Bumble bees benefit from faba bean cultivation

Image of bumble bee on faba bean flower.

(Georg-August-Universität Göttingen) About one third of the payments received by German farmers are linked to specific “greening measures” to promote biodiversity. The cultivation of nitrogen-fixing legumes is very popular. However, these measures have been criticized because the benefits for biodiversity are unclear. It turns out that bumble bees benefit from the cultivation of faba beans, while all other wild bees depend on the presence of semi-natural habitats.

Heated rival­ries for pol­lin­at­ors among arc­tic plants

Image of arctic flowers.

(University of Helsinki) Insect pollination is as important to Arctic plants as it is to plants further south. When flowers abound, the plants have to compete for pollinators. Researchers reveal that higher temperatures cause the flowering periods of different plant species to pile up in time. As a consequence, climate change may affect the competitive relationships of plants. The most attractive plant species steal the majority of pollinators, making other plants flowering at the same time suffer from poorer pollination.

London museum unveils nitrogen-absorbing sculpture for bees

Image of woman with sculpture.

(The Art Newspaper) The sculpture is able to absorb up to 15% of her own weight in nitrogen dioxide molecules. When it rains, the absorbed toxins are washed away as a harmless liquid, enabling the continuous ingestion of pollution from the surrounding air. Nitrogen dioxide can mask the scent of flowers, thus preventing bees from finding their food.