Girl Planting seeds

Bumble bee disease, reproduction shaped by flowering strip plants

Flowering strips—pollinator-friendly rows of plants that increase foraging habitat for bees—can help offset pollinator decline but may also bring risks of higher pathogen infection rates for pollinators foraging in those strips.  Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst show that flowering strip plants generally benefitted bee colony reproduction by adding floral resources for common eastern bumble bees (Bombus impatiens). The results came with a tradeoff, however, as bumble bees exposed to certain plants showed higher rates of infection by a bee pathogen acquired on flowers—Crithidia bombi, which is associated with reduced bee-foraging abilities as well as mortality in food-compromised bees.  Read more.....

 

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