Blind Date

Ah, love – is it REALLY blind?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Male bees — you’ve got it rough. You’re born, you mate with a queen, and then you die. But, hundreds of other would-bee suitors are trying to do the same thing! How do you ensure YOUR genes make it to future generations?

Boris Baer at UC Riverside knows all about the “birds and the bees” of — uh, bees. He and his team artificially inseminate bee queens and observe their behavior. They noticed that soon after insemination, the queen gets agitated and won’t fly. That’s because something in the bee semen causes the queen to temporarily go blind!

This prevents the queen from flying off to find new mates. Those fellas that are bee-loved have a higher chance of passing on their genes!

With bee populations dwindling worldwide, this knowledge could help beekeepers grow their colonies. And saving the bees can help save our crops. So, bee reproduction is vital to the health of our ecosystem!

That being said, if a bee asks you out, better tell him to buzz off!