Bumble bees damage plant leaves and accelerate flower production when pollen is scarce

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Science  22 May 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6493, pp. 881-884
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay0496

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  • RE: Leaf damaging behavior

    I have worked with B. vosnesenskii, B. californicus & B. caliginosis extensively in central California, US. I have never seen this behavior. I worked in fields of Vicia dasycarpus & Stachys balata in early spring. I am wondering, do you think this is a species specific sort of behavior or perhaps a regional thing? Do you have references on this?

    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • RE: use of ‘damage’ vs ‘injury’

    I submit that it is more appropriate to use ‘injury’ than ‘damage’ in this instance. The plants are really not being harmed or damaged. There is just some injury to plant tissues. One might even consider this a symbiotic relationship if the plant benefits.

    Competing Interests: None declared.

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