The Loh Down On Science

Bee Steps

Saving the world's bee populations, as simple as a footbath?

Give a BEE a pedicure? Who's first in line?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science saying

If you care about bees, indeed you MIGHT consider giving them. . . at least a footbath.

Because bee populations worldwide ARE seriously declining. This should alarm anyone who might miss flowers, or, say, FRUIT.

The shortage is in part because of varroa mites. The mites are tiny predators that crawl inside hives, clamp onto bee larvae, and SUCK out their circulatory fluid. Eew.

But now comes good news. Dave Chandler of Britain's University of Warwick has discovered at least fifty fungi that are POISON to the mites.

Chandler singled out four of these fungi: They kill the mites, but don't harm bees and can flourish inside hives.

The trick? Getting those helpful fungi inside bee colonies.

To do this, Chandler placed trays full of fungus at the hives' main entrance. When bees land to go in, they have to walk through the fungus, tracking it inside. The fungus then grows in the hive, killing the mites!

Plus, never mind the bees' knees, the bees' feet look lovely.


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