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Thread: Can wasps and hornets mistake white clothes for white flowers?

  1. #1 Can wasps and hornets mistake white clothes for white flowers? 
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    Wasps, hornets, and bees tend to think that bright colors are flowers and dark colors are predators. For these reasons, beekeepers wear white clothes when working. What about flowers that are white? You can ask for trouble by wearing certain colors around wasps, hornets, and bees. Couldn't white clothes cause a problem the same way that bright ones do?


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  3. #2  
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    Seems to be the other way around. They tend to attack dark colours apparently. Who knew blue was a problem?

    Reduce the risk of wasp stings by wearing light coloured clothing.
    Wasps (as with honey bees and bumblebees) tend to attack against dark coloured objects (particularly blue) when disturbed.
    Wasps


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  4. #3  
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    Bee Suit
    http://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1513

    Below are two pictures of the same daisy (Arctotis fastuosa), the one on the left shows the ‘visible’ colours that humans see. The picture on the right is taken with a UV sensitive camera which demonstrates how different the same flower would look to a bee.
    http://www.colours.phy.cam.ac.uk/

    Last edited by dan hunter; March 24th, 2014 at 01:28 AM.
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  5. #4  
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    White flowers are more attractive to bat pollinators than bees--probably why it's chosen.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    One also needs to consider that hymenopterans will be seeing an expanded range of information that passes into the ultraviolet, thus its often NOT the visual color of a flower but the visual color plus the fluorecent patterning and overal shape that may attract. Most fabrics only have the color aspect to be an attractant.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    White flowers are more attractive to bat pollinators than bees--probably why it's chosen.
    EH???

    What have bats to do with this, suddenly?

    I hope I've got the wrong end of the stick…….
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    I have always heard that mosquitoes do not like white, it never occurred to me that the reason they do not like white is because they are afraid of being detected and killed. When I go out side when mosquitoes are around I wear white and I do get much less bites. Interesting sometime the reason we get for certain insects and animal behavior.
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    I've heard, and I'm not sure if it's true, that bees can become confused if you raise your arms and they detect your deodorant. I've been told that some bee attacks are instigated accidentally because the bee flies into your shirt without meaning harm and we, of course, panic.

    I know that has nothing to do with clothing, but it still relates to winged insect confusion, right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I've heard, and I'm not sure if it's true, that bees can become confused if you raise your arms and they detect your deodorant. I've been told that some bee attacks are instigated accidentally because the bee flies into your shirt without meaning harm and we, of course, panic.

    I know that has nothing to do with clothing, but it still relates to winged insect confusion, right?
    When you consider they live in the same world we live in, and do the same things we do, may be a little different, but basically the same. They deal with the same smells, and colors, they could very well not like the smell of certain deodorants. I think panicking is a feature of all living things. We tend to all want to run when we panic.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I've heard, and I'm not sure if it's true, that bees can become confused if you raise your arms and they detect your deodorant. I've been told that some bee attacks are instigated accidentally because the bee flies into your shirt without meaning harm and we, of course, panic.

    I know that has nothing to do with clothing, but it still relates to winged insect confusion, right?
    Bees, wasps, fire ants are all related and they all produce an attack pheremone.
    Once you scare one it emits the alarm pheremone, and if it stings it the pheromone tags the sting site with a "sting this thing whatever it is" message.
    The alarm pheremone is said to resemble the scent of banana or some of the chewing gum scents.

    Analysis of Honeybee Aggression

    Honey bee pheromones - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Edit: Banana scent, it gets used in a lot of products from shampoos and lotions to food products.
    1-Butanol, 3-methyl-, acetate
    Last edited by dan hunter; March 20th, 2014 at 11:24 AM.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    White flowers are more attractive to bat pollinators than bees--probably why it's chosen.
    EH???

    What have bats to do with this, suddenly?

    I hope I've got the wrong end of the stick…….
    Because it means bees generally aren't cued to think white flowers are food since their shape and blossoming times are more keyed for bats.

    --

    The bee "attack pheremone" is neat.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    White flowers are more attractive to bat pollinators than bees--probably why it's chosen.
    EH???

    What have bats to do with this, suddenly?

    I hope I've got the wrong end of the stick…….
    Because it means bees generally aren't cued to think white flowers are food.

    --

    The bee "attack pheremone" is neat.
    That's interesting. But there are a hell of a lot of white flowers. Does this mean apples etc are pollinated by BATS?? Seems extraordinary.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    But there are a hell of a lot of white flowers. Does this mean apples etc are pollinated by BATS?? Seems extraordinary.
    If you look through the images of flowers made with UV sensitive cameras you start seeing much different patterns.
    What to us looks very plain and unremarkable and flowers we would not even notice in a field can look like they were marked with high contrast dyes to a bee.
    Most flowers that look white to us have highlighted pollen and nectar locations under UV light. They usually show what might be described as landing markers too.

    Bees also are able to see the polarization of light and use it as well as the UV to find their food sources, even though it is more of a navigation aid to and from the feeding area than part of the flower recognition.

    Nectar guide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Images of a Mimulus flower in visible light (left) and ultraviolet light (right) showing a dark nectar guide that is visible to bees but not to humans


    On another page http://www.webexhibits.org/causesofc...C.html#vissamp
    Visible light

    UV light

    ___________
    The person who created this next web page took the trouble of blending the UV and visible to give a more accuate image of what a be would see.
    Photography of the Invisible World: Invisible World Photography - some best of reflected ultraviolet, bee + butterfly vision
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    That's interesting. But there are a hell of a lot of white flowers. Does this mean apples etc are pollinated by BATS?? Seems extraordinary.
    Bees are the primary pollinators for apples. But its important to note that apple trees are one of the most genetically modified plants on the planet and native ancestors probably don't even exist anymore--closest though is crabapples which are mostly pink and red blossoms. Probably a reason why many orchards have crabapples as well.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    White flowers are more attractive to bat pollinators than bees--probably why it's chosen.
    EH???

    What have bats to do with this, suddenly?

    I hope I've got the wrong end of the stick…….
    Because it means bees generally aren't cued to think white flowers are food since their shape and blossoming times are more keyed for bats.

    --

    The bee "attack pheremone" is neat.
    Im thinking you have a very specific set of plant species in mind but have confused it with white flowers in general. Most of the bats in our area are insectivores, but there are most likely hundreds of native white flowers here. They rely on insect pollination.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Im thinking you have a very specific set of plant species in mind but have confused it with white flowers in general. Most of the bats in our area are insectivores, but there are most likely hundreds of native white flowers here. They rely on insect pollination.
    Not at all, bees in particular have a strong preference for colored flowers, particularly reds. (confirmed through many studies including dying of the same plants etc.)

    "Bees exhibited remarkably strong preferences for either yellow or red flowers in mixed populations, very rarely moving between morphs. Some individuals crawled or hovered around red flowers, seemingly unable to find an entrance, and thereafter restricted their visits to yellow flowers. The few that managed to find a way into red flowers found a relative gold mine of nectar, as red flowers went unvisited until late afternoon of the third day of regular visits to the array. Also, bees who entered red flowers spent three times longer inside them than bees in yellow flowers, on average. Thus we believe that the experiences of individuals shaped their preferences. Such extreme preference differences among foraging bouts resulted in nearly complete assortative transfer of dye particles, suggesting that almost all pollen transfer occurred within color morphs. This is the strongest case that we have seen of assortative pollinator movements with respect to a flower color polymorphism.Among yellow- and white-flowered plants, bumble bee preferences were weaker but again were heterogeneous in all but one 1997 array. Dye transfer, measured in 1995, was assortative in that flowers of each color received more dye from the same floral morph than from the other morph."
    Pollinator-mediated selection on a flower color polymorphism in experimental populations of Antirrhinum (Scrophulariaceae)

    -
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    As for other species though moths play a big role as well and to a less extent flies, and beetles--as another generality plants that attract nocturnal pollinators tend to be white.
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    What about the other native Apoidea, and the closely related hymenopteran families though? This study looked exclusively in The genus Bombus.

    I can say I have found many hymenopteran visitors on white species while I have been out photographing insects.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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  19. #18  
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    Thank you everyone. Dan hunter, your response was especially helpful.
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