Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220


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Published online January 21, 2022

Journal of Ecology and Environment (2022) 46:03

Roles of flower scent in bee-flower mediations: a review

Daniel Bisrat1,2* and Chuleui Jung1,3

1Department of Plant Medicals, Andong National University, Andong 36729, Republic of Korea
2Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa P.O. Box 1166, Ethiopia
3Agriculture Science and Technology Research Institute, Andong National University, Andong 36729, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:Daniel Bisrat

Received: September 29, 2021; Revised: November 15, 2021; Accepted: November 15, 2021

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit The publisher of this article is The Ecological Society of Korea in collaboration with The Korean Society of Limnology


Background: Bees and flowering plants associations were initially began during the early Cretaceous, 120 million years ago. This coexistence has led to a mutual relationship where the plant serves as food and in return, the bee help them their reproduction. Animals pollinate about 75% of food crops worldwide, with bees as the world’s primary pollinator. In general, bees rely on flower scents to locate blooming flowers as visual clue is limited and also their host plants from a distance. In this review, an attempt is made to collect some relevant 107 published papers from three scientific databases, Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science database, covering the period from 1959 to 2021.
Results: Flowering plants are well documented to actively emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, only a few of them are important for eliciting behavioral responses in bees. In this review, fifty-three volatile organic compounds belonging to different class of compounds, mainly terpenoids, benzenoids, and volatile fatty acid derivatives, is compiled here from floral scents that are responsible for eliciting behavioral responses in bees. Bees generally use honest floral signals to locate their host plants with nectar and pollen-rich flowers. Thus, honest signaling mechanism plays a key role in maintaining mutualistic plant?pollinator associations.
Conclusions: Considering the fact that floral scents are the primary attractants, understanding and identification of VOCs from floral scent in plant-pollinator networks are crucial to improve crop pollination. Interestingly, current advances in both VOCs scent gene identification and their biosynthetic pathways make it possible to manipulate particular VOCs in plant, and this eventually may lead to increase in crop productivity.

Keywords: flowering plant, pollination, bees, flower scent, honest floral signal

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Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220