Some flowers create blue halo to attract bees This 2015 photo provided by Edwige Moyroud shows a Hibiscus trionum flower. The region at the base of the petals contains a dark pigment but appears blue at certain angles due to an optical effect on the surface of the cells. The color makes flowers more visible to the bees. (Edwige Moyroud via AP)
Some flowers create blue halo to attract bees
Lexile

Some flowers have found a nifty way to get the blues.
 
They create a blue halo to attract bees. That's what scientists reported last Wednesday. Flowers need bees for pollination. Bees are drawn to the color blue. But it's hard for flowers to make that color in their petals.

Instead, some flowers use a trick of physics. They produce a blue halo when sunlight strikes a series of tiny ridges in their thin waxy surfaces. The ridges alter how the light bounces back. This affects the color that one sees.

The halos appear over pigmented areas of a flower. People can see them over darkly colored areas if they look from certain angles.

The halo trick is uncommon among flowers. But many tulip species are among those that can do it. Some kinds of daisy and peony species can do it, too. That’s according to Edwige Moyroud. She works at Cambridge University in England.

Moyroud and others analyzed the flower surfaces and used artificial flowers to show that bumblebees can see the halos. The study was published last Wednesday by the journal Nature.

An accompanying commentary said the paper shows how flowers that aren't blue can still use that color to attract bees. Further work should see whether the halo also attracts other insects, wrote Dimitri Deheyn. He is with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. It is in La Jolla, California.

Filed Under:  
Assigned 227 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why don’t all flowers do this?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (52)
  • Neveahh-orv
    10/24/2017 - 11:51 a.m.

    well I really like flowers. I really don't like bees because they are a harming animal to me.I like honey bees but I don't like regular bees because they sting you when you mess with them.When you don't mess with them then they will still sting you. I really like the smell of flowers and I really like flowers a lot.I just don't like bees that much.

  • rachelb-cel
    10/24/2017 - 12:27 p.m.

    The topic of this article is well developed, clear, and easy to follow. However, in my opinion this article is not as successful as it could have been because of the timeliness of it. If this article had been produced closer to spring time, people may be more interested in the topic of flowers, because of the possibility that they are starting on a garden and would like to know more about flowers and what they will attract.

  • Gracie-moo1
    10/25/2017 - 11:23 a.m.

    The article was very informing. It tells you a lot about the flower and how it tricks the bees into taking the flowers pollen. I never knew how smart flowers were. thank you for the information.

  • aidank-3
    10/25/2017 - 11:25 a.m.

    I really found this article really interesting because i have never really heard of people finding this out yet. I thought that how flowers used the light that reflects off of the surface of the flower to attract bees and also how the light reflects as the color blue was very odd, but yet a very intriguing topic to read about.

  • Rylee-moo
    10/25/2017 - 02:13 p.m.

    This article is great!!

  • Hayley-moo1
    10/25/2017 - 03:21 p.m.

    Flowers are so interesting.

  • kylel-buh
    10/26/2017 - 09:51 a.m.

    some flowers have found a nifty way to get blue. they create blue halos to attract bees.


    MY OPINION IS: That this is an awesome example on how plants adapt to nature!!! I wonder how far this blue halo will pred?

  • keidene-orv
    10/26/2017 - 02:36 p.m.

    this was very cool i never knew that bees only see the color blue it would be cool to know if other bugs are attract to i think that most flowers don't do it because it might attract the wrong bug

  • aiyanaa-orv
    10/27/2017 - 11:17 a.m.

    I didn't know that flowers could make there center blue. I think that's its cool that they can do that. I think it would be really cool to see a flower with a blue center.

  • graceh-cel
    10/27/2017 - 12:14 p.m.

    Some flowers only do this when the sun strokes ridges in the waxy surfaces. It depends on the sunlight amount.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT