Physics, 02.02.2019 00:50
Flying insects such as bees may accumulate a small positive electric charge as they fly. in one experiment, the mean electric charge of 50 bees was measured to be +(30 â± 5) pc per bee. researchers also observed the electrical properties of a plant consisting of a flower atop a long stem. the charge on the stem was measured as a positively charged bee approached, landed, and flew away. plants are normally electrically neutral, so the measured net electric charge on the stem was zero when the bee was very far away. as the bee approached the flower, a small net positive charge was detected in the stem, even before the bee landed. once the bee landed, the whole plant became positively charged, and this positive charge remained on the plant after the bee flew away. by creating artificial flowers with various charge values, experimenters found that bees can distinguish between charged and uncharged flowers and may use the positive electric charge left by a previous bee as a cue indicating whether a plant has already been visited (in which case, little pollen may remain). what is the best explanation for the observation that the electric charge on the stem became positive as the charged bee approached (before it landed)? bees that had visited the plant earlier deposited a positive charge on the stem. the plant became electrically polarized as the charged bee approached. because air is a good conductor, the positive charge on the bee's surface flowed through the air from bee to plant. because the earth is a reservoir of large amounts of charge, positive ions were drawn up the stem from the ground toward the charged bee.