"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
The tropical looking flower Virginia Meadow Beauty offers some rare tricks for those who would pollinate it. A honeybee can poke around the flower all day and never get any pollen from the gaudy pink flowers. In fact, researchers report that honeybees don't seem to know what to do with the flowers. Rather, the Virginia Meadow Beauty is pollinated by bumblebees, not honeybees.
The pollen of a newly opened pink flower is good only for that day. But the flowers stay open for several days. It signals the bumblebees that the pollen in old flowers are not good by changing colors. Yet, the spent flowers are serving one more purpose. Researchers report that large displays, even if mostly spent flowers, attract more bumblebees than small displays of all fresh flowers.
How is it that the bumblebee can get the pollen and the honeybees can't? They just buzz. And when a bumblebee buzzes, the flower ejects its pollen at 30 times the force of gravity – a force greater than any astronaut must endure! It's not that the bumblebee gets the pollen because it is larger than a honeybee; no, even bumblebees no larger than the honeybee's head can get the pollen. It's the frequency of buzzing. The Lord has abundantly provided for the Meadow Beauty. And He has provided for your forgiveness and salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Notes: J. Travis, "Color code tells bumblebees where to buzz," Science News, v. 155, April 3, 1999. p. 215.
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