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Buzz Pollination (Sonication) | by bob in swamp
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Buzz Pollination (Sonication)

This little halictid bee is using sonication or "buzz pollination" to get pollen grains from a pale meadow beauty blossom. She grabs an anther and uses her flight muscles to rapidly vibrate the flower, dislodging the pollen grains. The process is very energetic and some of the errant pollen grains appear in the photo above as short meteoric trails in the bright sunlight. Meadow beauties are one of several types of flowers (including blueberries) that can only be pollinated via buzz pollination. Getting a sharply focused image of a buzz pollinating bee can be a challenge. Bumblebees also use buzz pollination.

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Taken on October 12, 2013