Bees and orchids symbiotic relationship

The mysterious ways orchids affect their army of pollinators -

bees and orchids symbiotic relationship

Orchids, like many flowers, have something of a symbiotic relationship with their pollinators: the animals provide a vital service in transporting. Relationships Are Tough: Orchid Bees and Orchids. benefit from each other without completely relying on the symbiotic partner for survival. A symbiotic relationship is a relationship between two organisms that can be helpful, harmful, or have no effect. A mutualistic relationship benefits both species .

10 Mutualism Examples

The Benefit For Flowers Most bees focus on a particular species of plant at any given time. As they travel from one flower to another to gather this pollen, some of it falls from their body onto female flowers of the same species. This is known as cross-pollination.

bees and orchids symbiotic relationship

Cross-pollination results in the fertilization of the female plant. Fertilization is required for the production of seeds.

bees and orchids symbiotic relationship

Seeds result in the continuation of a species. Pollination by bees is required for certain plant life to survive.

The Evolution of the Orchid and the Orchid Bee | Science | Smithsonian

The Benefit For Humans Though humans are not a direct party in this symbiotic relationship, we all still benefit greatly from it. That study alone shows that at least two thirds of the plants people buy, sell, and eat that do not rely on self-pollination are very reliant on bees to survive. Several other studies have been performed on the subject with varying results. The almond, in particular, depended entirely on bees for pollination when it was time to bloom.

Some plants that are pollinated by bees can still receive pollination through other methods. Still, there is no denying that bees play a substantial role in the survival of plant life and thus, the survival of mankind.

Their importance extends beyond just flowers like daisies, sunflowers, and roses.

The Importance Of The Symbiotic Relationship of The Bee And The Flower | Jean-Henri Fabre

Bees pollinate the very crops that humans eat on a daily basis. The Euglossini the umbrella term for Orchid Bees are some of the most important pollinator insects of the Neotropics, known for their unique coloring, size, and even shape. Their bodies can be partially metallic or covered in brown or black hair.

From Mexico to Argentina and Florida where they were accidentally introducedOrchid Bees rule the bug world.

What, you may ask, is an odoriferous compound?

bees and orchids symbiotic relationship

Each species of Orchid bee has a fragrance preference and each orchid has a specific fragrance. Ultimately, this means that specific species of Orchid bees are attracted to specific species of Orchid!

  • The mysterious ways orchids affect their army of pollinators

Not only does the Euglossini collect the fragrances, but it also uses them for courtship purposes. In other words, the male Euglossini has evolved to be extraordinarily picky in the smells that it collects and uses to attract a female to mate with.

The Importance Of The Symbiotic Relationship of The Bee And The Flower

Additionally, because the orchids are pollinated as the bee collects the fragrance, some orchid species are more likely to be pollinated than others. Aglae caerulea Unfortunately for all you Orchid enthusiasts, this is potentially bad news.

Yep, you heard me—no orchid bees means no orchids.