Climate change is causing bees to develop asymmetrical wings

(ORDO NEWS) — The climate crisis is stressing the bees. According to scientists from Imperial College London, asymmetrical wings began to form in insects.

Bees are important participants in the life of plants. They act as pollinators for flowers. But for the last 100 years, since 1925, insects have been trying to adapt to changes in their environment.

The researchers analyzed bees and bumblebees kept in museums in the UK and compared them with modern individuals.

The study covered the collections of the Natural History Museum London, the National Museums of Scotland, the Natural History Museum of Oxford University, the World Museum of Liverpool and the Tully House Museum in Carlisle.

The very different shape of the right and left wings indicates that the bees experienced stress during development.

Most likely, it is caused by external factors that affected their normal growth. Moreover, each species showed consistently higher levels of stress in the second half of the century.

According to scientists, the wings of bees became more lopsided in hotter and wetter years. A third of the UK’s wild bees are in decline, said lead author Aoif Cantwell-Jones of Imperial College London. If this trend continues, then some species will be completely lost.

Experts have successfully sequenced the genomes of more than 100 museum bee specimens that have been kept behind glass for over 130 years.

The data obtained showed how the DNA of the bees changed over time. In comparison with modern individuals, it turned out that bees are losing diversity.

Entire populations of insects have either adapted to changing conditions or been wiped out. In particular, from 1980 to 2013, an average of 11 species of bees per square kilometer in the UK died, according to Methods in Ecology & Evolution.

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