Sunday, 20 September 2015

Bees behaving badly: bumblebees steal pollen from rivals

Bees are thieves, stealing pollen and nectar from nearby nests, scientists have discovered

By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

4:32PM BST 15 Sep 2015

With their stripy jerseys and built-in pollen swag bags it might come as no surprise that bumblebees have been found to be nature’s burglars.

For the first time bees have been spotted stealing pollen and nectar from neighbouring nests.

Bee experts at the University of Sussex placed tracking devices on insects from three colonies in farmland in East Sussex to monitor how far they travelled in search of pollen-rich flowers.

But they were amazed to find that for one in eight bees the prospect of a hard day flitting from flower to flower was clearly too much effort. Instead they simply flew to nearby nests and pilfered the pollen and nectar that was already stored there.

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