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How do insects know which flowers have pollen?



​​When pollinators land on a flower, they’re on a mission: They’re looking for sweet nectar to eat and specks of nutritious pollen to bring back to their young.

But how do insects know where to find pollen? In theory, the process is easy: A flower flaunts bits of tasty, aromatic dust in plain sight, letting pollinators know where to go right away. But the reality is quite different. “It’s not in the plant’s interest to emit an honest signal,” said Casper van der Kooi, a biologist who studies flower color evolution at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

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