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University research highlights the force of flower buzzing by bees

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The research led by Dr David Pritchard, a post doctorate research fellow within the university’s Faculty of Natural Sciences in collaboration with another colleague from the university Associate Professor Mario Vallejo-Marinhas, found that “flower buzzing” provided forces of more than 50 G which is far greater than that experienced by fighter jet pilots.

Flower buzzing can be described as when a bee vibrates a flower to attach pollen to its body.

Commenting on the environmental aspects of the research Dr Pritchard said “Buzz-pollinated flowers represent some of our most important economic crops – such as potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines and blueberries – and understanding how bees buzz these flowers also provides an important insight into how these flowers co-evolved with bees. This is important because it helps us better understand what these flowers need in order to be pollinated.”

Pritchard added “We found that flower buzzes were much more powerful than those used for defence or flight – suggesting that, rather than being due to drag, bees might have evolved different types of buzzes for different tasks.”

The study is part of a wider project funded by a Leverhulme Trust grant awarded to Dr Vallejo-Marin and Dr Gema Martin Ordas, from the division of Psychology at the university and Professor Fernando Montealegre-Zapata who is a professor of sensory biology at the University of Lincoln.

The research is available to read here

Feature image: BBC.com

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