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, 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 (41)
  • ChloeT-del
    10/24/2017 - 05:05 p.m.

    The main idea about this article is that some flowers have what they call a blue halo. It attracts bees to get nectar. Blue is a very vibrant color that attracts the bees to get nectar. I think this is a very smart and creative way to lure bees to flowers.

  • AkshayB-del
    10/24/2017 - 05:22 p.m.

    The story was really about how some flowers create blue halo to attract bees. Bees are drawn to the color blue so flowers use a trick of physics. This works by the plant produces 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. This will trick the bees and the bees would go to that flower help pollinate.

  • David M-del
    10/24/2017 - 05:43 p.m.

    The sun flower gets the bees attention is by making their petals blue because bees are attracted to blue.

  • EmilyN-del1
    10/24/2017 - 06:09 p.m.

    Some flowers now have blue halos to attract bees. They use the color blue because bees are attracted to blue. We need bees to pollinate the flowers so we could have a more beautiful earth.

  • SarahT-del
    10/24/2017 - 06:27 p.m.

    I never noticed a blue halo on flowers or that some only do that. Interesting how even flowers can use tricks for physics.

  • EsmeraldaV-del
    10/24/2017 - 06:29 p.m.

    Some flowers have found a way to attract bees. They create a blue halo, which attracts the attention of bees. Its like a sign saying " Hey! Over here! Come on!" The halo isn't a common trick, but its a good one to those who know how to use it. According to the article, most tulip species are among those who CAN do it.

  • JasminderK-del
    10/24/2017 - 07:25 p.m.

    I think it is cool that flowers can “trick” bees into thinking that they have a blue halo on them to attract them.

  • JaredI-del
    10/24/2017 - 08:16 p.m.

    the flowers don't want bees coming to them

  • JuliaA -del
    10/24/2017 - 08:27 p.m.

    The main idea of this article is how flowers use a blue halo to attract bees. Since flowers need pollen to survive, they attract the bees with a blue halo and it makes flowers more noticeable to the bees so the flowers won't die.

  • RushB-del
    10/24/2017 - 09:06 p.m.

    All flowers cannot do this because this not a natural process, if it extremely hard to turn pedals into different colors. That is why some flowers use physics to turn some parts blue.

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