Bumble bees are nothing if not perseverant. Prying Bottle Gentian’s (Gentiana andrewsii) petals open is a monumental task, and one that few insects, other than large species of bumble bees, attempt — much less accomplish. The relationship of bumble bees and Bottle Gentian is an example of a mutualistic association — the bees benefit by having exclusive access to a bountiful and sugary nectar supply as well as pollen, and the plants benefit by attracting “loyal” pollinators that improve the chances for cross pollination.
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