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IPFS News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

For World Bee Day: Flowers Can Hear Buzzing Bees--And it Makes Their Nectar Sweeter

•, By Andy Corbley

Her work, not yet peer-reviewed, but available in a preprint repository, looked at the flowers of the evening primrose and used sound tests to prove they responded to the sound of bees' wings by increasing the sugar quantity in their nectar.

Reasoning that pollinators and flowers have co-evolved over a very, very long time, and that the world is completely saturated with sounds, Lilach Hadany, who teaches at the intersections between mathematics and biology at the University of Tel Aviv, felt it wouldn't make any sense for plants to ignore them.

Any living creature must make use of all its senses to survive until it can reproduce, and if one takes a moment to imagine how long a deaf or blind wildebeest would last on the Serengeti, they can see where Hadany is coming from.

To test her premise—that sound is an abundant natural resource that greatly aids in the quest to survive and thrive, Hadany subjected the flowers of the evening primrose to five  sound tests consisting of three different computer-generated frequencies, silence, and the recording of a honeybee's wingbeats.