Announcements

Job offersmore »



Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

  • No news has been published yesterday.

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »




Finding of self-medicating behavior in bees not supported in further research

A new study of possible self-medicating behavior in bumble bees conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst reports that a once-promising finding was not supported by further experiments and analysis.

Doctoral candidate Evan Palmer-Young and his advisor, evolutionary ecologist Lynn Adler, had reported in 2015 that a common parasitic infection of bumble bees was reduced when the bees fed on anabasine in sugar water. Anabasine is a natural alkaloid, nicotine-like chemical found in plant nectar. The researchers had hoped their finding was evidence that bees may use “nature’s medicine cabinet” to rid themselves of the intestinal parasite Crithidia bombi, which can decrease the survival of queen bees over the winter and hamper the success of young colonies in the spring.

But as they report in the current issue of PLOS ONE, those results were not borne out with further investigation. “Although uninfected bees in our experiments were not adversely affected by alkaloid-containing diets, anabasine had deleterious effects on infected bees. This is the first report of exacerbation of floral alkaloids’ negative effects by Crithidia infection,” they write.

Further, “This exacerbation is consistent with a growing body of work that suggests the negative effects of combined stressors – including infection, diet quality, and consumption of pesticides – on pollinator health and that widespread infection could have consequences for bees’ ability to tolerate phytochemicals.”



Publication date: 8/30/2017

 


 

Other news in this sector:

6/22/2018 US (CA): Creating online training for organic specialty crop production
6/21/2018 US (MI): "Low tunnels do not have the desired effect this year"
6/21/2018 US (CA): Growers in berry country get innovative to save water
6/21/2018 Flying greenhouse from Bremen goes into space
6/20/2018 Bas Vet new cultivation adviser
6/19/2018 Climate & Food Security programme in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda
6/19/2018 US: Low Tunnel Strawberry Production Guide released
6/18/2018 Energy-efficient practices in organic greenhouses
6/18/2018 "I feel confident we can grow Gina consistently for many years"
6/15/2018 "Early production runs ahead when eggplant plants are topped"
6/15/2018 How to impact a crop's vertical temperature profile
6/14/2018 Kazakhstan: Drip irrigation indispensable in agriculture
6/14/2018 UK: AHDB launches farm data sharing project
6/14/2018 India: HollandDoor launches new three-year horticultural programme
6/13/2018 US (TX): Helping tomato producers make better connections through grafting
6/13/2018 "Environmental changes could reduce global production of vegetables"
6/13/2018 Kyrgyz president visits Chinese ag academy
6/13/2018 Enhanced growing system with new gutter type
6/8/2018 "Create value with your own data"
6/8/2018 St. Lucia: Growers learn about greenhouse tomato cultivation