Of bees and plants

Climate change could alter natural pollination cycle

Scientists are concerned that because bees and plants are emerging earlier in the spring due to climate change pollination cycles will change.

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences earlier this month concluded that multiple species of North American bees have been waking in correspondence to earlier spring times, according to USA Today. The study’s authors noted that over the last 130 years, bees have emerged about 10 days earlier, with most of that change occurring since 1970.

Scientists are concerned that, as the planet continues to warm, bees and plants will react differently and become out of sync—which could be disastrous, as 85 percent of all Earth’s plants are pollinated by insects and animals.

“If mismatches did occur and caused the local extinction of pollinators or plants, this could affect people, because of the widespread importance of pollinators and animal-pollinated plants,” said Ignasi Bartomeus of Rutgers University, the study’s lead author.