Many of us talk to our plants, because we think it helps them grow. Now there is research which shows bees communicate with flowers through the vibrations of their wings, so our premise may not be too far-fetched. See Do you talk to your plants? We potentially achieve the same thing with the vibrations generated by the frequencies of our voice.
Israeli researcher Lilach Hadany has found the buzzing of nearby bees causes Evening Primroses (Oenothera drummondii) to respond with sweeter nectar. It seems the frequency of the bees’ wings generates the sweeter response.
Beach Evening Primrose
Hadany chose the Evening Primrose because it has a long bloom time and produces measurable amounts of nectar. It also grows wild on the beaches and other natural areas in Tel Aviv, so it was readily available as a research specimen.
Further, although the blossoms vary in size and shape, they are parabolic or bowl-shaped — a perfect acoustical shape — much like a TV satellite dish. This shape is perfect for absorbing and then passing on the sound waves from the buzzing to the nectar source.
What does this mean?
Her team tested the plants with a variety of frequencies used by pollinators and no frequency at all. Within three minutes of exposure to the frequencies, sugar concentration increased 12 to 20 percent. They tested the same frequencies with one or more petals removed, so the bowl shape was no longer prominent, and the plants did not respond as well to the buzzing at all frequencies.
The theory is the sweeter the nectar, the more insects are drawn to the plant, thus increasing the chances for successful cross-pollination. Researchers found nine times more pollinators buzz around plants visited within six minutes by another pollinator.
Next week is Pollinator Week. Stay tuned for more info on pollinators.
Thank you Kathy Jones for making me aware of this latest study.