Tag: Pollination

Mass insect migrations in UK skies

As Britain voted for Brexit amid furious debate over migration, trillions of migrants were coming and going, unseen by all but the sharpest eyes.

For the first time, scientists have measured the movements of high-flying insects in the skies over southern England – and found that about 3.5 trillion migrate over the region every year.

Flowers use physics to attract pollinators

A new review indicates that flowers may be able to manipulate the laws of physics, by playing with light, using mechanical tricks, and harnessing electrostatic forces to attract pollinators.

The New Phytologist review describes the latest advances in our understanding of how plants use their flowers to ensure reproductive success. Flowers use light to attract pollinators by creating colour using microscopic structures or chemical effects. Using gravity to their advantage, petals cause pollinators to slip or grip when they land on a flower, ensuring that they transfer pollen without taking too much of the sugary nectar reward. Plants may even alter their electrical fields to influence pollinator visits.

“It is surprising to many people that plants use the laws of physics to their advantage in attracting pollinators, but of course it makes sense that evolution has used all the available opportunities to enhance plant fitness,” said Dr. Beverley Glover (University of Cambridge), co-author of the review.

 

Article source: Wiley

Smartphone app to help protect our bees

Waitrose is asking people to get involved in a fun but important project to help protect bees and other pollinating insects.

 

The retailer has worked with international environment charity Earthwatch to develop a free app, through which smartphone users can help collect vital data about the pollinators in their gardens and which plants bees and other pollinating insects prefer to visit the most.

 

The app can be downloaded for Android and iOS devices by visiting the Waitrose website.

 

Download the press release for further information.

Declining bee populations pose a threat to global agriculture

A report from Yale Environment 360 outlines the danger that the decline of bees and other pollinators represents to the world’s food supply. This was highlighted this week when the European Commission decided to ban a class of pesticides suspected of playing a role in so-called "colony collapse disorder".

 

Read Elizabeth Grossman’s full report at the Yale Environment 360 website.