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Australia’s first night bee foraging in the dark



Australia's first night bee foraging in the dark

(Reepenia bituberculatav) Bees have night foraging activities. Image courtesy of James Dorey, Flinders University

Australian honeybees are known for pollinating plants on beautiful sunny days, but a new study found that for the first time two species of honeybees have adapted their eyesight to night conditions.


A group of ecological researchers have observed a night vision (Reepenia bituberculata) and masked (Meroglossa gemmata) bees’ nocturnal foraging behavior. Their eyes are both enlarged and opened with compounds, and their eyes are simple, similar to daytime Compared to the relatives that can collect more light.

Published on Journal of Hymenoptera ResearchThe researchers explained that this increase in dimming power may also exist in other Australian species that are active in the dark night, and its image processing capabilities are best observed through high-resolution close-up images.

Lead author Dr. James Dorey, a candidate from the School of Science and Engineering at Flinders University, said that the two Australian bee species that are active at night and dusk are mostly found in the tropical north of Australia, but in arid, subtropical areas. There may even be more entire continents under temperate conditions.

“We have confirmed that there are at least two naked-eyed bees species in Australia, and they may forage more species of bees during the day and early morning or evening in low light conditions. Indeed, bees are not universally known to use both eyes at night. The ability is very strong, but it turns out that dim foraging is more common than current thinking.”

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Australia's first night bee foraging in the dark

The masked bee species (Meroglossa gemmata) foraging at night in Australia. Image courtesy of James Dorey, Flinders University

“Before this study, the only way to show that bees had adapted to low light was to use hard-to-obtain behavioral observations, but we found that you should be able to figure this out by using high-quality images of bees. A bee.”

Mr. Dorey said that bees did not have enough research on pastures in dim conditions and there was no reliable record of any Australian species before.

“Our research provides a framework that can help identify bees that adapt to low light and the data needed to determine the behavioral characteristics of other species. This is important because we need to increase the workload and collect bee species outside of normal working hours. Publish new information. Observe to better understand their role in maintaining the ecosystem.”

The researchers outlined why more knowledge about the behavior of bee species is needed to help protect them from the potential effects of climate change.

“The global climate pattern is changing. The temperature in many parts of Australia is rising, and the risk of long-term drought and fire is also increasing. Therefore, we must deepen our understanding of the gentle pollination of insects at night or during the day to avoid potential extinction. Risk or mitigate the loss of pollination services.”

“It also means that we have to highlight species that operate in a narrow time frame and may be sensitive to climate change, so conservation becomes an important issue. Because frankly, we have been ignoring these species so far.”

James B Dorey (Flinders University), Erinn P. Fagan Jeffries (University of Adelaide), Mark I. Stevens (South Australian Museum) new paper “Morphometric comparison and comparison of diurnal and low-light foraging bees Novel Observation (2020)), Michael P. Schwarz (Flinders University) has been Journal of Hymenoptera Research.


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More information:
James B. Dorey et al., “Morphometric Comparison and Novel Observations of Day and Night Foraging and Low-light Foraging Bees”, Journal of Hymenoptera Research (2020). DOI: 10.3897 / yr.79.57308

Courtesy of Flinders University

Citation: Recorded the first Australian night bee foraging in the dark (2020, October 30) from https://phys.org/news/2020-10-australian-night-bees on October 31, 2020 -foraging-darkness.html search

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