Sep 25 2012
Did you know that bumblebees purposely vibrate flowers to release their pollen?
Bumblebees collect both nectar and pollen to feed their young. For the most part they travel from flower to flower and quickly gather what they need, but when a good food source is uncooperative they may resort to force.
When the flower entrance is nearly sealed, as in closed gentians, the bumblebee forces her way in. When the flower’s anthers won’t release pollen, the bumblebee shakes them. She does this by grabbing hold of the flower and vibrating her flight muscles — that’s what makes her buzz — so the technique is called buzz pollination.
Thus, bumblebees are often hired to pollinate greenhouse tomatoes.
Grab hold and shake!
(photo by Chuck Tague)