Now Reading
Bees might survive the climate crisis — but only some species

Bees might survive the climate crisis — but only some species

European bumblebee on a flower

Bees may be the most common pollinator. Earth’s most essential pollinators. While hopping from flower to flower, these golden-hued insects don’t just suck sweet nectar but also transfer pollen among the plants — a Important processThat aids in plant reproducibility. But as the Climate crisisInsects like bees accelerate, Great periGlobal warming is threatening their habitats, food sources, and livelihoods.

Yet, some bees’ are also adapting in new and perhaps unexpected ways to warmer climates, according to ResearchPublished Wednesday in The Journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B These crucial pollination services may be affected.

What’s new —Scientists have identified Three key changes in bee traits — like diet and body size — as a result of warming temperatures and drier climates in mountainous climates.

Researchers first discovered that the relative abundance — which refers to the distribution of certain bees relative to the larger bee community — of larger bees declined, while the abundance of smaller bees increased.

Second, bees that tend to nest in holes or cavities — like the bumblebee — fared worse in warmer temperatures compared to bees that make their homes in the soil.

Researchers discovered that climate change can also affect diet in a surprising manner. Bees with a more restricted diet seem to be more likely to receive less rainfall as their relative abundance increases. On the other hand, generalist bee species had a wider food range and did not experience the same benefits from the drier environment. Their relative abundance also declined in comparison to the specialist bees.

These findings indicate that global warming will have an impact on important traits of bee communities, especially those in mountainous environments.

“Our findings indicate that the bee community will likely shift towards smaller-bodied bees and solitary bees, bees that nest in the soil, and bees with narrower diet breadths,” Gabriella L. PardeeDr. Judith Sullivan, the lead author of the study, is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. Inverse.

Although bees are important for pollination, research suggests that bees with smaller bodies may do better in warmer conditions due to climate changes.Getty

Why it matters —Most studies on bees focus only on the well-known, highly social bumblebee. However, very few studies focus upon the 20,000 other largely single species. bee species and limits our understanding about the effects of climate changes on bees. The study calls this lack of data “concerning” given how the environment plays a “pivotal role” in bees’ flower pollination.

Because bees are essential for plant reproduction, we need to understand how climate change affects the entire bee population. Otherwise, our future may be in jeopardy. While previous research finds declining bumblebee populations and reduced habitats as a result of climate change, it’s possible other bees will be unaffected or could even benefit from climate change.

“Bees vary greatly in their foraging behavior and flower preferences across species, so by only focusing on bumblebees, we cannot fully understand how pollination services will become altered under climate change,” Pardee says.

Bumblebees play a major role in many ecosystems as primary pollinators. It’s possible the increase in smaller bees — as seen in the study — could offset the declining pollination of bumblebees, but that kind of speculation is outside the scope of the research, according to Pardee.

How they made the discovery —The Rocky Mountains were chosen by the researchers to help them understand how changing climates affect bees. According to the study, mountainous systems are more beneficial in studying climate change than other ecosystems because their weather patterns change at an accelerated rate.

See Also
Queen Rania calls for optimism on climate crisis – Royal Central

Over an eight-year span, scientists collected bees every 2 weeks during flowering season. This allowed them to study the effect of climate change upon important traits such as bee size, nesting habits, food, and diet. During this time, the researchers monitored the population for at least 154 species of bees.

“We found that bees exhibit differences in how well they will respond to climate change based on their life-history traits, which are physical traits or behaviors that affect growth, survivorship, and reproduction,” Pardee says.

What’s next —The researchers hope their findings will serve to raise awareness about the need to protect bees. The best way to do that is to restore habitats for bees and other pollinators.

“Planting a wide variety of native plants that are drought- or heat-tolerant would provide essential food and nesting resources for bees as temperatures continue to increase,” Pardee says.

Going one step further, Pardee suggests we need to ensure interconnected habitats so that bees can safely venture into “more suitable” environments as extreme weather events become More frequent.

“I hope that this study highlights the need for promoting bee diversity so we can maximize pollination services under a warming world,” Pardee says.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.