Bee faithful

Reduction in the number of bees across the globe is a cause for concern. It has now been found that plant-pollinator relationships get compromised when bee species decline. Disappearance of just one bumblebee species can reduce seed- production in wildflowers by one-third. Most pollinators visit several plant species over their lifetime but often display floral fidelity over shorter periods. Thus, at a particular time just one bee species would visit a flower and carry pollen from this plant only. But when a bee species is lost, competition is reduced and such fidelity is lost. Bees, thus, start carrying pollens from several plants. This reduces chances of successful pollination as plants need pollens from their own species to reproduce. This shows biodiversity may be the key to conserve entire ecosystems. 


Down To Earth, August, 2013