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Buffet for bees

A team led by ecologist Alexandra-Maria Klein is investigating whether a balanced diet protects insects from pesticides

Freiburg, Sep 20, 2019

Using agricultural pesticides can most certainly increase crop yields, but the damage such substances can cause insects is not yet known. Prof. Dr. Alexandra-Maria Klein, an ecologist from Freiburg, is investigating the health of bees and bumblebees on Lake Constance, the second largest apple-growing area in Germany. Most apple varieties rely on bees to grow, thereby enabling Klein and her European colleagues to draw useful comparisons between different countries. But apples are not the only source of food for insects. “That would be unhealthy for them, much like humans eating chocolate all day long,” explains Klein. The various plants found in floral beds attract bees and bumblebees with their sweet nectar and pollen. The researcher and her group seek to investigate whether a balanced diet makes insects more resistant to pesticides.