Jul 23, 2019 | Updated: 09:13 AM EDT

Bees Start Using Green Plastic Instead Of Real Leaves To Build Their Houses

Mar 02, 2017 07:53 PM EST

Mason bee / builder bee Osmia cornuta sealing nest cavity with mud in hollow stem at insect hotel for solitary bees.
(Photo : Arterra/Getty Images)

Scientists have found out that some nesting bees have started using green plastic instead of real leaves in building their houses. The megachiline bees' nesting activities aren't really studied that much that is why scientists did not find this surprising thing sooner.

Dr. Sarah Gess, affiliated with both Albany Museum and Rhodes University, South Africa, and Peter Roosenschoon, Conservation Officer at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, United Arab Emirates, has made use of their previous observations from a survey on flower visitation in the spring of 2015 to know some answer in the question about three unknown species from megachiline bee lineages, Science Daily reported.

In their study, which was published in "Journal of Hymenoptera Research ", they observe two leafcutter bees attempting to build their houses. The scientists found out that one bee was making her house with some pieces of green plastic. Specifically, the bee species Megachile (Eurymella) patellimana. One of the female bees was nesting in a hole in compacted sandy ground beneath a plant. Meanwhile, the other one, which was making her house in an irrigation trough, was the one who used pieces of green plastic.

After some more research and observation, the scientists have found out that the one piece of green plastic was not alone. There were six other green pieces of plastics inside the nest it is building, Phys.org stated. The bee was cutting a 10-milimetre-long green piece of plastic with its big and well-built toothed mandibles, the study explained. It has been going back and forth to it just to build its nest.

"Although perhaps incidentally collected, the novel use of plastics in the nests of bees could reflect ecologically adaptive traits necessary for survival in an increasingly human-dominated environment," the authors quote an earlier study. There were also other species of bees, the mason bees, or resin bees that use a mixture of resin and sand in pre-existing hollow space, such as trap-nests, above the ground.

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