Related topics: bees

Hanging out with bats to discover the secrets of their biology

By turns admired and reviled, bats are one of the most mysterious mammals alive. Their nocturnal habits and unique adaptations mean that bat biology still holds many secrets. It is possible that bats may hold the key to understanding ...

Field study shows pollinators prefer saltier nectar

A team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions in the U.S., has found adding sodium to floral nectar increased both visits by pollinators and their diversity. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, ...

Impact of natural selection on nectar supply and demand

New research by the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects (LASI) at the University of Sussex shows that natural selection will cause flowers to produce less nectar when pollinators are abundant, and vice versa.

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Nectar

Nectar is a sugar-rich liquid produced by plants. It is produced in glands called nectaries, either within the flowers, in which it attracts pollinating animals, or by extrafloral nectaries, which provide a nutrient source to animal mutualists, which in turn provide anti-herbivore protection. Common nectar-consuming pollinators include bees, butterflies and moths, hummingbirds and bats.

Nectar is an ecologically important item, the sugar source for honey. It is also useful in agriculture and horticulture because the adult stages of some predatory insects feed on nectar.[examples needed]

Nectar secretion increases as the flower is visited by pollinators. After pollination, the nectar is frequently reabsorbed into the plant.

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