Hear this noisey bumblebee inside a poppy flower
Many people have heard the sound of buzzing bumblebees inside flowers, but what exactly are they doing? It is called sonication and is a technique used by bumblebees to harvest more pollen from the flower anthers. They hold or touch the pollen laden anthers and rapidly vibrate their powerful flight muscles to dislodge many more of the pollen grains. They use the same technique to pollinate tomatoes, the reason so many bumblebee nests are imported into the UK. Without their help, we would have to pollinate tomatoes by hand, using hand held sonic wands, greatly increasing the costs of tomatoes.
You can see and hear this huge bumblebee has difficulty alighting from the ornamental poppy as the petals are too large and slippery for her to climb out of and it is sheer power that enables her to fly away. I have seen a similar problem with the petals of large pansies which bumblebees have tried to land on, but cannot as they keep slipping off before they can pollinate them.