If bees want something done right, they’ve got to do it themselves.
Pretty much everyone is rooting for bees to overcome their current challenges.
There are lots of human efforts to help bees out.
But there’s also some new research out that says bees are doing a lot to help themselves.
The scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich were observing bumblebees for another project when they noticed that a lot of the bees were biting holes in plants’ leaves.
They weren’t sure if this was for a specific purpose or whether these were just a bunch of troublemakers, so they set up an experiment.
And it turned out they were acting deliberately.
There’s some research that shows that plants that are under stress – like, say, an insect biting holes in their leaves – will flower early.
So if bees need more pollen than they’re able to find, they bite holes in the plant leaves in an apparent effort to get them to flower.
And it works: the experiment found plants could flower up to a month early with help from the bees.
We don’t know yet whether it’s just the biting that does it, or whether the bees have a special chemical in their saliva that helps the process along.
But either way, it’s a pretty impressive efficiency measure for an insect known for staying busy…
Efficiency is good, but patience is also a virtue.
Take Elliot Berinstein, for whom things sometimes take longer.
Back in 2012 he ordered a container of hair cream online, and he says Canada Post just delivered it this month.
Berinstein said it actually came at a good time, since he’s at home and could use some extra hair treatment, but sadly the hair cream didn’t age well enough to use.
Bumblebees Bite Plants to Force Them to Flower (Seriously) (Scientific American)