Special skills for bumblebees: Chewing leaves allows plants to bloom 30 days early

Bumble bees are very competent pollen-spreaders. A new study published in Science reveals the secret trick of bees tricking plants into flowering early. The study, carried out by a Team of Swiss researchers, revealed a technique used by bees when pollen is scarce – chewing special patterns on leaves to achieve early flowering.

Special skills for bumblebees: Chewing leaves allows plants to bloom 30 days early

Because of the variability of the climate and the human effects of themselves, bumblebees sometimes find themselves in the plant they need are not yet mature and there is a shortage of pollen. Not content with sitting and waiting, bumblebees learned to force plants to flower early by chewing a special pattern on the leaves of the plant.

Special skills for bumblebees: Chewing leaves allows plants to bloom 30 days early

As the researchers explainined in the paper, bumblebees using this particular chewing technique can allow plants to flower 30 days early. This is a huge shift in the plant’s growth cycle, but bumblebees can do it.

Special skills for bumblebees: Chewing leaves allows plants to bloom 30 days early

Special skills for bumblebees: Chewing leaves allows plants to bloom 30 days early

Special skills for bumblebees: Chewing leaves allows plants to bloom 30 days early

“In the face of pollen shortages, bumblebees actively destroy plant leaves in a characteristic way that causes flowering to be up to 30 days earlier,” the researchers wrote. However, it was not possible to reproduce the destruction of leaves in the experimental environment, suggesting that bees have a unique way to stimulate early flowering. “