Bees have always shown what it means to live in a harmonious system of collaboration. These tiny insects are a testament that a team made up of hard-working, determined, and well-organized members can be endowed with the greatest of tasks.
As rising temperatures cause flower populations to decline, bumblebees' tongues are getting shorter in an apparent trend away from specialization. Scientists believe that having shorter tongues allows the bees to be more generalized when it comes to the flowers they visit, giving them a wider range of food sources to choose from.
"Honey is thought of as more natural whereas white sugar and high fructose corn syrup are processed from the cane or the beet or the corn," said Raatz, whose paper appears in the Journal of Nutrition. "We wanted to find out if they were different. But chemically, they are very, very similar, and that's what it seems to break down to."