The Electric Garden "Scientists in England recently discovered a fascinating technique that flowers use to communicate with bees. Flowers use electric fields to let bees know which flowers to land on, and which flowers to pass by.
Here’s how it works: As a bee flies around the garden, dust and other particles in the air strip electrons from the surface of the bee. This friction gives the bee a positive electrical charge. Flowers, on the other hand, in their gentle wind-swaying stillness, have a negative charge.
When a bee lands on a flower, the flower instantly takes on the positive charge of the bee. After the bee pollinates the flower and flies away, the flower retains this positive charge for another ninety seconds or so. The bees that follow sense this positive charge and understand that this particular flower has recently been pollinated. The bees move on to find flowers with a negative charge that have more nectar and more pollen to offer.
A bee may visit up to 5,000 flowers in a single day. Flowers need bees to spread this contact across the greatest number of flowers to ensure maximum pollination. And the electric fields of flowers help bees organize their work.
Flowers use rich colors to attract bees, soft and sticky textures, symmetrical shapes, heady perfumes, and even ultra-violet light to draw bees into the flower. Plants literally train bees to seek out their flowers when the nectar is at its peak of sweetness--the perfect moment for pollination.
The flowers themselves must all bloom simultaneously to make this work; to capture and hold the attention of the bees. The flowers are guided through their flowering by precise changes in soil temperature, rainfall, and sunshine; and the changes in sun and rain are compelled by even greater forces.
Beneath the seemingly erratic flight of bees, there is a grand design at work. Every part of the garden is linked to all the other parts in a complex network of relationships--and the gardener is an important part of this network.
To attract bees to your garden, generously plant flowers among your vegetables. Nasturtiums, marigolds, Queen Anne’s lace, cosmos, and sunflowers are all great companions to vegetable crops. Bees especially love the flavor of herbs: plant basil, dill, and cilantro in between your vegetable plants and let them go to flower. And the best plant of all to attract bees is blue borage, with its little blue flowers shaped like stars.
Flowers bring successive waves of color and fragrance to your vegetable garden. The flowers are beautiful, and for bees, the flowers are electric: they turn off and on like lights to guide bees through the pollination of your garden.
Justin Butts is a local farmer, business owner...and apparently a wonderful photographer!!
▼ Popular Categories
"The Electric Garden" by Justin Butts
Leave a CommentDisqus Method (below): No Login Required. SKIP Password field and click "I'd rather post as a guest." How?
While expressing your opinions through our blog's commenting system, please observe our strict guidelines:
Hateful comments (with or without profanity) will not be published. Solely negative comments that contain no constructive message whatsoever will not be published.
Comments that serve as a promotional addendum for a business or organization (for example: plugs or promotes a special, coupon, service, product or sales event) will not be published, as this is paid information. Exceptions include 'Recommendations Needed' posts. Businesses are asked not to promote their own business through our commenting system.
Comments which contain promotional, time-sensitive information such as event specifics will not be published, as this is paid information. Please see our Submit a Listing page for information on how to submit events.
Please select your words carefully. Once comments have been submitted to the WWN commenting system and/or published, it may not be possible to delete or remove comments.
Comments should be no more than 2,000 characters in length.
It is generally recommended not to name individuals in your comments or isolate them in your pictures in a negative way, who have not given you permission to do so.
Please Comment on the Correct Thread (Post): To help folks find your comment and respond, please be sure you are staying on topic on the correct corresponding post/article. For example, one wouldn't comment about an up and coming election on a help wanted listing. Off topic comments will be removed to avoid confusion.
The WWN does not guarantee that all comments will be archived indefinitely.
The WWN reserves the right to have final discretion regarding the publishing of any and all comments.
(Last Update to Comment Policy: June 20, 2016.)
Currently Trending in the Network
What was Rockport was like back in the day? Take a peek when you see the exhibit, Texas Settlers & their Buildings, beginning Sat, M...
“Kayla, can you recommend things that actually jump-start your metabolism. I've tried some of the things articles suggest, ...
The City will undertake its annual pesticide spraying for the prevention and eradication of “wooly worms” at various parks on Monday, Marc...
At the second annual Duck Race, sponsored by the Friends of the Pool, more than 500 rubber ducks raced to the finish line. Three winning duc...
Roving Reporter | "Preening Heron" by Kent Ullberg Installed, RCA Sculpture Garden | Photo by Pamela FulcherIt's here!...“Preening Heron,” Kent Ullberg’s cast stainless steel monument for the RCA Sculpture Garden will be dedicated before the 2...
Comforts of Home, 103 South Austin Street, Rockport, Texas 78382, (361)727-1471. We are looking for a mature and responsible person with a...
Latitude 28.02 Coastal Cuisine is seeking an experienced waiter. Please apply in person Tuesday-Saturday 2:00 - 6:00 p.m. If unable to a...
Despite torrential rain and brisk, northern winds, more than 100 people showed up for the 29th Annual Whooping Crane Strut on Saturday, Marc...