It seems that humans are not the only ones having trouble with their diets. Bees get all of their nutrition from the pollen of plants like goldenrod, but goldenrod flowers have suffered an enormous decline in protein over the last 172 years. Scientists studied the nutritional content of goldenrod samples housed at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and noticed an alarming trend: the flowers had decreased in protein from 18% to 12%. But what could be causing this decline? The researchers think that an increase in CO2 (carbon dioxide) is to blame. CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere have jumped from 280 to 398 parts per million, and goldenrod grown in labs with artificially high CO2 levels also showed a decrease in protein. A less nutritious diet affects the bees’ health just like eating McDonald’s every day would affect ours, and has contributed to a steady decline in our bee populations. So please help the bees by being mindful of your CO2 emissions and encourage others to do the same!
Want to learn more? Visit https://www.sciencenews.org/article/pollen-becoming-bee-junk-food-co2-rises?tgt=nr
April 20, 2016