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Bees Electrical Sense Flowers

February 24, 2013

What do you suppose a flower looks like to a bee?
If the bee is using electricity, this is it.  Anne Leonard at the University of Nevada says that bees detect the negative electrical charge surrounding a flower. Furthermore, the bee has positive charge–s0 when it lands on the flower, it picks up the negatively charged pollen grains.

In Science magazine, researchers built a fake flower field to test whether bees decide where to land based on electrical charge.  They concluded that “electric field constitutes a floral cue.” I’m sure some readers will wonder why such research gets funded (by the Leverhulme Trust and other British agencies.) But think of the possible applications. If bees can sense electrical fields, why not humans? This may be just what we need to invent the next Toynet.

One Comment
  1. Doug permalink
    February 25, 2013 11:27 am

    Grinders are already doing this with implanted rare-earth magnets.
    Some grinders are going beyond that to investigate implanting other devices to enhance their senses.
    But sticking with just electric fields, Grindhouse Wetwares has create a device (Bottlenose) that can take range-finder distance (or temperature) data and turn it into vibrating magnetic fields that anyone with implanted magnets can sense.

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