Flowers losing their scent? (independent UK)

monarda_gwApril 21, 2008

An article in the Independent says that pollution is causing the flowers to lose their scent, thereby confusing the bees. Very sad, if true.

Here is a link that might be useful: Why flowers have lost their scent

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jeff_al

personally, i think the article is a bit of a stretch;
at a moment in time, they tried to blame ccd on cell phone and microwave towers.
i was thinking bees relied more on their visual sense than olfactory.
also, i notice that bees do not visit the flowers of my most fragrant plants. i do not see honeybees on banana shrub, gardenia, dianthus, etc. they seem to be most fond of flowers with open, central discs surrounded by rays of petals(echinacea, daisy, zinnia = lotsa pollen), clusters of many small florets (spirea, lantana, clover) or certain tubular shapes(lonicera, polygonatum, gaura), many of which are lightly scented, at best. i expect that whatever fragrance is emitted by these flowers do not waft for 1000 m.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 10:30AM
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monarda_gw

Well, it is probably a simplification to link bee colony collapse with air pollution.

Two things should be kept in mind, though. All kinds of insects pollinate plants, not only honey bees. And the scent of flowers really is being masked by pollution. That seems really conclusive.

Oh, and there is a reason why flowers have evolved to be scented. Honeybees and other insects do use scent as well as visual communication. They are pretty remarkable animals, really. Bees actually have a symbolic language of dance by which they communicate with each other.

(Rudolf Steiner, by the way, thought that our beekeepers' square hives are harmful to bees, which in nature make rounded hives.)

There is a good summary of the bee problem from a 60 Minutes program on Youtube
60 Minutes: Why Are Honeybees Disappearing? Pt. 1
60 Minutes: Why Are Honeybees Disappearing? Pt. 2
(don't know how to embed so you just have to go to youtube)

I have also attached another interesting link about humans, bees, and scent.

Here is a link that might be useful: pollution snuffs floral scents

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 11:43PM
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