Thursday, August 13, 2009

Orchids Lure Hornets with Honeybee Pheromones

Orchid Lures in Hornets with the Smell of Bee Fear
Discover, 8/10/2009

Orchids have a clever way of attracting pollinators: By releasing the same pheromones honeybees give off to communicate with other hive-members in times of emergency.

[T]he bees are the favorite food of the larvae of Vespa hornets…[so] when the orchid Dendrobium sinense sends out these false alarms, the hornets pounce on the petals, thinking they’ll bring a bee dinner home to the kids [Scientific American]. The hornets leave hungry, but they help out the orchids in the process.

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