More Problems for Bees; We've Wiped Out Their Favorite Plants

Arstechnica.com   By Diana Gitig   November 25, 2014 

Pollen samples from old museum specimens indicate bees' favorite meals are gone.

That orange blob on the bees legs is all pollen, saved for a future meal. (Credit: CA Dept of Food & Ag)Bees are disappearing—that much is certain. What's unclear is why. Pathogens and pesticides have been posited as potential causes, as has the loss of bees' preferred floral resources. This last reason has intuitive appeal: wildflowers are disappearing because of agriculture, and bees rely on the pollen and nectar in flowers, so the loss of flowers should be causing the loss of bees.

But a demonstration of this seemingly simple idea has been hard to come by. Different species of bees rely on different plants—the bee species that are disappearing have never been analyzed in terms of taste for the plants that are disappearing to see if they match up. And, once the bees or plants are gone...

Read more... http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/11/more-problems-for-bees-weve-wiped-out-their-favorite-plants/#p3

Related article:  http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v516/n7529/full/516010a.html?WT.ec_id=NATURE-20141204#access