The Pollen Thieves

The nightshade is a plant locked in a war,

They keep their pollen under lock and key

From pollen thieves who try to hit their score,

Committing acts of pollen burglary.

Who would have thought this from the humble bee,

It’s black and yellow stripes a warning sign

That they ignore the nightshade’s desperate plea.

The smaller buzzing insects cross a line;

Their lack of pollination means the plant’s decline

The Solanum rostratum, a species of nightshade under threat from pollen thieves (Photo Credit: Rob Hille)
The Solanum rostratum, a species of nightshade under threat from pollen thieves (Photo Credit: Rob Hille)

This is a Spenserian stanza about a recent study, which investigated the activities of ‘pollen thief’ bees (i.e. bees who take pollen from flowers but fail to help the pollination process), and the threat they pose to the Solanaceae (nightshade) family of plants.

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