How bees see flowers differently than us

Many species of insects such as bees can see ultraviolet light (which is invisible to the human eye), this makes their world appear more psychedelic, especially when looking at flowers 🐝...

If you've spotted a bee buzzing around, chance are it's in search of food! Bees are the most prolific pollinators in nature, they spend most of their days feeding on and delivering pollen and nectar to the hive. 

What's even more fascinating is that over time certain flowers have evolved to specifically attract bees as their main pollinators. These flowers tend to be yellow, bright white, or blue in colour and full of nectar of course! However, you won't typically find a bee snacking on red flowers because they can't see the colour red. As mentioned above, they see the world much differently than us when it comes to colours and UV lights. 

Numerous flowers contain regions that reflect UV light only bees and other insects can see, this light helps guide them to the flower's juicy nectar and pollen. One study revealed this process happens through UV reflecting vs UV absorbing areas of the flower, which allow them navigate between the petals and stamens (the pollen producing part of a flower) to find exactly what they're looking for.   

So once they collect all of this pollen and nectar with the help of vivd coloured flowers and guiding UV lights, how do they transport it to the hive? Bees can carry up to 30% of their own weight in pollen in one load, they’re efficiently designed for that in a few ways. First, they suck up all the flowers goodness with their straw-like mouths and collect it in small sacs. They also have branched hairs that help them pick up pollen along the way while they're feeding, some have even developed basket-like structures on their hind-legs that can also be used for transporting. 

Although we may never see the world exactly as they do, this innovative photography process allows us to have a look through their eyes! Photographer Craig Burrows developed some amazing photos using ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence photography, with high intensity UV lights to help illuminate the flowers. 

His specific process of soaking the flowers in UV light then capturing the photos with a special sense filter results in the flowers emitting their own fluorescence. These psychedelic photos will have you staring in amazement. Apparently it is very difficult to capture, so enjoy! 

In the eyes of the bees 🐝..

 It's no surprise why bees love their flowers when they look this groovy! 🐝 🐝

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