Bees and flowers have had the world’s longest love affair. Now it’s in danger | Alison Benjamin

Bees pollinate many human foodstuffs. But intensive farming practices may kill them off if we don’t demand change

The oldest love affair in history is between the bee and the flower. It began more than 100m years ago, when nature devised a more efficient way than winds for plants to procreate. About 80% of plant species now use animals or insects to carry pollen grains from the male part of the plant to the female part. The plants developed flowers. Their perfumed scent, colourful displays and sweet nectar are all designed to woo pollinators.

Over time, 25,000 or so species (we still don’t know exactly how many) of bee have evolved globally to play Cupid to specific flowering plants and trees: their short life cycle perfectly synchronised with the blooming of the flowers. On each visit they refuel with nectar, collect pollen to feed their young and in the process become a messenger of love.

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Source : Bees and flowers have had the world’s longest love affair. Now it’s in danger | Alison Benjamin