Bees Make the Best of Plastic Waste

Plastic waste is impacting the eco system of many organisms around the globe, and if you want to see proof of that, you might not need to look any further than a bee's nest.

A new study conducted jointly by the York University and the University of Guelph reveals that bees have begun to use plastic waste as a material for their hives. The team examined the hive-building habits of two different species of bees to study their behaviors.

One species the alfalfa leafcutter bee typically builds nests solely out of leaves, but the study showed that now up to 23 percent of the hives built by the bees were made of thin plastic bag waste. The scientists theorized that since more and more natural habitats are being replaced by urban sprawl, the bees are incorporating plastics to compensate for fewer readily available leaves.

While this may seem like good news--that the bees are able to adapt to our pollution--the scientists point out that the plastic is not as sturdy as the leaves. Though the bee larvae was able to be raised inside the hive, the nests were not as strong.





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