Bees and flowers have a special relationship, and climate change is screwing it up

Climate change — as it is for pretty much all life forms — is a huge bummer for bees. If neonics and other pesticides weren’t enough to deal with, a recent study demonstrated that global warming has fueled drastic bee habitat loss, leading to a 200-mile reduction in their natural environments. Something out in the great abyss has it out for the buzzers (hint: it’s CO2).

Because bees depend on flowers for food and flowers depend on bees for pollination, the two groups of organisms tend to sync up. (Remember scribbling “symbiotic relationship” into your high school biology notebook? It’s one of those.) And because climate change is fiddling with the times that flowers bloom, it means “we could have a situation where plants are available but bees are not active,” says Rebecca Irwin, an associate professor of applied ecology at North Carolina State University. “That’s going to be a problem for both parties.”

Perhaps you could care less about bees, but we assume you’re mildly interested in little things like “the produce section at Whole Foods” — which could disappear entirely if bees are wiped out.




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