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
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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.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why don’t all flowers do this?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (56)
  • abrei-wim
    10/27/2017 - 01:06 p.m.

    I think that this discovery is very cool. I've never seen plants that can make a certain color through physics.

  • kmurp-wim
    10/27/2017 - 01:09 p.m.

    I think this is a cool article because it shows how talented the flowers are. This shows how flowers get the bees attracted to them. They use there skills to get the pollen out of the flower

  • kstid-wim
    10/27/2017 - 01:11 p.m.

    Some flowers can not make this blue halo because some flowers will not have a big pigmented area. Without this pigmented area the light can't hit the flower in a certain way causing the blue halo not to appear.

  • wvols-wim
    10/27/2017 - 01:12 p.m.

    I think this article is interesting because you don't usually hear that bees are attracted to the color blue. so hearing that the flowers are attracted to blue is different and interesting.

  • cheyl-orv
    10/29/2017 - 09:18 p.m.

    i think it is really interesting how some flowers use the sun to make them blue so more bees come. i didn't know bees where attracted to blue until now.

  • jazminew-orv
    10/30/2017 - 11:54 a.m.

    I think this is a very cool, unique flower. I think the bees like this flower more than average flowers.

  • SiddA-mac
    11/06/2017 - 08:18 a.m.

    Cool article. Not very a surprise cuz i watch the news everyday. And i have already seen this. But very interesting did you know bees are not only attracted to blue but dark colors. So, wear bright colors if u are near a beehive. Then there are less chances of u getting stung.


  • JahmiaPF-mac
    11/06/2017 - 08:20 a.m.

    The reason why all flowers don't do this,is because its hard for them to make the blue color on there own. So they use the trick of physics and they use sunlight so the blue halo gets produced.

  • AlanH-mac
    11/06/2017 - 08:21 a.m.

    I dont think the flowers can do this because they dont have a big anough holo in the middle of the flower so it cant fill in all the pedals with blue.

  • RyanS-mac1
    11/06/2017 - 08:21 a.m.

    All flower do not do this because not all flower are blue and not all flowers have blue petals.They also do not all have halos and if they did they would work with bees.

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