Different bumblebee species visiting different wildflowers in the study sites.

How do different bumblebees choose flowers in a biodiversity hotspot, the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains?

Huan Liang, Yan-Hui Zhao, Nicole E. Rafferty, Zong-Xin Ren, Li Zhong, Hai-Dong Li, De-Zhu Li, Hong Wang Bumblebees are ecologically and economically important due to their general foraging patterns and adaptation to cold environments. Wild bumblebee populations are experiencing declines due to multiple interacting factors, such as habitat loss and climate change. However, plant-bumblebee interaction networks have seldom been studied in the mountains around the … Continue reading How do different bumblebees choose flowers in a biodiversity hotspot, the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains?

A bumble bee (Bombus terrestris) on a Brassica rapa flower. Photo by Anina C. Knauer.

Pollinator behaviour and resource limitation maintain honest floral signalling

Knauer, A.C., Kokko H. and Schiestl, F.P. Why do organisms signal honestly when the interests of signallers and receivers conflict, and a signaller could conceivably benefit from dishonest signals? Plants signal to their animal pollinators to advertise rewards and in return receive directed pollen transfer between individuals. The degree of honesty of floral signals however shows a large diversity between plant species; while some plants … Continue reading Pollinator behaviour and resource limitation maintain honest floral signalling

Bombus ignitus foraging on artificial flower (Photo by Hiroshi S Ishii)

Alternative flowers affect model and mimic flower discrimination performance of bumble bees

Tsujimoto, Shohei; Ishii, Hiroshi Some animal-pollinated flowers have no rewards but attract pollinators by imitating rewarding flowers. This strategy is called Batesian floral mimicry, and has mainly been understood in terms of the relationships between mimics (non-rewarding flowers), models (rewarding flowers) and dupes (pollinators that are fooled by mimic flowers). However, flowers that are dissimilar to both model and mimic flowers (alternative flowers, hereafter) may … Continue reading Alternative flowers affect model and mimic flower discrimination performance of bumble bees

Solitary bee larvae prioritise carbohydrate over protein in parentally provided pollen

Gilbert, James; Austin, Alexander Most organisms must balance their diet in an environment full of complex food choices. This is made harder when control over diet is limited, as when parents choose food on behalf of young. Parents may give young a perfectly balanced diet for development. However, they also may make mistakes and provide the wrong food, or even deliberately skew diets given to … Continue reading Solitary bee larvae prioritise carbohydrate over protein in parentally provided pollen

The image shows the flowering of Halimium halimifolium (yellow flowers), Cistus crispus (pink flowers) and Lavandula stoechas (purple flowers) at the study site. Photo by P. L. Ortiz.

Are flowers honest in advertising their nutritious rewards to pollinator bees?

Ortiz, P.L, Fernández-Díaz, P., Pareja, D., Escudero, M. & Arista, M. Many plants depend on bees visiting their flowers for pollination and seed production, and bees depend on flowers for feeding. Therefore, flowers offer pollen and nectar as nutritious rewards to attract bees, and advertise them by visual signals such as flower size, shape and colour. In a community, different plant species may compete for … Continue reading Are flowers honest in advertising their nutritious rewards to pollinator bees?