December 20, 2010

New bee vision database useful for food security and more

A Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)-funded Ph.D. student at Queen Mary, University of London has been involved in developing FReD - the Floral Reflectance Database - which holds data on what colours flowers appear to be to bees. This resource may be useful for scientists in a variety of fields and not least those looking at the important role bees play in pollinating food crops - an area of research that will contribute to future food security.

BBSRC-funded Ph.D. student Sarah Arnold said: "We have created a database in which the colours of flowers are indexed from this vitally important pollinator's point of view." Knowing how bees see colours gives us a better idea of which flower colours are the most successful at attracting bees to pollinate them. In the past, records of flower colours did not take the visual systems of pollinator insects into account. Bees - for example - have evolved completely different colour detection mechanisms to humans and can see colours outside our own capabilities in the ultra-violet range. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.
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