Most flowering plants need animals to facilitate pollination and, globally, most studies have focused on daytime insect – honeybees are the best known – and bird pollinators. Other critters playing a hand include bats, butterflies, beetles, flies and small mammals. The role of moths, in contrast, hasn’t attracted much attention. “There’s a lot we don’t … Continue reading Shadowy world of nocturnal moth pollinators
The answer to most things these days is an app or a drone, so it’s rare when one of these falls short of the mark, let alone when it’s replaced by something as simple as a bubble. But that’s what happened in Nomi, Japan, when scientists used soap bubbles to help pollinate a pear orchard … Continue reading Bubbles for plants and drones for mosquitoes
When you think pollination you typically don’t think ants, and with good reason. Ant pollinators are thought to be extremely rare. Researchers have now discovered, however, that flowering smokebush Conospermum plants in Australia’s southwest have evolved to enable ants to pollinate them as effectively as native bees. “This is the first plant species in the … Continue reading Step aside bees, the ants are pollinating
Even a bit of darkness has ecological as well as environmental benefits, research suggests. Nick Carne reports.
When it comes to rainforest insects bigger isn’t always better a new study finds.
Climate change is leading to longer flowering seasons, but bees aren’t reaping the benefits. Andrew Masterson reports.
Researchers have found that some plants use colour and fragrance together to identify themselves to pollinating insects.
Bees leave parts of their bodies ungroomed to do a better job of carrying pollen from one flower to another, writes Michael Lucy.
Scientists have discovered the chemical breakdown of fake sex pheromones used by spider orchids to seduce male wasp pollinators, writes Sarah Condie
As wild bee populations in the US collapse, with big implications for agriculture, new software might just save the day. Andrew Masterson reports.
Flowers that lace their nectar with the right amount of caffeine attract more pollinators. Yao Hua Law reports.