par Lechantre, Amandine;Draux, Ayrton;Hua, Hoa Ai Béatrice ;Michez, Denis;Damman, Pascal;Brau, Fabian
Référence Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118, 19, e2025513118
Publication Publié, 2021-05-11
Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Flowers provide the energy resources of bees. In a competitive world, we can hypothesize that flowers attract bees by producing very sweet nectar since it offers the greatest energetic rewards. However, the nectar sugar concentration rarely exceed 60%, and in vivo measurements show that bees capture nectar less efficiently beyond that limit. Here, we explain the physiological origin of this limit based on an elastoviscous mechanism. Most of bees collect the nectar with tongues covered by elongated papillae that open when immersed in a fluid, the opening dynamics determining the amount of nectar collected per lap. At very large sugar concentrations, we found that viscous forces impede the full opening of papillae, reducing the amount of nectar collected.