nectar

Parasitized bees are self-medicating in the wild, Dartmouth-led study finds

Bumblebees infected with a common intestinal parasite are drawn to flowers whose nectar and pollen have a medicinal effect, a Dartmouth-led study shows. The findings suggest that plant chemistry could help combat the decline of bee species.

The researchers previously found in lab studies that nectar containing nicotine and other natural chemicals in plants significantly reduced the number of parasites in sickened bees, but the new study shows parasitized bees already are taking advantage of natural chemicals in the wild.

The study is to appear in the journal Ecology but may be reported now by the media. A PDF of the preprint is available on request. The study was conducted by researchers at Dartmouth College and the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Caption: A Dartmouth-led study finds that bumblebees infected with a common intestinal parasite are drawn to flowers whose nectar and pollen have a medicinal effect, suggesting that plant chemistry could help combat the decline of bee species. Credit: Leif Richardson
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Loss of wild flowers across Britain matches pollinator decline

The first ever Britain-wide assessment of the value of wild flowers as food for pollinators shows that decreasing floral resources mirror the decline of pollinating insects, providing new evidence to support the link between plant and pollinator decline.

In recent years, there have been considerable concerns over threats to wild bees and other insect pollinators which are vital to the success of important food crops and wild flowers.

Amongst the many pressures facing pollinators, a key factor is likely to be decreasing floral resources in Britain. 

The study, published in Nature combines vegetation survey data recorded over the last 80 years with modern day measurements of nectar to provide the most comprehensive assessment ever published. 

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My reward for sitting in the same place with a wine spritzer for 20 minutes. #hummingbird #nectar

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Got to peek into the world of honey bee’s the other day while they were getting drunk off of nectar and rolling down into the lower leaf. We need to protect these little drunk idiots, so if you have any interest in doing so please click the link below to find ways to help save the bee’s.

save the bee’s |  instagram | tumblr