Caffeine and Nicotine May Protect Bees Against Intestinal Parasites – Entomology Today

February 18, 2015 8:02 PM

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Caffeine and Nicotine May Protect Bees Against Intestinal Parasites – Entomology Today

Sometimes tiny bits of toxic substances can actually be beneficial. In toxicology, this concept is called “hormesis.” Recently, scientists from the University of Massachusetts and Dartmouth College published an entomological example in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The researchers studied the interaction between plants, pollinators, and parasites, and they found that bumble bees that consumed natural toxins found in plant nectar — including nicotine and caffeine — were less likely to be infected with a common intestinal parasite called Crithidia bombi.

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