SOME FLOW­ERS CRE­ATE BLUE HALO TO SAY HELLO TO FOR­AG­ING BEES

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - Have You Heard? -

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.

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