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Bees get a buzz out of electricity from flowers
How do bumblebees find the best flowers in the field? It’s not just by smell, as you might think. It turns out that flowers generate a small electric field that bees can sense, drawing them in for a delicious taste of nectar.
A team of researchers from the University of Bristol in the U.K. has studied these electric fields and published the buzz about the revelation in this week’s issue of Science.
The researchers found that flowers generate a very slight negative electric charge from their connection to the ground. The bees, by comparison, have a positive charge generated by their physical activity. “When bees are flying through the air, just the friction of the air and the friction of the body parts on one another causes the bee to become positively charged,” researcher Gregory Sutton told NPR.
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