Friday, September 28, 2012

Sipping nectar

Sipping nectar by andiwolfe
Sipping nectar, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

Most people never think of bee tongues, so here's a picture of a bee sipping nectar. There are short- and long-tongued bees, and flowers have shapes and sizes adapted to the various bees that are their pollinators. It's kind of an evolutionary arms race. Flowers need pollinators to help with their reproduction, but they need to minimize the cheating for their floral rewards. Pollinators need to out compete each other to secure the nectar and pollen before their rivals. This relationship between flowers and pollinators has resulted in the great diversity of flower shapes, sizes, scent, nectar content, etc. I think the whole thing is pretty cool.....

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