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Study: Loss Of Bees Can Affect Plants’ Ability To Reproduce

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File photo of a bumblebee collecting pollen.  (credit: Oli Scarff /Getty Images)

File photo of a bumblebee collecting pollen. (credit: Oli Scarff /Getty Images)

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CRESTED BUTTE, Colo., (CBS4) – According to a new study, the loss of bees can affect how their floral partners can reproduce.

Two researchers led a team of students. Berry J. Brosi, an assistant professor at Emory University in Atlanta, and Heather M. Briggs, a graduate student at the University of California Santa Cruz, both in environmental science, studied plots of meadow at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Crested Butte, each about 22 yards on a side.

Each team tested what happened if they removed the most populous bumblebee species by catching them with butterfly nets.

Researchers found that the remaining bumblebees became less faithful to one flower species than they had been before the removal of the most numerous bees.

Because of the unfaithful bees, plants produced about 30 percent less seed.

The findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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