Educate Inspire Change

A bees-eye view: How insects see flowers very differently to us

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When a garden is in full bloom they may display just about every color of the rainbow visible to the human eye. However, flowers need to attract pollinating insects whose eyes are very different from ours.

Many insects, including bees, see a broader spectrum of light, including ultraviolet light which is invisible to the human eye.

Ultraviolet light show colors and patterns which attract the insects directly to the pollen and nectar, as first discovered by scientists in the 1950s who likened it to a ‘landing strip’ .

Because we cannot see UV light, the colors in these photographs are representational, but the patterns are real.

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