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Swiss researches has tested a field of mustard plants and observed how the pollinating process by bumblebees occur. And they have concluded that the bee-pollinated plants grew and gain a stronger scent. They have also concluded something alarming which was how the flowers in the field had a 15-fold increase in their capacity to be able to pollinate by themselves. This decline has alarmed the researches because bees play a vital role in acting up as the main pollinators for plants and food crops.
And if this asexual production start to become the usual practice for them then there’s a possibility that the plants will have a hard time evolving and adapting to exterior forces just like pests moving into an area as the climate warms. They have also found hundreds of of millions of bees dead after disinfecting the Zika mosquitoes in South Carolina. They have also been considering at present whether to legalize the weedkiller glysophate that contributes cancer in humans and lethal effects on bees. Even components used by some of the farmers are found to have lethal and grave effects on the population of the bees which can affect the evolution of Plants. Professor Florian Schiestl, of Zurich University, said “Bumblebees and hoverflies have different preferences when they visited the flowers. Those preferences decide which plants are being visited by the pollinator and that means which plants mate with each other.” “We found the bumblebee-pollinated plants were a lot more fragrant. They had about double the scent compared with the hoverfly-pollinated plants.” , “The bumblebee-pollinated plants were taller and the hoverfly plants had more self-pollination.” Professor Schiestl also said “I think there are many reasons why we should not destroy our bees. I think we have added one more to them.” This could apply pressure to the plants if the they become less attractive to bees. “This may have a long-term effect that may not be reversible. Nobody knows if this can be reverted to a trait that is attractive to bees. We may be going down a one-way road,” Professor Schiestl said. He was clear in stating that self-pollination could be damaging.
“Self-pollination reduces genetic variability in the population. The same individual mates with itself. The idea of sexual reproduction is to increase variation,” he said. “If that stops, it’s basically a kind of vicious circle. You have less genetic variation so you have less potential to respond to different selection pressure. “You can reach a stage where you have no genetic variation. Such a population cannot evolve anymore, [for example] to develop resistance against a pathogen.” “Bees aren’t the only pollinator, but many plants will not thrive if they are only visited by other insects, as this new research shows,” he said.
“But Britain’s bees are under threat, and we can all do more to help them – such as by growing pollinator-friendly plants, avoiding pesticides and turning gardens and other spaces into bee-friendly habitats. “And you can check out the bees in your garden, park or neighbourhood by taking part in the Great British Bee Count later this spring.”
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