Bee Beacons

Creation on Display

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“Yellow Seven, activate UV scanner, and we’ll guide you in.”

“Roger, Control; scanner activated. . . . Whoa—hard to miss that big, beautiful bullseye! Okay, transitioning to hover . . . and touchdown. Oh, yeah, this is a rich one. We’ll fill the hopper here and return to base.”

“Roger, Yellow Seven. Happy flying, and we thank you for your business!”

That’s probably not an exact translation, but flowers guide bees in ways invisible to human eyes. And the bees have some pretty sophisticated onboard equipment to detect those floral beacons.

With eyes that see in ultraviolet, bees perceive flowers differently than humans do. And that’s by design. Where you might see a sea of yellow or white petals, bees see a bullseye pattern that directs them to the main concentration of nectar and pollen. Of course, since the bee pollinates the flower as it forages, the arrangement benefits both parties.

Although researchers don’t know exactly how these colors appear to bees (after all, we can’t see those wavelengths), ultraviolet photography reveals dramatic patterns that Jesus the Creator designed to benefit both bee and flower.

How Bees See Dandelions

Bjorn Rorslett | Science Source

How bees see a dandelion (left) compared to how we see a dandelion (right).

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