Pollinating bees and their role in nature

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Many billions of dollars will not be able to pay for their efforts, and they do not demand payment for it. Several hundred thousand species are submissive to one great mission. You only guess who they are talking about? We are talking about pollinating bees. Want to know their role in nature and what benefits do bees bring to plants when collecting nectar? Then hurry to find out with us.

The value of bees in pollination of plants

Every year, Eurofresh Farms greenhouses can produce about 60 million kg of tomatoes. The ripening fruits have a rather peculiar smell - incredibly sweet, but it does not give away at all with earth. The greenhouse is distinguished by artificiality, but a genuine life is able to penetrate here, the confirmation of which is the deaf hum of hundreds of bumblebees.

Most flowering plants use bee pollination during reproduction. The job of this broker is to transfer pollen from the male reproductive organ to the female. For a simple example, we can use a tomato flower. For pollination, it is necessary to shake it with such force that the resulting load exceeded 30g. Now compare this overload with the human body, even if test pilots will certainly lose consciousness when overloaded in 6-7g.

When the first flowering plants appeared 130 million years ago, among the first inhabitants were beetles and flies.

Modern scientists and technologists are aware of such species of bees as osmium, some individuals of which pollinate only a strictly specific type of plant. Pollinating such bees is several times more effective than the work of universal workers. However, honey bees are able to win this race thanks to large colonies (one hive provides housing for more than 30 thousand individuals). This means that during the search for nectar, they fly around more different plants. In comparison with the overwhelming mass of other insects, they are easier to control, and these bees also more easily tolerate moving.

Honeybees are not whimsical in the choice of food, they process almost any plant species. To assess the real benefits of their work, it is impossible to find the exact method. But economists estimate that on a global scale, their role can be measured by a figure close to 200 billion dollars. The reverse side of the coin lies in the fact that in agriculture, this system is working for wear.

It is a pity, but a well-developed process of natural pollination is not suitable for growing monocultural plants on an industrial scale. Previously, farms were significantly smaller, and people remained indifferent to the work of pollinating insects. Now, without a whole army of bees on the farm, it is impossible to provide high-quality pollination. The European honey bee was introduced to the American continent more than four hundred years ago, but began to specialize in the "cultivation" of bees relatively recently. To date, more than a hundred of the largest farms in the United States are almost entirely built up for leased bees.

Pollination - part of the agro-industry

What methods were not only tried by farmers for the best pollination of plants in greenhouses. The use of swinging tables, blowers, loud, harsh sounds, vibrators, which are connected for each inflorescence manually - nothing gave a positive result. As it turned out, it was impossible to replace bees and bumblebees! Just point them to the flowers of the plants, and insects will cling to them, feeding on seductive nectar. In the meantime, golden dust will fly out of the anther of the stamen, reliably adhering to the fluffy body of the Bumblebee.

Naturally, the hardworking insect is not limited to the sweet nectar of just one plant. The bee will fly to another flower, as a result of which the vibrating hairs of her body will leave pollen on the pistil. In return, the toiler will be awarded a new portion of golden "dust". And such an operation will be repeated many, many times, so for the uninitiated person this may seem like magic.

Irremediable harm to beekeeping

After honey bees began to be used for pollination on farms, they constantly suffer from viruses and parasites. In 2006, the majority of bees disappeared in many countries of the world during the winter period. Under the covers of the hives, only queens with several insects were found. For example, in the USA about half of the hives have become empty, some beekeepers had to start their own business altogether practically from scratch. Later it turned out that he was guilty of this terrible misfortune syndrome of destruction of colonies, which to this day has remained a mystery for specialists.

Scientists attributed the first attack of IBS to an excessive abundance of chemicals in the fields. According to the specialist Jeff Pettis, insects exposed to pesticides lose their protection against disease. But perhaps the reason lies in the whole set of destructive factors. Bee immunity may suffer from a lack of uniformity of food. Some evidence suggests that viruses and fungi can work together.

At the moment, the cause of the syndrome of destruction of the colonies is not identified. However, wild bees, whose work is estimated at about $ 3 billion a year, are not in the best position either. The main types of bumblebees are becoming rare, the number of others decreases at a rapid pace.

How do bees pollinate plants?

Plants and pollinating insects are in close contact with each other. Most of them are great gourmands, which most like nectar. In order to gain access to the nectar, the bee needs to touch the anthers or the stigmas that are on the way to it. When you fly from flower to flower in search of food or shelter, each insect plays an invaluable role of the pollinator of plants.

Plants in which insects participate in pollination are well prepared for meeting their intermediaries. Their flowers have a bright color, which immediately catches the eye of bees and bumblebees. Petals are usually colored, in rare cases, cups (in heather, etc.) or cups and corollas (in tulips, live-bones). Often, small flowers unite in an inflorescence, after which they will be noticeable for pollinators (for example, inflorescences of sunflower, chamomile, priest, various umbrella).

Entomophilous flowers can have a varied color - from purple to purple. The role of coloring is very important. Coloring contributes to insects when searching for the plant they need. Flowers that are pollinated by a butterfly are always painted white.

All of the above indicates that without the bees of pollinators on Earth there would not have been that variety of plants that pleases the eye of any person. Therefore, the loss of these insects leads to the loss of not just honey. We will lose pears, apples and a lot of other crops. Pollinators even deliver milk to us for breakfast, as the cattle feeds on alfalfa and clover, which are pollinated by these little laborers. Summer will have to do without watermelons, and during the celebration of Halloween without a pumpkin. The apocalyptic script leaves no room for this whole daily and ordinary fairy tale.

However, without the bees, humanity will not die of hunger. But without their work, we will lose a lot of plants, limiting ourselves to wind-pollinated crops, for example, wheat and rice. Then our survival would depend on the direction and strength of the wind.

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