Global warming caused functional mismatch in a bumble bee pollination mutualism

Our planet is witnessing a number of strange events due to global warming. We have already heard researchers talk about how global warming is altering behavior of different tiny marine organisms, prompting walruses to gather at the Alaskan shore and changing the circulation of oceans. Now, a research team is saying that climate change is responsible for shrinking the tongues of bumblebees.

In a paper published in the journal Science this Thursday, scientists have revealed that climate change is causing the tongues of some bumblebees to shrink. What’s more significant is that according to scientists writing the paper, in the past four decades or so, the tongues of two alpine bumblebee species have shrunk by almost 25%.

It may sound bizarre to some, but the study authors believe that this shrinking of bumblebee tongues might actually have significant implications for both the creatures and flowers pollinated by them.

For bees, the size of the tongue is extremely important as it is the primary deciding factor when it comes to picking the flower they will be visiting for nectar. According to experts, bees boasting longer tongues possess the ability to amass nectar from flowers boasting long corollas. For those who don’t know: the term “corolla” is used for the cylindrical shape petals of a flower form to protect the nectar inside.

Medium-length tongues in bees indicate that the creatures are capable of pollinating a range of flower species. However, long-tongued bees are usually regarded as the specialists. They pollinate only the flowers boasting deep corollas and this turns out to be a really beneficial bargain for both the planet and the bee.

The arrangement allows long-tongued bees to amass nectar from flowers that are not accessible to insects with smaller tongues, which automatically reduces the competition these bees need face when collecting nectar. The flowers, on the other hand, get pollinated by bees which are only pollinating flowers belonging to the same category. This in turn increases the chances of fertilization for the flowers.

The researchers conducting this new study, however, found that global warming is causing flowers of all shapes and sizes to decrease in numbers in the mountains. This has made the process of finding food more difficult for the bees. Due to the unavailability of ample flowers, the bees are struggling to remain so specialized. The study authors are saying that the tongues of the bees are shrinking gradually so that they can visit flowers of all sizes for collecting nectar.

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  • Attempting to generate a correlation between a computer
    generated phenomenon, global warming with an abstract change in an uncontrolled
    population of bees is farfetched at best.

    First there is no real evidence of global warming, outside
    the lab generated data. Its be
    conclusively proven that the folks at east Angelis falsified data related to their
    claims of biospheric rift. Therefore at
    best, the claims of “global warming” are nothing more than assumptions and at
    worst they are manufactured

    Second is the bee population and how the so called
    scientists could directly relate the length of a specific population of bees
    prior to this phenomenon called global warming and then how that same scientist
    contrived a variation occurrence in the same bee population, which had never
    existed prior.

    This is the same false association one could make of all
    women, by indicating that all Hookers wear high heels therefore any woman who
    wears high heels is in danger of becoming a hooker.

    Where is the direct correlation made between the bees and
    non-global warming?

    Is it possible this bee researcher simply acquired a yet
    unidentified strain of bee?

    It begs the same question concerning this theory of
    evolution. If this were true, how come
    people who live close to water are not evolving into aquatic creatures?

    Do the people reading this story find it amazing that absolutely
    zero data regarding this wild accusation is provided? Sounds like just another political taking
    point to me. The claim to evolution is losing
    in every realm of evidence to which it is challenged, therefore we must make up
    something to create a smoke screen …

    Bee tongues and global biospheric rift? Really?
    This is most likely the greatest load of dialectics based excrement I
    have ever experienced