Plant versus Bee Power

Coming up in October we have a paper, ‘Flower power: its association with bee power and floral functional morphology in papilionate legumes‘ by Silvina A. Córdoba and Andrea A. Cocucci, in the journal. The paper examines if there’s any correlation between the strength of flowers and the strength of bees. Are they in an evolutionary struggle over access to flowers or is there no connection? More importantly how do you measure the strength of bees? Do you get them to bench-press tiny weights? Here’s a better way.

It turns out a bee has to be a complete wimp to be shut out of a flower. Bees don’t need their strength to enter, but the researchers find that flower shape may be significant.