First day of spring!

March 20, 2015 • 5:57 am

And the Google Doodle celebrates it with a stop animation of flowers growing and a bee coming around; click on the screenshot below to go there:

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 5.54.45 AMI’m told that there’s an eclipse Doodle in the UK, which differs slightly from the above; reader Grania sent in a screenshot. It’s animated, but I don’t think US readers can access it:



6 thoughts on “First day of spring!

  1. Canada gets the American image – the flowers and bee. As a beekeeper (once kept 2,000 hives in Pennsylvania, Florida and Saskatchewan) I am always happy to see bee-ish thingies, but I wish that such advocates would consider a wee dab of natural science in their art. It is a common myth that bees like garden flowers. Usually they do not.

    Although bees and flowers partnered up 100 million years ago, not every flower is enticing to every bee. Among the 20,000 bee species, there are specialized bees (long-tongued bees, early-morning bees, etc.) filing ecological niches matched by specialized flowers (deeply recessed nectaries, early-morning bloomers, etc.). These seldom match the flowers selected by human eyes to beautify parks and gardens.

    I am not a botanist, but the best I can tell, the bumblebee in the Google Doodle would have little interest in the flowers shown. The most identifiable, the tulips on the right, are certainly spring flowers, but I have rarely seen any bee on a tulip – unless she is tired, lost, of confused. In the Google image, the tulip is red (as is a flower near the center, which appears to be a carnation). Bee vision is spectrum-shifted. Red (to us) appears black to a bee and is not attractive at all, while the colour we perceive as boring white is often a very attractive ultra-violet in the bee’s mind.

    Nevertheless, I know it is all the rage to “Save the Bees” (even though they are not disappearing) and it is a fine gesture on the part of Google to show the flowers and the bee. Even if the science is amiss.

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