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To Survive Their Harsh Environment, Desert Bees Hedge Their Bets With A Wait-And-Wet Attitude, Cornell Researcher Discovers

Date:
November 18, 1999
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Like the desert's floral seeds waiting for their season in the sun, scientists have learned that the desert bees have adopted a patient reproductive strategy. Desert bee larvae patiently lie in wait in the desert soil for a chance to emerge, usually after a year or more. Scientists call this process "diapause," a bet-hedging strategy that results in the survival of the best-rested.

ITHACA, N.Y. -- The northern tip of the Chihuahuan Desert juts from northern Mexico into the southern parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. It is where black-tailed jackrabbits scurry, roadrunners sprint and diamondbacks slither. For the continent's largest desert, punctuated by mountains, the monsoon rains end sometime in late summer. Then the flowers bloom, and the desert bees come out. And like the desert's floral seeds waiting for their season in the sun, scientists have learned that the desert bees have adopted a patient reproductive strategy. Desert bee larvae patiently lie in wait in the desert soil for a chance to emerge, usually after a year or more. Scientists call this process "diapause," a bet-hedging strategy that results in the survival of the best-rested.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "To Survive Their Harsh Environment, Desert Bees Hedge Their Bets With A Wait-And-Wet Attitude, Cornell Researcher Discovers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991118072403.htm>.
Cornell University. (1999, November 18). To Survive Their Harsh Environment, Desert Bees Hedge Their Bets With A Wait-And-Wet Attitude, Cornell Researcher Discovers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991118072403.htm
Cornell University. "To Survive Their Harsh Environment, Desert Bees Hedge Their Bets With A Wait-And-Wet Attitude, Cornell Researcher Discovers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991118072403.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

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