Buzz pollination: studying bee vibrations on flowers


Vallejo-Marin M (2019) Buzz pollination: studying bee vibrations on flowers. New Phytologist, 224 (3), pp. 1068-1074.

Approximately 6% of flowering plant species possess flowers with anthers that open through small pores or slits. Extracting pollen from this type of specialised flower is achieved most efficiently by vibrating the anthers, a behaviour that has evolved repeatedly among bees. Here I provide a brief overview of studying vibrations produced by bees and their effects on pollen release. I discuss how bee morphology and behaviour affect the mechanical properties of vibrations, and how floral traits may influence the transmission of those vibrations from the bee to the anther, thus mediating pollen release, and ultimately bee and plant fitness. I suggest that understanding the evolution of buzz pollination requires studying the biomechanics of bee vibrations and their transmission on flowers.

Bees; behaviour biomechanics; biotremology; buzz pollination; floral evolution; sonication; vibrations

New Phytologist: Volume 224, Issue 3

FundersBBSRC Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Publication date30/11/2019
Publication date online26/12/2018
Date accepted by journal17/12/2018