SOME FLOWERS CREATE BLUE HALO TO SAY HELLO TO FORAGING BEES
Some flowers have found a nifty way to get the blues.
They create a blue halo, apparently to attract the bees they need for pollination. Bees are drawn to the colour blue, but it’s hard for flowers to make that colour 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 colour that one sees. The halos appear over pigmented areas of a flower, and people can see them over darkly coloured 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 of Cambridge University in England. Moyroud and others analysed the flower surfaces and used artificial flowers to show that bumblebees can see the halos.