'Buzz Pollinators' Vibrate Flowers Until They Release Pollen

Chris Higgins
YouTube // Deep Look
YouTube // Deep Look / YouTube // Deep Look

While most flowers are promiscuous with their pollen, a select group keep it locked up—waiting for just the right buzz. When "buzz pollinators" like bumblebees come along and vibrate these flowers at just the right frequency, their anthers open up, releasing hidden pollen. The frequency is so specific you can reproduce it with a tuning fork.

In this video from Deep Look, we see how buzz pollination works—and learn that it's actually very common. Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, cranberries, and blueberries are all buzz-pollinated! Honeybees typically can't pollinate these flowers; it's all about the bumblebees.

Tune in to learn more about this fascinating fact of flower/pollinator symbiosis. (Oh yeah, and make it fullscreen—Deep Look offers beautiful 4K video!)

For more on buzz pollination, read Matt Soniak's feature Sex Toys for Winter Tomatoes. Yeah, it's about what you think it's about. Deep Look has a nice article on buzz pollination too.