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News stories tagged with "pollination"

Bumblebee on miniature petunia. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/spike55151/4799765572/">spike55151</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Bumblebee on miniature petunia. Photo: spike55151, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Natural Selections: Bumblebees and "flower power"

Static electricity plays a role in getting pollen to come loose from the blossom and to stick to the pollinator. According to a recent study using petunias and bumblebees, British researchers observed that the flowers increase their electrical charge in response to the presence of pollinating insects. The charge peaks in intensity just before the potential pollinator begins feeding on nectar, and decreases after they go away. Martha Foley and naturalist Curt Stager discuss this unique example of "flower power."  Go to full article
One would expect coffee blossoms to give a little caffeine "buzz," but so do flowers in the citrus family. Honeybees on an orange blossom. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/danorth1/3442778069/">Daniel Orth</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
One would expect coffee blossoms to give a little caffeine "buzz," but so do flowers in the citrus family. Honeybees on an orange blossom. Photo: Daniel Orth, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Natural Selections: Flowers, bees... and caffeine

Plants have many strategies for manipulating animals to do their bidding. Some flowers focus the attention of their pollinators with a familiar pick-me-up--caffeine. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss the natural world.  Go to full article
Ruby-throated Hummingbird engaging in a little pollination. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/puttefin/5976511704/">Kelly Colgan Azar</a>, CC some rights reserved
Ruby-throated Hummingbird engaging in a little pollination. Photo: Kelly Colgan Azar, CC some rights reserved

Natural Selections: Unusual pollinators

Everyone is familiar with how bees and insects distribute pollen from one flower to another, but that's not the only way to get the job done. Some night-blooming plants are pollinated by bats, when bright floral colors are invisible. And hummingbirds might just get their nectar without picking up any pollen. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss the unusual strategies some plants can use to attract and hold the interest of the unusual animals that pollinate them.  Go to full article
Bumblebee pollinating blueberries. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/pollinatorsinfo/">Athena Rayne Anderson</a>, CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
Bumblebee pollinating blueberries. Photo: Athena Rayne Anderson, CC some rights reserved

Natural Selections: Native pollinators

With the collapse of the population of the European honeybee, introduced to North America in colonial times, many growers are looking for aids in pollinating their crops. But the honeybee may not be the most effective bee. Bumblebees and other native pollinators do a better job on crops like blueberries and cranberries. Martha Foley and Curt Stager discuss.  Go to full article
Ted Elk scrapes honey off of a comb.  Yum!  Photos: Julie Grant
Ted Elk scrapes honey off of a comb. Yum! Photos: Julie Grant

Tough times for bees

We get one of every three bites of food from crops pollinated by bees. That's about $15 billion into the U.S. economy each year. But North Country beekeepers are losing huge numbers of their little, busy coworkers.

Apiarists (beekeepers) from around the country--and the world--have been dealing with what's called Colony Collapse Disorder. It's been around for five years now.

Julie Grant visited with some beekeepers, and reports that scientists and the government don't agree on what should be done to help them.  Go to full article

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