PerspectiveEcology

The secret lives of bees as horticulturists?

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Science  22 May 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6493, pp. 824-825
DOI: 10.1126/science.abc2451

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  • RE: heterochronic horticulture

    Chittka (2020) citing Takeno (2016), states "Temperature strongly affects the emergence of pollinating insects after hibernation", "Plants are known to speed up their flowering as a response to various stressors, but there are no known examples of such a response to herbivory"

    Michael Aucott (2020), in an eLetter to Soroye, Newbold and Kerr (2020) states:

    "Pollen is the sole source of protein for bees, and also fulfills dietary requirements for lipids, sterols, vitamins, and minerals needed for larval development. A recent study [citing Ziska, et al., 2016] estimates that the protein concentration of Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod) pollen, a vital nutrient for North American bees, has declined in inverse proportion to the rise in atmospheric CO2, dropping from a concentration of approximately 18% in the mid-1800s to approximately 12% today. It is therefore possible that bees are now unable to provide sufficient protein and other nutrients to larvae, and that one of the main reasons for bee declines is malnutrition caused by enriched atmospheric CO2. This hypothesis calls for further exploration" (paragraph 3).

    Ziska, et al. (2016) is further cited by the following Pubmed NCBI articles:

    1) Welti, E., Roeder, K. A., de Beurs, K. M., Joern, A., & Kaspari, M. (2020). Nutrient dilution and climate cycles underlie declines in a dominant insect herbivore. Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienc...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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