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, apparently 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, which affects the color that one sees.

The halos appear over pigmented areas of a flower and 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, along with some kinds of daisy and peony, are among those that can do it, said Edwige Moyroud. She works at Cambridge University in England.

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

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 of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why don’t all flowers do this?
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COMMENTS (36)
  • JadeR-del
    10/24/2017 - 04:03 p.m.

    All flowers do not have this blue halo trick because it is uncommon and they do not need the blue halo to attract bees. The blue halo affect is more like a trick up the flowers sleeve- i mean stem and all flowers just do not need this trick.

  • MarianaG-del
    10/24/2017 - 04:06 p.m.

    This article is about the colors that bees like, how plants make the blue halo and which plants.

  • GregoryM-del
    10/24/2017 - 04:07 p.m.

    A blue halo is a unique trait among types of flowers. Many tulip species as well with some daisy and peony are among the plants that can do this

  • NatalieH-del
    10/24/2017 - 04:20 p.m.

    Scientists found how certain flowers, such as tulips, daisies, and peonies attract bees. They create a blue halo! They appear over pigmented areas of a flower and can only be seen from certain angles.

  • AnnabelleA-del
    10/24/2017 - 04:25 p.m.

    The main idea of this lovely article is about the blue halo that flowers are able to produce. Flowers have trouble making blue, which is key to bees and pollination. Since bees are attracted to blue, the flowers adapted and created a cell pigment that has a wonderful blue that the bees will love.

  • ChloeR-del
    10/24/2017 - 04:37 p.m.

    All flowers don't make the blue halo because their structure is different. Not all flowers have the waxy surfaces and the tiny ridges that help the flowers in this article make the blue halo. But they have many other tricks!

  • ZofiaT-del
    10/24/2017 - 04:38 p.m.

    The main idea of this article is how flowers use a blue halo to attract bees. The flowers desperately need pollen to live. Because the bees carry the pollen, the flowers make a blue halo to attract bees, getting the pollen in the process.

  • PedroM-del1
    10/24/2017 - 04:53 p.m.

    All flowers don't do this because it is uncommon among the flowers.

  • PedroM-del1
    10/24/2017 - 04:53 p.m.

    I love flowers and I love the color blue so this is really amazing

  • WilliamF-del
    10/24/2017 - 04:56 p.m.

    Some flowers get blue halos around their petals. This attracts many bees to pollinate. This helps plants during the spring.

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