1 Tahrcountry Musings: Like Human Beings Bees like a warm Drink on a Cold Day

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Like Human Beings Bees like a warm Drink on a Cold Day

I was fascinated to read about the preferences of bees for a hot drink on a cold day and vice versa cold drink on a hot day. The info is the outcome of study by insect scientists Drs Melanie Norgate and Adrian Dyer shows of Monash University.

As part of the research, on a cold day the researchers presented artificial flowers with nectar-like liquids that were warmer than the ambient temperature. At ambient temperatures of 23-30°C bees displayed a marked preference for feeding from artificial flowers which were warmer. Warmth along with nectar was an important component in the scheme of things.

Next the researchers measured the body temperature of bees after they had ingested warm nectar. It was noticed that warm nectar helped bees maintain a body temperature of 30-34°C which the researchers think is likely to be required by insects to maintain active flight.

The researchers now plan to investigate how the plants modify the temperature of their flowers to present rewards to pollinating insects. This modulation could be an important factor in the the distribution of flowers in different regions
Details of the research appears in the latest issue of journal PLoS One.

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