Why is loy­alty so im­por­tant to bum­ble­bees?

iD magazine - - Smarter In 60 Seconds -

There are about 250 species of bum­ble­bees world­wide. Par­tic­u­larly note­wor­thy: Each bum­ble­bee is faith­ful to a sin­gle species of flower for how­ever long it’s in bloom. That’s im­por­tant for the plant, since the in­sects are only car­ry­ing the pollen of that plant’s own type with them, which makes for op­ti­mal con­di­tions for re­pro­duc­tion and growth. But if a species of bum­ble­bee is out of com­mis­sion— as was shown in an open-air ex­per­i­ment— the plants end up pro­duc­ing one-third fewer seeds. Sub­sti­tutes have lit­tle im­pact: Other bum­ble­bees, which aban­don their loy­alty due to the freed-up flow­ers, end up car­ry­ing dif­fer­ent types of pollen to dif­fer­ent types of flow­ers, and noth­ing fruit­ful comes of for­eign pollen.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.