Monday, January 16, 2023

A Biological Story About Bumble Bees

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Behavior, Nature, Wildlife, Biological Evolution, History of Science, Nature of Science

Ed Hessler

A weekly feature on the website of the University of Chicago's Emeritus Professor Jerry Coyne is "Reader' Wildlife Photos."  Contributor Athayde Tonhasca Junior always provides a story. This one is on bumble bees (Bombus). 

The title, "To Boldly Go Where No Insect Has Gone Before" suggests what is ahead and he begins with a striking story about the behavior of one bumble bee. What a glorious invitation to read on.  We learn some things, too, about insect dispersal.

"In April 2016, a birdwatcher on the Dutch coast spotted a buff-tailed bumble bee queen (Bombus terrestris) flying in from the sea. Then another bee, and another, then a wave of bees. Altogether, several hundred bees arrived at the Dutch shore (Fijen, 2020). What probably made the birdwatcher stop watching birds to count bees was the fact that as the bee flies, the nearest land eastwards is England, 160 km across the North Sea."

Here is the link to the photo-essay

It is an extraordinary story and I'm grateful for his contribution to my understanding of how the natural world works and how scientists work.

The comments are always good, too even when they go off-topic.

Curiosity-driven; evidence based. 

Thanks again, WEIT!


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