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Microalgae food for honey bees

A microscopic algae ("microalgae") could provide a complete and sustainably sourced supplemental diet to boost the robustness of managed honey bees, according to research just published by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in the journal Apidologie . Poor nutrition in honey bees is often an underlying factor in colony losses because malnutrition amplifies the detrimental effects of parasites, pathogens, and pesticides. Habitat loss, decreases in flowering plant diversity and large tracts of crop monoculture (cultivation of a single crop over a large area) all can potentially contribute to lessening natural pollen sources, which provide bees essential nutrition. Now, research by ARS entomologists Vincent Ricigliano and Michael Simone-Finstrom has shown that the microalgae Arthrospira platensis (commonly called spirulina) has a nutritional profile that closely resembles pollen. Spirulina is a part of family of blue-green algae, which are single-celled organisms that exist individually or in chains or groups.  Read more.....

 

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