and hold on to a flower is no easy task, especially in windy or wet conditions. Evolution has come up with the simple solution of equipping flowers with a Velcro-like surface that bees can get a grip on.”

As plants are extremely reliant on bees they have made a number of developments simply to attract this insect that is crucial for their survival.

[Via: Times Online]

Flowers with Special "Velcro" for Bees was last modified: May 23rd, 2009 by admin
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