New research shows tobacco plants may help dying bumblebees stay healthy
Sunday, March 15, 2015, 3:44 PM -
Tobacco may not have a great reputation among humans, but scientists say it could be a health remedy for dying bumblebees.
A study published in the Royal Society’s flagship biological research journal, Proceedings B, found that flowers of tobacco contain naturally occurring chemicals that can reduce the infection levels of a common bumblebee parasite by more than 80 per cent, The Independent reports.
According to The Independent, researchers from Dartmouth College and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst studied parasite infections in bumblebees. Insects that consumed a diet of anabasine, the alkaloid in tree tobacco, were "more likely" to be parasite-free after one week.
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The bumblebee's depleting population is cause for worry. Along with the honeybee, the bumblebee is a vital pollinator in global crops. Their gradual disappearance gravely impacts the growth of fruits, vegetables, and other crops that make up a large portion of the world's food supply.
SOURCES: The IndependentMUST SEE: BLIZZARD CONDITIONS IN ATLANTIC CANADA