Website URL:
   Skip to main content

   
   
   ScienceMag.org
   Search 
   X

   
     * Contents 
     * News 
     * Careers 
     * Journals 

   Read our COVID-19 research and news.

   

share

     * 
     * 
     * 
     * 
     * 

   Report

   Bumble bees damage plant leaves and accelerate flower production when pollen is scarce
    1. View ORCID ProfileFoteini G. Pashalidou^1,^2,*,
    2. View ORCID ProfileHarriet Lambert^1,*,
    3. Thomas Peybernes^1,
    4. View ORCID ProfileMark C. Mescher^1,†,
    5. View ORCID ProfileConsuelo M. De Moraes^1,†

    1. 
       ^1Department of Environmental Systems Sciences, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland.
    2. 
       ^2UMR Agronomie, INRA, AgroParisTech, Universite Paris-Saclay, 78850 Thiverval- Grignon, France.

    1. ↵†Corresponding author. Email: consuelo.demoraes{at}usys.ethz.ch (C.M.D.M.); mescher{at}usys.ethz.ch (M.C.M.)

    1. ↵* These authors contributed equally to this work.

   See allHide authors and affiliations
   Science  22 May 2020:
   Vol. 368, Issue 6493, pp. 881-884
   DOI: 10.1126/science.aay0496
   Foteini G. Pashalidou
   1Department of Environmental Systems Sciences, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland.
   2UMR Agronomie, INRA, AgroParisTech, Universite Paris-Saclay, 78850 Thiverval- Grignon, France.
     * Find this author on Google Scholar
     * Find this author on PubMed
     * Search for this author on this site
     * ORCID record for Foteini G. Pashalidou 

   Harriet Lambert
   1Department of Environmental Systems Sciences, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland.
     * Find this author on Google Scholar
     * Find this author on PubMed
     * Search for this author on this site
     * ORCID record for Harriet Lambert 

   Thomas Peybernes
   1Department of Environmental Systems Sciences, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland.
     * Find this author on Google Scholar
     * Find this author on PubMed
     * Search for this author on this site

   Mark C. Mescher
   1Department of Environmental Systems Sciences, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland.
     * Find this author on Google Scholar
     * Find this author on PubMed
     * Search for this author on this site
     * ORCID record for Mark C. Mescher 
     * For correspondence: consuelo.demoraes@usys.ethz.ch mescher@usys.ethz.ch

   Consuelo M. De Moraes
   1Department of Environmental Systems Sciences, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland.
     * Find this author on Google Scholar
     * Find this author on PubMed
     * Search for this author on this site
     * ORCID record for Consuelo M. De Moraes 
     * For correspondence: consuelo.demoraes@usys.ethz.ch mescher@usys.ethz.ch

     * Article
     * Figures & Data
     * Info & Metrics
     * eLetters
     * PDF

   Loading

   You are currently viewing the abstract.
   View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

   via AAAS login

   AAAS login provides access to Science for AAAS members, and access to other journals in the Science family to users who have purchased individual subscriptions.
     * Become an AAAS Member
     * Activate your Account
     * Purchase Access to Other Journals in the Science Family
     * Account Help

Log in through your institution

   Log in via OpenAthens.

Log in through your institution

   Log in with your institution via Shibboleth.

More options

     * Purchase digital access to this article

   Download and print this article for your personal scholarly, research, and educational use.
     * Purchase this issue in print

   Buy a single issue of Science for just $15 USD.

Bumble bee gardeners

   Bumble bees rely heavily on pollen resources for essential nutrients as they build their summer colonies. Therefore, we might expect that annual differences in the availability of these resources must simply be tolerated, but Pashalidou et al. made observations suggesting that bees may have strategies to cope with irregular seasonal flowering (see the Perspective by Chittka). When faced with a shortage of pollen, bumble bees actively damaged plant leaves in a characteristic way, and this behavior resulted in earlier flowering by as much as 30 days. Experimenters were not able to fully replicate the results with their own damage, suggesting that there is a distinct method that the bees use to stimulate earlier flowering.

   Science, this issue p. 881; see also p. 824

Abstract

   Maintaining phenological synchrony with flowers is a key ecological challenge for pollinators that may be exacerbated by ongoing environmental change. Here, we show that bumble bee workers facing pollen scarcity damage leaves of flowerless plants and thereby accelerate flower production. Laboratory studies revealed that leaf-damaging behavior is strongly influenced by pollen availability and that bee-damaged plants flower significantly earlier than undamaged or mechanically damaged controls. Subsequent outdoor experiments showed that the intensity of damage inflicted varies with local flower availability; furthermore, workers from wild colonies of two additional bumble bee species were also observed to damage plant leaves. These findings elucidate a feature of bumble bee worker behavior that can influence the local availability of floral resources.
   http://www.sciencemag.org/about/science-licenses-journal-article-reuse

   This is an article distributed under the terms of the Science Journals Default License.
   View Full Text
   Science: 368 (6493) 

Science

   Vol 368, Issue 6493
   22 May 2020
     * Table of Contents 
     * Print Table of Contents 
     * Advertising (PDF)
     * Classified (PDF)
     * Masthead (PDF)

Article Tools

     * Email
     * Download Powerpoint
     * Print
     *

     * Alerts
       Please log in to add an alert for this article.
       Log In with your AAAS ID
     * Citation tools

Bumble bees damage plant leaves and accelerate flower production when pollen is scarce

       By Foteini G. Pashalidou, Harriet Lambert, Thomas Peybernes, Mark C. Mescher, Consuelo M. De Moraes
       Science22 May 2020 : 881-884
       Bumble bees manipulate plants to bring about earlier flowering.
          + Supplementary Materials

Citation Manager Formats
          + BibTeX
          + Bookends
          + EasyBib
          + EndNote (tagged)
          + EndNote 8 (xml)
          + Medlars
          + Mendeley
          + Papers
          + RefWorks Tagged
          + Ref Manager
          + RIS
          + Zotero
     * Share

Bumble bees damage plant leaves and accelerate flower production when pollen is scarce

       By Foteini G. Pashalidou, Harriet Lambert, Thomas Peybernes, Mark C. Mescher, Consuelo M. De Moraes
       Science22 May 2020 : 881-884
       Bumble bees manipulate plants to bring about earlier flowering.
          + Supplementary Materials
       Share This Article: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6493/88 (BUTTON) Copy
       CiteULike logo  Connotea logo  del.icio.us logo 
       Digg logo  Facebook logo  Google logo 
       Mendeley logo  Reddit logo  Twitter logo 

My saved folders

     * Save to my folders
       Log In with your AAAS ID

Stay Connected to Science

     * Facebook
     * Twitter

Related Content

Similar Articles in:

Citing Articles in:

Read the Latest Issue of Science

22 May 2020

   Vol 368, Issue 6493
   Magazine Cover 

   Table of Contents
     *

Feature
       Hard lessons
     *

Research Ethics: COVID-19
       Ethics of controlled human infection to address COVID-19
     *

Entomology
       Butterflies and the people who love them
     *

SCI COMMUN
       News at a glance
     *

Public Health
       Global solutions to a silent poison
     *

Working Life
       An end and a beginning

     * About Us
          + Journals
          + News from Science
          + Leadership
          + Team Members
          + Work at AAAS
     * For Advertisers
          + Advertising Kits
          + Awards and Prizes
          + Custom Publishing
          + Webinars
     * For Authors
          + Submit
          + Information for Authors
          + Editorial Policies
     * For Librarians
          + Manage Your Institutional Subscription
          + Information for Librarians
          + Request a Quote
          + FAQs
     * Related Sites
          + AAAS.org
          + EurekAlert!
          + Science in the Classroom
          + Science Magazine Japanese
     * Help
          + Access and Subscriptions
          + Order a Single Issue
          + Reprints and Permissions
          + Contact Us
          + Accessibility
     * Stay Connected
          + Facebook
          + Twitter
          + YouTube
          + RSS Feeds

   Science/AAAS 

   © 2020 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved. AAAS is a partner of HINARI, AGORA, OARE, CHORUS, CLOCKSS, CrossRef and COUNTER.
   Science ISSN 1095-9203.
     * Terms of Service
     * Privacy Policy
     * Contact AAAS