Climate change may be preventing bees from carrying out the vital job of pollination by upsetting their life cycles, a study has shown.
Flowering times of mountain lilies in the US appear to be out of synch with their bumble bee pollinators, evidence suggests. As a result, fewer of the plants are being pollinated and bearing fruit.
Reports of declining populations of bees and other flower-visiting creatures have raised concerns about pollination levels. There are major implications for farming and food supplies.
"We suspect that a climate-driven mismatch between the times when flowers open and when bees emerge from hibernation is an ... important factor," said James Thomson, from the University of Toronto in Canada. The findings from his 17-year pollination study in Colorado are published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.