The bees loved the poppies.  There were at least 100 bees enjoying the poppies.

There were at least 100 bees enjoying the poppies.

A closeup of the huge dragonfly eating a bee.  Seeing this was a first for both of us.

A closeup of the huge dragonfly eating a bee. Seeing this was a first for both of us.

We went to the markets to buy fresh fruit & vegetables today.  On the way out we stopped at the flower stall to marvel at the huge amount of bees that were enjoying the flowers, especially the Poppies.  One wonders how could so many bees know to come to collect pollen in an area surrounded by buildings.  So I googled.

Researchers from the University of Bristol found that bees can sense the electric field of a flower. See – http://science.sciencemag.org/content/340/6128/66

“As bees fly through the air, they bump into charged particles from dust to small molecules. The friction of these microscopic collisions strips electrons from the bee’s surface, and they typically end up with a positive charge.  Flowers, on the other hand, tend to have a negative charge, at least on clear days. The flowers themselves are electrically earthed, but the air around them carries a voltage of around 100 volts for every metre above the ground. The positive charge that accumulates around the flower induces a negative charge in its petals.  When the positively charged bee arrives at the negatively charged flower, sparks don’t fly but pollen does.”

I wonder if bees are like some birds & send out a scout to check an area, then race back to the hive & tell the rest of the bees.

On the way back to our car we noticed a huge dragonfly was hanging from one of our plastic shopping bags & was busy sucking the guts out of a bee.  We walked around two-hundred metres to our car, then carefully placed the bag on the ground.  Only then did the dragonfly go, leaving a dead bee behind.

Dragonflies are important predators that eat mosquitoes, and other small insects like flies, bees, ants and wasps.

Dragonflies are important predators that eat mosquitoes and other small insects like flies, bees, ants and wasps.  A single dragonfly can eat hundreds of mosquitoes a day.

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