17 August 2017

As a student I learned that bumblebee species differ in tongue length and that they visit mainly matching flowers. Since then, I’m fascinated by floral ecology. Though I took another direction in my career, I still can’t look at a flower that I don’t know without wondering who pollinates it. The beauty of it: the […]

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14 July 2017

Carl Linnaeus invented the floral clock – perhaps not his most famous accomplishment. But it’s a curious thing and, turning it into a game, it may be a great way to create interest in flowers. And pollination ecology. And bees. But lets start from the beginning: Each flower has a defined rhythm, some open already […]

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16 June 2017

Bees rely on flowers to get the nutrients they need – both adults and larvae. Looking at bee nutrition more in detail however, makes clear that it isn’t as simple as that. All 20,000 bee species have different life-histories, have different amounts of offspring, may be social, solitary or something in between. Some species are […]

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9 June 2017

The relationship between bees and flowers is one of the best examples for mutualism: the flowers get pollinated and the bees get food. Perfect, isn’t it? It is. But, sometimes bees don’t give the return service. They take the nectar without pollinating. That’s what’s called nectar robbing. It sounds quite deceiptful and not in line […]

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14 April 2017

One of the side effects of the attention pollinators get, is that you can buy “bee friendly” plants everywhere. However, as with every hype, it may be wise to take a closer look at these plants. Not always the flowers are really bee friendly and sometimes you may also do harm. A very recent example […]

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17 March 2017

For a long time, there was no awareness for invasive species in general. Europeans brought their familiar domestic animals and cultivated plants to the Americas, to Australia and all other countries they colonized. Nowadays, alien species continue to establish in new habitats. Though there may be more attention, global trade opens the door for migration […]

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