Bumblebees prefer striped flowers: Study

October 12th, 2010 - 5:55 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Oct 12 (ANI): A research has suggested that gardeners can help maintain bumblebee populations by growing flowers equipped with “landing lights”.

“Stripes following the veins of flowers are one of the most common floral pigmentation patterns, so we thought there must be some advantage for pollination,” the Scotsman quoted Professor Cathie Martin, from the John Innes Centre in Norwich, as saying.

“Stripes provide a visual guide for pollinators, directing them to the central landing platform and the entrance to the flower where the nectar and pollen can be found. We examined the origin of this trait and found that it has been retained through snapdragon ancestry,” Martin added.

Researchers observed bumblebees foraging among different snapdragon strains over a number of successive summers. They found that striped flowers were visited significantly more frequently than those with plain white or pink petals.

A team of New Zealand scientists also took part in the research, published in the journal New Phytologist. (ANI)

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