Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ever wondered how Bees might see a flower?

So we humans see three channels, Blue, Green and Red. Bees however can see UV (what we can't), Blue and Green. So if we take a shot in UV and combine it with a visual shot were only the Blue and Green information is used, we can synthesize how Bees see the world - in priciple. The problem is, that we can't see UV so that has to be "translated" into our color space.

Some examples for that follow. This is a well known plant, Bougeanvillea. Here the visual shot first, click on images to see larger files (1024 pix):

The UV shot however looks very different, like that:

So if we now apply the procedure mentioned above, the result is:

Here now another example, a shot just around my house on a path along the road taken this spring. In visual light this looks like that:

And in UV like that:

Bees however will see that (or what I think looks like what Bees see...).

So maybe now we understand a bit more what flowers do to attract pollinators. This is just one example of a multitude of ideas nature has applied.

Stay tuned, more will follow on that fascinating subject...

More info on this very interesting field may be found on my site http://www.pbase.com/kds315/uv_photos>