For this week’s “Matter” column, I write about the bees buzzing from flower to flower this summer. In particular, I take a look at the bees that pollinate 20,000 species of plants–including crops like tomatoes and potatoes–with some amazing acoustics. They vibrate hundreds of times a second to shake pollen loose from special tubes in the flowers.
That’s why you can use a tuning fork to coax some flowers to release a cloud of pollen, as this video from Anne Leonard of the University of Nevada, Reno, illustrates. Bees, in other words, are living tuning forks.