We all know that bees are just about the most important little critters on the planet and to me one of the most fascinating. It seems every day I learn something new and it blows my mind. Rachael posted on Instagram an incredible video of one of our lovely ladies buzzing around a sunflower, gathering some pollen and just being spectacularly beautiful. Much to our delight Save The Bees Australia – Bee The Cure saw the video and posted the following comment regarding bees and electrical charges. I have never heard of such a thing, and once again my mind was blown.
“Bees cross pollinating flowers and plants is the reason for the majority of vegetable life on earth and this all life. Flowers and plants are very well grounded, not surprising since a plants very nature is grounding via their complex root systems. Bees have a strong positive charge and thus attract the pollen to their bodies and fur with an almost anti-gravitic effect. Bees actually detect flowers based on the nature of their electric charge. Bees use their electric field as a detection sensor and navigation tool. Scientists have, however, known about the electric side of pollination since the 1960s, although it is rarely discussed. As bees fly through the air, they bump into charged particles from dust to small molecules. The friction of these microscopic collisions strips electrons from the bee’s surface, and they typically end up with a positive charge. Flowers, on the other hand, tend to have a negative charge. When the positively charged bee arrives at the negatively charged flower, sparks don’t fly but pollen does. It is suspected that bees defect small electrical power forces that move some of the bee’s body parts, perhaps the hairs on its body. In the same way that a rubbed balloon makes you hair stand on end, perhaps a charged flower provides a bee with detectable tugs and shoves.The bees, in turn, change the charge of whatever flower they land upon. This change starts just before the bee lands, which shows that it’s nothing to do with the insect physically disturbing the flower. And it lasts for just under two minutes, which is longer than the bee typically spends on its visit.This changing field can tell a bee whether a flower has been recently visited, and might be short of nectar. It’s like a sign that says “Closed for business. Be right back.” It’s also a much more dynamic signal than more familiar ones like colour, patterns or smells. All of these are fairly static. Flowers can change them, but it takes minutes or hours to do so.”