Thursday, September 18, 2008

Video: Propolis May Help Keep Honey Bees Healthy

U Researchers Hope to Revitalize the Honey Bee
Minnesota Daily (USA), 9/17/2008

Entomology Professor Marla Spivak is trying to change the 20-year decline in honey bee populations. Spivak and her lab are focused on figuring out how to make bees healthy, particularly using their natural behaviors, said entomology graduate student Michael Simone…

Propolis , tree resin collected by bees to seal their hives, may be another natural mechanism of disease resistance, Simone said. The resin has antimicrobial properties and is highly regarded for its human health benefits in some parts of the world, such as Japan and Brazil, Simone added.

Simone’s research focuses on answering how and why bees collect this resin and looking at how it influences bees’ immune systems at a genetic level. He said if it does turn out to prevent disease and offer health benefits to colonies, it could be applied in the beekeeping industry.

Research like this is essential if honey bee populations are to become healthy again, said Daniel Pasche, Minnesota state apiary inspector…

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