UEA Claim: Global warming distracts bees by making them horny

honey-beeEric Worrall writes: At the University of East Anglia (UEA), the place that gave us Climategate, researchers have discovered climate change affects the ability of bees to pollinate a rare orchid which mimics a female bee in order to attract the attention of pollinators. Apparently warm weather causes bees to emerge early, before the flowers, therefore the bees get buzzy with each other, rather than being distracted by bee mimicking flowers. From this finding, the researchers extrapolate the progressive breakdown of all pollination systems, therefore we must shut down industrial civilization.

According to The Register;

“… where the climate was found to be warmer in the early stages of Spring, bees were sleepily wrapping their fuzzy bodies around their female counterparts, even though the orchids had already flowered, the scientists said. … There will be progressive disruption of pollination systems with climatic warming, which could lead to the breakdown of coevolved interactions between species because they either respond either to different seasonal cues, or to the same cues at different rates.”

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/08/hot_horny_bees_swerve_planet_saving_duties_as_climate_warms_claim_boffins/

What can I say – the compelling conclusion of this study can only be disputed if you refuse to believe that happy, well satisfied bees are a sign of the end times.

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145 thoughts on “UEA Claim: Global warming distracts bees by making them horny

      • What if we turn the argument around?

        Doesn’t warm weather mean that female bees will be more likely to find males, as the males won’t be off shagging the slutty flowers? And therefore there will be more bees next year?

        So warming will lead to more bees and it is this increase in bee numbers that will keep the flowers satisfied, leading to an increase in flowers as well. all due to warming.

    • Not true of the species of bee in question. Most species are not eusocial, like the honey bees. Most of the important pollinating species are in the group of solitary bees.

      • An example of solitary bees is the common ‘bumble bee’. (Thanks for the intro DesertYote)

        “Scientific name: Ophrys apifera Huds.
        Common name: bee orchid”

        From the ineffable and incomparable Kew Gardens .
        Bolding, mine.

        “About this species

        Ophrys apifera is an attractive orchid with several small flowers, each of which has a lip resembling a bee, and three large, pink, petal-like outer sepals; the two other inner sepals look like antennae. The whole flower thus mimics an insect feeding on a flower. In biology, the term ‘mimicry’ refers to cases where natural selection has favoured a resemblance between individuals of different species, and there are numerous examples of orchid flowers which resemble their insect pollinators.

        In other Ophrys species in the Mediterranean region, for example, male bees or wasps try to copulate with the lip of the flowers, which look and smell like the females of their own species. However, in Britain and generally elsewhere, the bee orchid, is self-pollinated…”

        Besides the minor fact that orchids are quite patient and there will always be more bees, I assume the UEA is attempting to jump on the paranoia NGO apiary bandwagon to get more funds no matter what lies they tell.

        UEA is drama queening and holding their collective breaths for too long (the loss of brain cells due to lack of oxygen and an abundance of personal CO2 contributes to more wrong weather and climate predictions).

    • Ha ha! Well yes, that was my first thought. And these people think they are scientists.

      FWIW….for weeks now, as various trees and bushes have flowered we have had masses of bees visiting them. The sound of the buzzing has been almost deafening. Ash trees, oak trees, camellias, crab apple, all loved by swarms of bees. This is Spring in North Central Victoria.

  1. Oh the irony, it burns. Two-hundredth of a hive might be males. Vastly all bees must, according to UEA. lesbian? “Breakdown of coevolved interaction” sounds like a rehash (oops) of the evils of cannabis.

    • Bee careful. It’s not about worker bees. It’s about the few male bees attempting to mate with an orchid thereby spreading their pollen.
      http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.10.033

      But as I observed down thread for every “1 °C increase in mean spring temperature was associated with an advance in flowering of 6.7 days”, which is 13.4 days early flowering for a 2C rise in mean spring temps. Maybe the folks at UEA should find themselves something better to do.

      • No Jim, this jerk actually thinks male and female bees are like human teenagers chasing each other around the fields in spring time. A stunning level of ignorance.

        Drones screw the queen, who does not leave the hive. He also seems to have totally misunderstood the lure of the orchid.

        From the Register:

        The prof, who – among others – worked on the research with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which helped fund the project, said:

        Warming by as little as 2°C causes the males to emerge much earlier, meaning they are less well synchronised with the orchids. The problem is compounded by the female bees which are also emerging earlier, and attracting the attention of the male bees. This means that the male bees are more likely to copulate with the female bees, rather than pollinating the orchids.

      • This paper is in Cell , which probably explains a lot.
        http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2814%2901342-6

        The abstract talks about the male bees being involved in “pseudocopulation” with the orchids. This sounds like more bad science.

        The lure of the orchid is probably just that of a worker bee. Any insect seeing what it believes to be congener on a plant will assume it is a source of food check it out.

        I use a similar technique with sticky fly-paper. traps which I always prime with a dead fly to attract others.

        It seems that there is some rather naive anthropomorphic assumptions going on in this “pseudocopulation” storey.

      • Ah, apparently these bees are solitary variete, not a social species and do not have a worker caste.

        http://www.habitas.org.uk/priority/species.asp?item=9636

        Still the proposition that the orchid “could be” in danger due to few days drift in the coming out period is belied by the fact that this symbiosis has evolved in the first place in an ever changing climate system.

        This is just more of banal CAGW “could be” speculation that gets passed off and published as science in these so-called “prestigious” journals these days.

      • Well, mentioning that the orchids also bloom earlier would be counter-narrative. One needs to cherry pick the data and the facts to keep the CAGW train on track.

      • This gets better. Apparently there is a chemical signal in the females once mated. So if all the females have their coming out parties a bit earlier, by the time the orchids flower there will be lots sex starved males out, desperately looking for a good time.

        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs002650000241#page-1

        Looks like the orchids patches are going to get a hammering on Saturday nights “as the climate continues to warm”. ™

      • I think Greg’s last comment (12:43 pm) in this string captures the important information. The Ophrys sphegodes orchids rely on tricking male bees using visual and scent cues into thinking their flowers are females ready for a date. The orchid is widely distributed and attracts different species of solitary bees (Andrena) in different areas and is known to have highly variable scents such that within an area male bees can learn which flowers they have already ‘pseudocopulated’ and look for other unmated flowers, thus maintaining male interest and promoting outcrossing.

        So, there seems lots of genetic variation on hand to allow the orchid to fine tune to any slight changes in temperature or pollinators. After all, the orchid has a wide distribution today and must have survived previous glacial and interglacial periods of the current Ice Age. Orchids mass their pollen into a single lump and produce vast numbers of tiny seeds from a single successful pollination, so any successful variant is likely to spread – if there is suitable habitat. The real threat to Ophrys sphegodes is habitat destruction.

        This paper is just another beat-up attempting to collect high impact factor kudos and generate scare headlines by waving the climate change bloody shirt. Highly specific pollinator systems as with this orchid (and many others) are potentially fragile, but not likely to temperature changes that their ancestors have already cruised through in the past. If you are interested in protecting orchids, then maintaining appropriate habitat for the orchid and its pollinators is what you should be worried about.

  2. Please enlighten us all: What’s added to the water pipe lines in University of East Anglia?
    Long ago Chalmers in Gothenburg begged Pripps, a Gothenburg-Beer company, for a direct pipe line…..
    Have UEA been more successful? :-)

  3. Wow… birds a few days ago, now bees… and don’t forget the plight of the Monarch Butterfly! Next it will be “all things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small” (posthumous apologies to John Rutter).

    What comes to mind is k.i.s.s. – but now it’s k.i.s.a.s.s. (Keep It Simple And Sufficiently Scary).

    • Kiss my a$$ is what comes to my mind. These must be the most incompetent bio-climate-ology idits in the world (in a Jeremy Clarkson voice)

    • Some springs are cold and rainy and some are warm and dry. I dont see how an increase by 2 degrees is a game changer. My apple trees and the bees would surely not complain. Just another bogus theory that will never amount to anything

  4. IIRC, the bee “pollen collectors” are all female. The males are few, and all drones – another word for “parasitic loafer”. They don’t do work…

    I’m starting to get really amused at the creative idiocy that is Warm-ism. Next week we’ll be assured that teenage acne will worsen with rising temperatures. Poor kids…

      • A beek, a beekeeper, knows when his hives are toughening up for winter for the dead drones pitched out the front door as too expensive to keep and feed through the winter.

    • The bees in question are not honey bees. They are a species of solitary bee. Most of the important pollinators are solitary bees.

      • Good point.
        The dumbness of this paper relates to the interaction of orchid and bee and how it supposedly is so fragile; there is no evidence for that.

        A lot of comments (including mine) have been distracted by the partial knowledge of honey bees that we possess. My mistake. Thank you.

  5. Climastrologists are learning about the Birds and the Bees. It’s a good sign. Climate science may survive it’s adolescence.

  6. The more claptrap the warmists spew out the less they are believed, let them spew it out in heaps.

  7. All I know is that my son’s two hives did not make it through last winter in Rhode Island due to to cold.

  8. As a bee keeper I get used to lots of tosh and idiotic statements. However the one that bugs me most is the oft repeated line supposedly by Einstein that the human race would quickly die out if bees disappeared. The idiots who say this never seem to realise that huge amounts of crops are not pollinated by bees ( ever see bees pollinating wheat?) and that there were no honey bees in the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and other places before Europeans took them there, in spite of this their indigenous peoples seem to grow or collect food without too much problem. The reality is that beetles,flies and moths are just as likely to pollinate flowers as bees are. Bees can be a signal that all is not well in an environment, but only if we learn the realities of bee husbandry and not believe in silly stories.

    • Hi Gareth – you are correct about wind pollination of grains etc. and alternative pollinators, but when ‘bees’ are mentioned, most people assume the honey bee is meant. That is not true in this paper. I don’t know if any orchid is regularly pollinated by honey bees, but I do know that orchid pollination systems tend to be very complicated and often rely on a limited number of pollinator species, usually flies, moths or solitary bees.

      There are about 25,000 species of bees in the world. The vast majority of these are wild solitary bees that we hardly notice, but do just fine as pollinators of native plants and many crops. A few of these have been domesticated for special use, e.g. pollinating alfalfa (honey bees are very poor pollinators in lucerne). Leaf cutting bees and bumble bees (which are social, but form small colonies) are excellent buzz-pollinators of tomatoes, capsicum, and blueberries and there is a lot of ‘background pollination’ of our crops by non-honey bees.

      If all honey bees died out, then fruit and vegetable production would drop, but we would still survive and probably develop new bee partners to fill the void. Maybe Einstein meant all the world’s bees including the wild ones, but more likely he never said anything that dumb.

    • Gareth, you’re right about the statement. Plenty of different bee species here in mid-Atlantic US.

      Thing is, many of the commercial fruit/vegetables/nuts are of European origin and may not be so attractive to native pollinators, but beloved by honeybees.

      Just to add for an interesting observation, I have a fall-blooming Chinese elm planted on my lot, and honeybees go absolutely crazy collecting pollen from it in Sept/Oct — the whole tree is buzzing. Not something one would expect from an elm…

  9. Beyond stupid. All pollen gathering worker bees are female. Saddest part is this passed pal review. Vivid example of junk climate science.
    Good news. It is now apparent that many warmunists (derivation in Blowing Smoke courtesy Vclav Klaus and Blue Planet in Green Chains) do not understand ‘the birds and the bees’. So there will eventually be fewer of them.

    • Yes, but Ophrys orchids fool male insects into trying to copulate with them and thus pollinate them. They do this by both looking and smelling like females. Quite sneaky flowers really.

    • Hi Rud – I agree that this probably passed as pal review or at least confirmation bias prevented a good review, but they have the pollination system correct. Male bees don’t collection pollen, but most species do visit flowers and can act as pollinators from pollen sticking to their furry bodies. In the case of orchids, the plants actively stick a large mass of pollen (called a pollineum) on the males and then retrieve the mass when the male visits the next flower. This strategy seems to be very effecting even with rare pollination events as about 10% of living vascular plant species are thought to be orchids and about a third of them have truly bizarre pollination systems. Given your eclectic interests, you may find this page interesting:
      http://biology-assets.anu.edu.au/hosted_sites/orchid_pollination/

  10. This is so dumb I couldn’t be bothered to discuss it at the Guardian. But if you want a better laugh look at the comments over there.

    Such ignorance is astounding. For instance this gem.
    mdfrancis (06 November 2014 6:23pm):

    Wonderful to see how nature evolves. Adapting to climate change, finding their niche. Huge opportunity for the fittest and most adaptable.

    With the most lauded expert reply from SteB1 (06 November 2014 7:30pm):

    Do you have any idea of the scale of time over which evolution happens?
    We’re talking about 100s or more likely many 1000s of years.

    One wonders how long he believes the reproductive cycle and lifespan of a bee lasts.

  11. Now: what will really happen?

    In a warmer world, the orchids that flower later will be pollinated in preference to those that flower early. A strain of the orchid that flowers later will therefore develop as long as the bees behave consistently.

    Who’d have thought it? Evolution in action.

    • Let’s build a model and prove that models can match prediction… or maybe just make a hat. (oh, forgive my Sunday sarcasm)

  12. Oh, come on. What latitude range do bees live in? Do they change their behavior for every 2 deg. of average temperature?

    • Yes they do. As you get closer to the equator the bees get hornier. That is why all plant life is concentrated at the poles.

  13. If the bees emerge early due to warmer spring temps, then would the orchid flower early also? Here is a paper from 2010.

    Paper – 21 SEP 2010
    Karen M. Robbirt et al
    Validation of biological collections as a source of phenological data for use in climate change studies: a case study with the orchid Ophrys sphegodes

    Summary
    …..2. We examined herbarium specimens of O. sphegodes collected between 1848 and 1958, and recorded peak flowering time directly in one population of O. sphegodes between 1975 and 2006. The response of flowering time to variation in mean spring temperature (March–May) was virtually identical in both sets of data, even though they covered different periods of time which differ in extent of anthropogenic temperature change. In both cases flowering was advanced by c. 6 days per °C rise in average spring temperature…..

    Results
    …..As predicted, warmer years were associated with earlier flowering. The regression of flowering date obtained from the herbarium specimens on mean March–May (spring) temperature (Fig. 1a) accounted for 18% of the variation in flowering time. A 1 °C increase in mean temperature between March and May was associated with an advance in flowering of 6.5 days. Analysis of the field data yielded strikingly similar results. Linear regression of flowering date on mean spring temperature accounted for 64% of the variation in date of flowering (Fig. 1b) and a 1 °C increase in mean spring temperature was associated with an advance in flowering of 6.7 days……
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2745.2010.01727.x/full

    • Here is the paper summary of the WUWT post from University of East Anglia (UEA). They seem to be saying that even if the orchid flower early they will find the female bees are also out. Does anyone know how many days early the male bees came out early? If it’s 13 days or more then they will find the orchids have flowered I think according to my earlier post upstream. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2745.2010.01727.x/full

      Potential Disruption of Pollination in a Sexually Deceptive Orchid by Climatic Change
      [University of East Anglia]
      …….Analysis of museum specimens (1893–2007) and recent field-based records (1975–2009) showed that flight date of the solitary bee Andrena nigroaenea is advanced more by higher temperatures than is flowering date in the deceptive orchid Ophrys sphegodes. Male bees emerged slightly earlier than females, which attract male copulatory attentions away from the deceptive flowers. Warming by as little as 2°C increased both the probability of male flight and the proportion of females flying in the bee population before orchid flowering; this would reduce the frequency of pseudocopulation and thus lower pollination success rate in the orchid. Our results demonstrate a significant potential for coevolved plant-pollinator relationships to be disrupted by climatic warming.
      http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2814%2901342-6

      • If the paper is correct, then logically this little tease evolved since the Younger Dryas, unless some other hand was involved.

        Apparently an excessive interest in pseudocopulation makes you go blind (to historical facts).

    • Apparently warm weather causes bees to emerge early, before the flowers
      That struck me as well, the bees can tell it is warmer but the plants cannot??!

  14. The irony here is that in the UK Ophrys sphegodes is only found in Dorset, Hampshire, Kent and Sussex not in East Anglia. Moreover it is much more common in the Mediterranean and middle east. Last time I was there it was considerably warmer in Tehran than Norwich. One wonders how the bees in the Middle East managed to cope.

    • Globally averaged, pseudocopulation takes behind closed doors. You observation proves there are more closed doors in Tehran than in Norwich.

  15. Biologists, being a step or two away from the science of global warming, tend to just believe in it. It fits their world view that people and all they do is bad – this is simply biology 101. They aren’t equipped, nor would they be inclined to if they were, to argue the physics. Their job is to seek out the effect on living systems which they do diligently. ‘Seek and you shall find’ if you try hard enough.

    Especially helpful and fruitful is knowing how to rationalize ignoring pesky confounding observations or simply seeking in the ‘right place’. This is leftish biology 201. The now down-in-the-dumps UK butterfly expert did this, for example in selecting a logged off area in Nevada to find extirpation of a butterfly whose local habitat had been destroyed (temporarily). Within easy view of the logged off area, the pretty little critters were flapping and gamboling away in large numbers. As far as she knew as a mere biologist, the logging off was caused by global warming anyway.

    Is Jim Steele the only objective biologist there is, or the only one visiting WUWT. WUWT?

  16. We’re talking of a solitary bee species here, so males and females will be approximately equal on numbers. Here is what they claim:
    ” Warming by as little as 2°C causes the males to emerge much earlier, meaning they are less well synchronised with the orchids. The problem is compounded by the female bees which are also emerging earlier, and attracting the attention of the male bees. This means that the male bees are more likely to copulate with the female bees, rather than pollinating the orchids.
    There will be progressive disruption of pollination systems with climatic warming, which could lead to the breakdown of coevolved interactions between species because they either respond either to different seasonal cues, or to the same cues at different rates.”

    Now, if this coevolved system is so sensitive breakdown due to warming, you would expect that the affected species Ophrys sphegodes must be close to its southern limit of distribution in Britain would you not?
    Well it isn’t, it reaches its extreme northern limit in southern Britain (Dorset, Hampshire, Kent and Sussex). It occurs southwards and eastwards all the way to the Mediterranean, including i. a. Sardinia, the Maltese Islands, Crete, Anatolia, northwestern Iran and Turkmenistan. Now I have always thought that e. g. Malta is rather more than two degrees warmer than southern England, and a quick check in my old climatology textbook (printed in 1969 and thus unadjusted and unhomogenized) shows that the (annual) difference between Plymouth and La Valetta is about 8 degrees, and that the two coldest months in La Valetta (January and February) is about a degree warmer than May in Plymouth. So somehow Ophrys sphegodes manages to hoodwink enough bees to survive even in mediterranean climes, which comes as no surprise since all such coevolved interactions between species take quite some time to evolve, much longer than climate has ever remained stable in this heavily glaciated icehouse world of ours.
    Remember that 12 000 years ago the downs where the orchids grow were tundra, and 18,000 years ago they were polar desert, while on the other hand 120,000 years ago they had a climate about as warm as northwestern Spain today.
    Now what will happen if the bees do come out significantly earlier than the orchids? Simple: the earliest-flowering orchids will (on average) produce more seeds than the late-flowering ones, and the next orchid-generation will (on average) bloom earlier. Remember that nearly every species on this planet has managed to survive one or more glacial cycles with huge and abrupt climatic shifts (the exception being plant species that have originated recently through hybridization, these may indeed be vulnerable to large climate shifts).

    • We’re talking of a solitary bee species here, so males and females will be approximately equal on numbers.
      ==========
      the females control how many of their eggs are male and female.

      • Bees have a haplo-diploid genetic system and most are assumed to be able to control the sex of their offspring by either withholding sperm (male) or allowing fertilisation (female). But haplo-dilpod systems are often female-biased – typically males can mate many females, so why invest in more of them than you need? So, the actual proportion of males is likely to depend on a variety of selective factors. I wouldn’t assume a sex ratio of 50:50.

    • “…Now what will happen if the bees do come out significantly earlier than the orchids? Simple: the earliest-flowering orchids will (on average) produce more seeds than the late-flowering ones,…”

      Not exactly, perhaps over a very long period of time.

      The orchid species referenced do not sprout from seed every season. The plant forms a tuber that will sprout next years flowering stalk. While the older tubers help store food for the plant they can under duress start another shoot.

      What else happens is that the bee orchids are not restricted to one specific temperature/water/climate zone. Anywhere the grasslands or meadows are the orchids are likely there nor do they need to send up a flowering shoot every year. Some years produce a bounty of flowers because the conditions were right.

      Bees that mature too soon but mature at mid altitude up a hill will be just in time for orchids growing in a warmer zone at lower altitude. Those horny male bees will travel a fair distance, for a bee, to track down their loves.

      Anyway, the orchids will survive season to season as long as conditions are right for their tubers to form; or perhaps better stated as long as conditions were not too severely wrong so that tubers are killed, the orchids will live on.

  17. showed that flight date of the solitary bee Andrena nigroaenea is advanced more by higher temperatures than is flowering date in the deceptive orchid Ophrys sphegodes.
    OK, it’s about solitary bees, not hive-dwelling European honey bees. That makes more sense. I’m still not worried.

    • there is no shortage of males looking to do the deed:

      “Copulation is normally brief and often involves the mating pair getting mobbed by all the nearby males … When a receptive female is encountered by one male he will attempt to mate with her, if more than one male is present the others will probably also attempt to mate with her and a large mass of bees, all but one being male, will tumble to the ground.”
      http://www.earthlife.net/insects/solbees.html

      Does this truly sound like a situation in which the flowers are going to be lonely?

    • Sure, heat island effect has already occurred in urban areas . Still plenty of bees around. How do the explain UHI temp increases?

  18. There are evil currents working at UEA with the purpose of destroying the reputation of that institution from within, so it seems. First, CRU and climate gate and now this.

  19. Warming by as little as 2°C…

    Freudian slip? I thought 0.2ºC in a hundred years was a planet killer. Dunno what it’s like in Great Britain, but bees in this part of the world are subject to annual temperatures ranging from below 0ºF to above 100ºF and temperature swings during the day in excess of 50ºF on a regular basis.

    Nextly – the current temperature anywhere in the world is not what it has always been and never has been and not every plant can grow just anywhere (though I do get a good crop of coffee beans from my Hawaiian trees here in the Pacific North Wet). Bees and flowers change with the times else they wouldn’t be here today. I think it is past time to retire some of the educators at UEA because they’re exhibiting symptoms of serial ignorance.

  20. Another aspect of orchid biology: the seeds are microscopically small, are produced in astronomical numbers and are widely dispersed by wind. For example a couple of years ago I found Marsh Helleborine established in recently created suitable habitat at least 50 km from the nearest possible seed-source. So if the South Downs are getting warmer (or even uncomfortably warm) one would expect Ophrys sphegodes to start popping up on other cooler limey uplands which have now become the “right” temperature, e. g. the Derbyshire Peak.

  21. Only 1 bee be out of 5000 or more are of interest to the males. The workers are infertile and the drones take no notice of them Only the queen and only on her mating flight do the drones have a purpose. Maybe the orchids smell like a queen. The workers have no use for sex or reproduction being ill equipped in that regard.

  22. Don’t I recall a big scare about killer bees from the South America replacing bees as we knew them? How many years ago was that and I haven’t seen any around. Another prediction nullified by nature.

    • Oh yeah, killer bees. i remember that from the 70s. There was a 98/100 consensus on that , i was a terrified kid back then. Thats one reason why, as I get older I tend to ignore most of the science reported in the NEWS. All false alarms.

      • The thing about killer bees is that they readily abandon their hive, which means that they don’t generally have enough honey to survive a winter.

        That strategy works where there isn’t much of a winter, but a season without flowers is a show stopper for the killer bees.

      • Genghis:
        Brazil became one of the world’s biggest producers of honey thanks to the Africanized bees since they are more industrious than the more docile easygoing European honeybees.

        Africanized bees grow their colonies tremendously quick leading to more frequent swarms breaking off from the colony. When a swarm leaves the colony there are plenty of bees still in the colony.

        The idea that Africanized bees can’t survive the winter has been postulated for decades; then back in the 1990’s a beekeeper tested the concept by chilling an Africanized hive. Those bees acted just like regular honeybees do; barren deserts may be more of a hindrance than winter.

        If you’re a beekeeper use lots of smoke, otherwise disturb Africanized bees at your own risk.

  23. Well who knew that weather affects the behaviour of insects, animals, fish, and humans. Before climate science came along apparently no one knew this.

    Once again a flawed study filled with conclusion (disruption of pollination systems) based on assumptions (the world is warming and it is all bad).

    But then it becomes absurd when this report contradicts another report (reported here on this site) that says CO2 will cause increased pollination leading to allergy epidemics. Like everything in AGW, everything is caused by AGW, too much pollination, as well as not enough pollination.

    The AGW script is more predictable than a bad Hollywood movie, identify a natural phenomena, judge it as a malady, and then blame humans.

  24. lots of interesting bee facts:
    http://www.earthlife.net/insects/solbees.html
    Anthophora plumipes is the Plume-legged Bee, and like many solitary bees it is usual for the males to be seen first, it was nearly two weeks after the first males emerged before I saw any females this year. This is because the female makes her nest in a long hole with the cells that contain the eggs placed one after another, this means that the egg she lays first is the last bee to leave the nest next spring, and visa-versa, i.e. that the last egg she lays is the first bee to leave the nest. In all Hymenopterans the sex of an adult insect is controlled by whether or not the egg is fertilised before it is laid, fertilised eggs produce females and unfertilised eggs produce males. Therefore, because, she can control whether or not to let the sperm she received from the male fertilise any given egg before she lays it, and because she always lays fertilised eggs first and unfertilised eggs last the female Anthophora plumipes ensures that next spring it is always the males that we see first.

  25. Not only that but they both emit hydrocarbons!
    From Wikipedia “One example, in which both plant and animal alkanes play a role, is the ecological relationship between the sand bee (Andrena nigroaenea) and the early spider orchid (Ophrys sphegodes); the latter is dependent for pollination on the former. Sand bees use pheromones in order to identify a mate; in the case of A. nigroaenea, the females emit a mixture of tricosane (C23H48), pentacosane (C25H52) and heptacosane (C27H56) in the ratio 3:3:1, and males are attracted by specifically this odor. The orchid takes advantage of this mating arrangement to get the male bee to collect and disseminate its pollen; parts of its flower not only resemble the appearance of sand bees, but also produce large quantities of the three alkanes in the same ratio as female sand bees. As a result numerous males are lured to the blooms and attempt to copulate with their imaginary partner: although this endeavor is not crowned with success for the bee, it allows the orchid to transfer its pollen, which will be dispersed after the departure of the frustrated male to different blooms.”

  26. Well.. does this mean we won’t hear bees going: “bzzzzzzz” but instead going; “honk honk”?
    (sarc should bee obvious)

  27. scientific rubbish but grant framing gold dust , right in line with normal practice for climate ‘science’

  28. From this finding, the researchers extrapolate the progressive breakdown of all pollination systems
    ===========
    did the researchers test their hypothesis? did they document an actual reduction in the number of orchids due to lack of pollination? or did they follow the gold standard in climate science? did they simply make stuff up because it sounded right?

    heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones, because they are heavier. sounds right, therefore it must be right.

    • Hey Fred, you missed the key phrase “could be”, ie also implies “could NOT be”. That way you cam make any spurious claim on always fall back of the “could be” clause if it does not work out. This is yet more meaningless dribble, grant fodder.

      Authors advance their careers by getting a nice little paper published in a “high impact” journal like Cell and we pay these tossers’ pay checks.

      But don’t worry, it’s all in a good cause, you know. Save the planet an’ all that.

    • Oh dear! Not the same orchid but every cloud has a silver lining I suppose. Bring on the 2C rise please.

      After the hottest decade evaaaaaah we have this.

      Guardian – 27 July 2012
      Plantwatch: Bumper crop of orchids
      …..One of the biggest surprises was a bumper year for wild orchids, with some of our most exotic-looking native flowers, such as bee orchids, twayblades, pyramidal, fragrant and spotted orchids all putting on glorious displays. …..

      …The thing is that orchids prefer warm and dry conditions in well-drained soils, so why did they do so well this year? It’s thought the weather earlier this year helped – the mild winter and warm, dry early spring gave the orchids such a boost they overcame the appalling conditions this summer.

      In fact, bee orchids enjoy such warm and dry conditions they are more common in Mediterranean countries, which is partly why large numbers of the plants are found in the warm climate of south-east England. ….
      http://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/jul/27/plantwatch-orchids-bees-weather
      =========================

      Daily Mail – 27 December 2013
      Return of the butterfly: Hot summer sees sightings increase by 80% while orchids and primroses also enjoy a bumper year
      …..Conditions were perfect for plants like orchids, which flowered successfully in the meadows of southern England and Wales. …..
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2529702/Return-butterfly-Hot-summer-sees-sightings-increase-80-orchids-primroses-enjoy-bumper-year.html

  29. There is a real problem facing bee populations right now, real and serious probem right here, right now! Varroa bee mite and hive collapse. Bees affected by climate change? Not at all. They’ve been around longer than humans.

    • Bees have been around not only a lot longer than humans, but probably longer than placental mammals.

      • Yeah, maybe. This (DOI: 10.1126/science.1257570) recent paper in Science has the split between the ant and wasp/bee lineages at around 100 mya. There should have been some angiosperms around then to attract wasps, so bees (really just hairy wasps) may have arisen fairly quickly. I think they are still arguing about when stem placental groups arose, but sometime in the Cretaceous seems likely.

        Please excuse my nostalgia for the days when biologists were interested in the understanding nature and the history of life instead of self-flagellating about the evils of mankind.

  30. “There will be progressive disruption of pollination systems with climatic warming, which could lead to the breakdown of coevolved interactions between species because they either respond either to different seasonal cues, or to the same cues at different rates.”

    There you have it. I never trusted those fragile co-evolved relationships. They just can’t take any change.

    This, BTW, also proves that there never has been any change in the past. The findings of these boffins might be even more important than even they think.

  31. Funny stuff… Just kidding (mostly) here, but some of the comments you folks lay down is more entertaining than the thread topic.

  32. After all the “droning” on and on I read this————
    The reproductive cycle of bees is unique, and is fundamentally interconnected with the caste system of bee colonies. Within any colony, there are three types of adult bees: the queen, male drones and female workers. A colony will typically have only one queen who lays all the eggs. Female workers are sterile and do not reproduce. Male drones mate with the queen to produce offspring.

    Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4569265_bees-mate.html

  33. Apparently warm weather causes bees to emerge early, before the flowers, therefore the bees get buzzy with each other, rather than being distracted by bee mimicking flowers.

    So? The orchids will adapt, or die out. That’s the way things work, whether the local warming is natural or supposedly man-made. Again, do these “scientists” think the climate is supposed to be static??

    • Of course it is. The world was made in 7 days including rest.
      You are implying that you think life evolves!
      The University of East Anglia has effectively disproven that by getting this paper published.

      I refuse to use a sarc sign so please accept that as jovial trolling.

  34. How did the bees & orchids manage to survive the Medieval, Roman & Minoan Warm Periods, the Holocene Climatic Optimum, the Eemian & previous warmer than now interglacials & the whole balmy Cenozoic prior to the Pleistocene, let alone the torrid Cretaceous, if the co-evolutionary relationship goes back that far, as well it might?

    • My question exactly, milodonharlani. Also: polar bears, migrating birds and all the other species reportedly threatened by so-called global warming.

    • If you’re unfamiliar with the term, from the Urban Dictionary:

      ” Bee’s Knees

      A old term that means cool.

      ‘Thats the Bee’s Knees'”

      (Bold mine.)

  35. it is quite amazing that researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) were actually paid money to waste their time n this sort of daft nonsense.

  36. I’m in the wrong effin business. Anyone want to create a ridiculous study with me to secure some grant money? I wonder if my Obama Care covers lobotomies so I can attain the necessary intellect to proceed.

  37. Every tight symbiotic relationship evolved over millions of years. Indeed plants and animals do not lways respond precisely to any given weather, but it they are truly dependent on each other, they have found ways to adapt to weather changes that happened over the past and much warmer millions of years. The repeated attempts to portray nature as fragile and incapable of responding to natural climate change, is bogus science.

    • It’s not only bogus science, it diverts attention from any actual problems that the species may be experiencing such as habitat destruction, weeds or introduced pathogens. Habitat destruction, at least, can be halted or reversed, but if they are all going to die because of climate change, then why bother?

    • Just consider the climatic ups & downs that bees & orchids have weathered, so to speak, over the past 100 million years, to include periods of more rapid change than now.

  38. It is observed in New Zealand that on a nice, warm Spring day there is increased activity by male shepherds to ‘rescue a young ewe from the fence’. It is further observed that the male shepherds tend to avoid females ( and vice versa from the females detecting a scent other than a pheromone) for some time after the rescue. The rescue act causes seed to be spent unproductively rather than reproductively. Ewes learn mistakenly from the interaction and so are inclined (p<0.001) to later reject copulation attempts of the ram as non-natural.
    Thus, with more nice, warm Spring days, the populations of both the shepherds and the sheep is forecast to decline, faster even than the rate of migration to Bondi.
    A potential remedy would be to progressively replace sheep with camel farming. There is prior knowledge of camel behaviour in historic observations, such as this (1) –
    The Sexual life of the camel,
    Is stranger than anyone thinks.
    This weird and mysterious animal,
    Has designs on the hole of the sphinx.
    But the hole of the sphinx is covered
    By the shifting sands of the Nile,
    Which explains the hump on the camel
    And the sphinx's inscrutable smile.

  39. Too frequently here, my plum and cherry trees blossom before the bees leave their hives.
    I’d conclude this as evidence of global cooling here, but some past winters some of the plum trees blossomed in January, and I caught one last month sprouting some new leaves and blossoms (without shedding its old leaves) after our first rain of the season. So far this Fall we haven’t had frost or cold enough weather (30 mi south of San Francisco) for some of the fruit trees to get their needed rest, but that will probably start in December or January.

    If not, shall we blame it on global warming? /sarc/

    It’s agriculture that would mostly be affected by climate change.

  40. Yep, they opened their mouths……and put their feet straight in them. Instead of adding weight to their stance, they have devalued it. Own Goal.

  41. So, there will be no warm Springs now and then if we stop climate from changing? They imply that climate needs to stop changing by insisting that weather needs to stop being weather.

  42. I’m sure it’s been said already, but worker bees are all females. There only a few males, the drones, whose sole purpose is the impregnate the queens. Any bee gathering pollen is a female.

    • Yes many posters have made the same error as you have in assuming that these are honeybees and despite multiple posts correcting that error more keep coming.

  43. More unscientific blather from the University of Any Angle to Promote Our Agenda. I would blush to be writing such drivel in an alleged “institute of higher learning.” I’d feel compelled to wear glasses with a fake nose and mustache in public.

  44. It has long been known that some species of the ophrys orchid family, widespread in Europe, attract males by mimicking the scent and appearance of females. I wrote a short article on this in 1999, referring to the early spider orchid (ophrys sphegodes) – nothing new, just an observation at a good site.
    Pollination of that orchid is usually low and variable, dependent on the emergence of the miner bees, suggesting that there has always been a discrepancy between flowering and the appearance of the bees, depending on the annual climate. I don’t think that there is any evidence of a long-term change to that pattern.
    The clever old bee orchid (ophrys apifera) manages pollination all by itself, the pollinia stalk bends forward to touch the stigma.

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