Flamboyant bees

Adventure Ramblings

Spectacular flowers call for spectacular bees. Euglossin bees pollinate orchids, and the level of specialization is high: an orchid is pollinated by only a few species of bee, and one species of bee pollinates only a few species of orchids. Put out a plastic bag with eucalyptus oil, and these guys come zooming as soon as the sun comes out.

Euglossin bee, on a leash. Euglossin bee, on a leash.

According to locals, there used to be a ton of these bees in Monteverde; nowadays they’re relatively hard to find. If euglossin bee species are gone, so are probably their favorite orchid species. Since the orchids grew high in the trees, no one may have ever even seen them before they disappeared.

The red string is part of an experiment investigating how much the bees can carry when they fly. Photo by Ann Dunham. The red string is part of an experiment investigating how much the bees can carry when they fly. Photo by Ann Dunham.

All euglossin bees we see out and about are male, and only the females sting… (photo by Ann Dunham) All euglossin bees we see out and about are male, and only the females…

View original post 16 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s