29 June 2023
When bees visit flowers they collect two kinds of food: nectar for energy and pollen for protein and nutrients. The pollen is food for their larvae in the hive so they carry it home in the pollen sacks on their legs.
Filling the pollen sacks requires static electricity, grooming and a bit of nectar to make the pollen clump.
When a bee lands on a flower, the hairs all over the bees’ body attract pollen grains through electrostatic forces. Stiff hairs on their legs enable them to groom the pollen into specialized brushes or pockets on their legs or body, and then carry it back to their nest.
Because bee’s hairs are oppositely charged from the flowers, their the hairs stand on end as they approach them …
… and this makes it easier to find the flowers in flight. Learn more in this 2016 article:
(photos from Wikimedia Commons; click on the captions to see the originals)
Autor Kate St. John