Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wednesday Explorers Club ~ Smelly Bee Feet

There are bees all over my garden! Bumble bees, carpenter bees, tiny metallic green bees, hairy gray sweat bees, and lots and lots of honey bees. Which means, I have lots of bees to watch when I get tired of weeding.

One of the things I've been wondering is how bees can tell whether there's food waiting inside the flowers they're about to land on. Sure, honey bees dance out directions to their sisters about where the best nectar can be found - but what if another bee got there first?

Turns out that bees - at least bumble bees - can tell whether someone else has visited a flower by the stinky feet print left behind. Yup. Bees have smelly feet, say researchers at the University of Bristol. This means the bees can tell whether they've visited a flower before, and even whether one of their nest-mates has been there. You can read the entire study here.

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