Bees learned to speed up the ripening of flowers using incentives bites

After hibernation the bees Wake up very hungry, but due to the vagaries of weather on plants to make flowers with nectar. In such conditions instead of starving yourself and risking to die, these smart insects have resorted to physical stimulation of flowering plants. Researchers from the ETH in Zurich (Switzerland) studied the process and came to unexpected conclusions.

Watching with hungry bumblebees, scientists have seen them with mandibles and legs for a second to tear the leaf of a plant a couple of small through holes. They don’t need the leaf, it does not spoil and does not relate to the nest as building material, just leave it on the plant. The hungrier bumblebee, the faster and the more holes it makes.

Scientists took two test plants, black mustard, and tomato. Part of the plants allowed to cultivate bees, other scientists holed by hand, plus left the control group. Compared to her tomato sauce with bites of bumblebees began to bloom 30 days earlier, and mustard on 17 days earlier. Man-made holes accelerated flowering of tomato sauce for 5 days, and mustard for 8 days.

Probably Bumble-bees during a bite passed to the plants a special chemical signal, without which stimulation is not as effective. But there is another theory that if the bees die of hunger, you will not be able to pollinate flowers and this is a threat for the plants. And so they react to holes in the leaves as a command for urgent action in common with symbiotic interests. Known as it was born such an unusual natural, but its existence shows just how flexible and complex may be the mechanism of evolution.

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