Subscribe to Canada Free Press for FREE

Fewer wildflower choices thwart bees’ natural inclination to choose a balanced diet and they suffer cognitively from lack of omega-3 acids.

Unique Israeli research reveals why honeybees are dying


By —— Bio and Archives September 13, 2017

Comments | Print Friendly | Subscribe | Email Us

If you give a “menu” to a bee, it will instinctively choose dishes that provide the right balance of nutrients: sugary nectar plus pollen full of protein, fatty acids and micronutrients.

That’s one of the findings of groundbreaking experiments performed at Israel’s Benjamin Triwaks Bee Research Center at Hebrew University’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture in Rehovot.

The center also has discovered that, like humans, bees consuming an unhealthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids develop cognitive deficiencies.

They cannot simply choose pollen from flowers high in omega-3 because increasing urbanization has decimated many kinds of wildflowers. The resulting nutritional imbalance is a major reason why honeybees, responsible for the pollination of more than 90 commercial food crops across the world, are dying at an alarming rate.

“Our specific research is on understanding bee diets and how they choose their diets. We know they need nectar and pollen, and that all comes from flowers,” Bee Research Center director Prof. Sharoni Shafir tells ISRAEL21c.

“Beekeepers can give them sugar water if there’s not enough nectar but lack of pollen is a more acute problem because it’s complex. There are essential amino acids they can only get from pollen, and the amount of essential fatty acids — omega-3 and omega-6 – varies from pollen to pollen. We are working in an international consortium to understand how to formulate an artificial diet that will be as good as pollen,” he says.—More…



ISRAEL21c -- Bio and Archives | Comments

ISRAEL21c was founded in 2001, in the wake of the Second Intifada, to broaden public understanding of Israel beyond typical portrayals in the mainstream media.

The organization’s founders – Israeli-American technology executives – understood the great power of the Internet and developed a first-of-its kind online product with global appeal and reach.

Commenting Policy

Please adhere to our commenting policy to avoid being banned. As a privately owned website, we reserve the right to remove any comment and ban any user at any time.

Comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, anti-Semitism, or personal or abusive attacks on other users may be removed and result in a ban.
-- Follow these instructions on registering: