Bees test building skills with waste plastic


Waste plastic polluting the environment is a modern scourge, the adverse impacts of which have been frequently documented, sometimes in grisly detail. Now, however, Canadian researchers report that nature's ability to evolve and adapt may even extend - in some cases - to plastic.

A recent article published in the journal Ecosphere authored by York University Faculty of Science PhD Candidate J Scott MacIvor and Andrew Moore of the University of Guelph, reported that two species of wild bees have been found to be using polyurethane and polyethylene to build brood cells in nests.

The researchers wrote that "The plastics collected by each bee species resembled the natural materials usually sought; Megachile rotundata, which uses cut plant leaves, was discovered constructing brood cells out of cut pieces of polyethylene-based plastic bags, and Megachile campanulae, which uses plant and tree resins, had brood cells constructed out of a polyurethane-based exterior building sealant."
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