Bees work more in the city

Bees work more in the city

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By Abraham Alonso

Pollination is a key process in the life cycle of flowering plants. In essence, during it the pollen grains are transferred from the anther, the male reproductive organ, so to speak, to the stigma, the female. Although some are self-fertilizing, many others employ the services of insects, and bees are excellent pollinators in this regard. So much so that a third of world food production depends on them.

Now, a team of researchers from different German institutions coordinated by Panagiotis Theodorou, a zoologist at Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg, has found that urban bees pollinate more plants and more often than wild ones. And this, despite the fact that they are more exposed to parasites, which shortens their life expectancy.

In an article published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, these scientists indicate that their idea was to study how our species' land use could affect pollination. To do this, they distributed a series of plants in nine enclaves, located in the center of the city of Halle and in nearby agricultural areas, and observed the behavior of the insects that came to them. Thus, they were able to determine that insects pollinated those found in urban areas more often, although these had more parasites than their wild relatives.

"This research clearly shows that the modern agricultural environment is very poor for bees and the plants they pollinate," says biologist Robert Paxton, who was also involved in the study. According to this expert, “conditions in cities are considerably better; in them, people grow more flowering plants, which increases their diversity and also attracts more of these social insects and bumble bees. "

Video: Interview with Phyllis Stiles, Founder of Bee City USA (June 2022).