National Geographic

Bees As Tuning Forks, And Why Your Pizza Depends on Them

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.

There are 2 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. beetlerace
    July 11, 2013

    Small typo in the photo description! s/b ‘shaken’.

    This is fascinating and also adorable… I love bees.

    [CZ: Thanks--fixed!]

  2. Kathy K.
    July 11, 2013

    I loved this article! Thanks.
    The video clips here and in the WSJ are mesmeri-ZZZing.

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