Bees also like (paintings of) sunflowers (study)

“Flower colours have evolved over 100 million years to address the colour vision of their bee pollinators.” With this in mind, investigators Professor Lars Chittka and Julian Walker of Queen Mary College, University of London, decided to investigate whether bees might also be attracted to paintings of flowers – for example (a copy of) Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.

A set of experiments demonstrated that, yes, they are : “[…] when bees were confronted with paintings containing flowers, the majority of landings were indeed recorded on flowers.”

See: Do bees like Van Gogh’s Sunflowers? , L. Chittka, J. Walker / Optics & Laser Technology 38 (2006) 323–328

Note: The photo is from a follow up study by the same team. Chittka, L. & Walker, J. (2007). ‘Insects as art lovers: Bees for Van Gogh.’ Antennae, 2: 37-42.