BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA — New research from Argentina's National Agricultural Technology Institute shows that solitary bees are making nests out of plastic packaging.
Scientists set up 63 trap nests around crop fields for the wild bees between 2017 and 2018. Three of the nests were used by bees.
Citing the study, ScienceAlert reports that two were built from mud and petals, while the third one had three cells made from plastic.
The first two cells were created out of thin, light blue plastic. The third was crafted from a thicker, white plastic. The researchers found that the bees had created them by cutting the materials into different shapes and then stacking them on one another.
The first cell contained a dead larva. The second one seemed to have had a bee grow into adulthood while the third cell was incomplete.
In a Spanish-language press release translated using Google Translate, lead author of the study Mariana Allasiano said the research would demonstrate the adaptive flexibility that certain species of bees would have in the face of changes in environmental conditions.
The research was published in the April 2019 issue of the French journal, Apidologie.