Bees follow scent patterns on flowers

A captive bumblebees walks across the surface of an artificial flower, working out the pattern of scent that researchers made by placing peppermint oil in some of the holes. ©Dave Lawson/University of Bristol

Bees don’t just follow visual patterns on flowers. They also follow patterns of scent, a team of British researchers found. A study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B found that bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) tell flowers apart by how scent is arranged on their surfaces due to patterns of scent-producing cells. By creating artificial flowers, the researchers found these patterns could act as a signal to bees.

Read more in the Guardian or read the study here.