Schoolchildren discover how bumble-bees see flowers

27 Apr

Happy Saturday, everyone!

I’ve got a lovely little story to share with you today of a research paper that was published on Wednesday in the journal Biological Letters. The article describes how bumble-bees are capable of differentiating between flower colours and arrangements when searching for, in this case, sugary water.

That doesn’t sound particularly groundbreaking or cute does it? You may change your mind when you find out that the experiment was carried out by a group of 8 to 10 year old pupils from Blackawton Primary School, Devon. The children were encouraged by their very enthusiastic teacher to design and carry out the research project and their results are presented in “kids’ speak” in the journal. Not only does this make the article a delight to read, it also makes it accessible to everyone; an achievement that scientists can rarely achieve! I commend the kids’ teacher, Mr Strudwick, for engaging the children so effectively in science, and the pupils themselves for carrying out such a wonderfully simple, yet effective experiment. They have taken their first step into scientific research and, hopefully, will be enthused enough by this project to continue to take an interest in the world around them.

Below, I’ve included links to the Guardian article in which I first heard about the study, and the research article itself. I strongly recommend reading both!

Guardian article
Research article

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Posted by on April 27, 2013 in Biology


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