Friday, April 6, 2012

Bees: The Self-Medicating Insect

It turns out that bees are more resourceful than we realized. According to an article from, a new study found that bees are able to self medicate when they get sick.

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Specifically, the article says, when bees are infected with fungi, they go out and collect extra amounts of anti-fungal plant extracts and coat their hives with them, in addition to the plant resins and wax that already line their hives (which also have anti-fungal properties).

The study also found that bees will remove larvae that are infected with the fungi from the hives. The bees can also tell which fungi are life-threatening and which aren't. All of this could help bee keepers maintain healthier bee colonies, since typically they prefer to keep hives that have less resin since it's not as sticky.

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