Honors College Thesis


Bee’s Eye View: Using Multispectral Photography to Simulate Bee’s View of Flowers in Natural Settings Public Deposited

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  • Scientists have long recognized that bees and other insects respond to floral color, including ultraviolet (UV) floral patterns that are invisible to the human eye. While previous research has focused on isolating and capturing these UV markings in laboratory settings, methods that could be used in natural settings needed to be improved. Digital photography presents a viable means to simulate aspects of bee vision more fully in natural settings. This paper details the hardware and methods needed to simulate the full-color range of bee vision via capture of the light wavelengths reflected by flowers, as seen by bees. We used a full spectrum converted mirrorless camera, a macro lens, and five specialized filters to capture floral images that simulate how bees perceive color in the field. This approach increases opportunities to explore the bee-vision of a diverse array of flowers, including those shaped by natural versus artificial selection. Our methods also provide novel outreach and engagement opportunities, by making it possible for people to better understand how bees see the world.
  • Keywords: ultraviolet, Bee vision, mirrorless camera modification, natural light multispectral photography, multispectral application
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  • This work was supported in part by the Oregon State University Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and the Arts (URSA) Engage Award, as well as a donation from Y. Sherry Sheng and Spike Wadsworth to the Oregon State University Garden Ecology Lab.
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  • 20 pages



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