Girl Planting seeds

Saving heather will help to save our wild bees

A new study published today in the journal Current Biology from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Royal Holloway, University of London, has discovered that a natural nectar chemical in Calluna heather called callunene can act as a medicine to protect bumblebees from a harmful parasite. The parasite, Crithidia bombi, is common among wild bumblebees and can be transmitted between bumblebees on flowers or within the nest.  The scientists have been studying several different UK plants for medicinal properties in nectar that might help naturally protect bees against disease, as this is a major contributing factor in bee decline. They found that the species with the highest medicinal value was heather—the UK's second most productive nectar plant, which is found across Europe.  Read more.....

 

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