Hungry bumblebees have bitten plants and forced them to bloom early

When earth bumblebees Bombus terrestris is not enough of the main feed pollen, they make holes in the leaves of plants, so they bloom faster, it is reported in Science. In some cases, the opening of buds able to accelerate for 30 days. The damage that is applied to plants, humans, have very little effect. The mechanism of action puncture bumblebee on flowering is still unclear, but most likely, they are ultimately useful for the plants.

Earth bumblebee is a large social Hymenoptera, a close relative of honey bees. Like other true bees (the so-called family, which includes the named insects), it forms colonies in which most workers — infertile females, the main occupation of which is the collection of pollen. Ground bees are common in Europe, spring was one of the first insect pollinators come out of hibernation. If they appear on the surface (and they winter under the ground) before bloom they need plants, not enough food. Therefore, the bees must be ways to survive lack of nutrients or actively fight it.

If the plants bloom very late, it may happen that bees will die from hunger. Then carry the pollen from flower to flower there will be nobody, and sexual reproduction will not occur. From this point of view, those B. terrestris pollinated, it is advantageous to synchronize its flowering with the departure insects. Therefore, entomologists from the ETH Zurich, headed by Consuelo de Moraes (Consuelo M. De Moraes) suggested that ground bees are able to influence the condition of the plants from which they usually collect pollen. To test this, scientists observe what they are doing excavation bumblebees, if they need types long bloom.

For this, the researchers on the day left the room with insects from different colonies of laboratory specimens of tomatoes, eggplant, cabbage and nightshade localising without flowers. Every day the pots with plants were replaced. The procedure was repeated within two weeks at the end of the first week insects were changed so they died from hunger. The time of flowering of the experimental plants was compared with time for specimens of the same age from the control group who had no contact with the bees.

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