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Honeybees can filter toxins from flower nectar

by webdev

December 22, 2010

New research has revealed the mechanism that allows honeybees to filter harmful toxins from flower nectar, which in turn may allow horticulturalists to breed plants that are safe for honeybees to pollinate.

Scientists at the U.K.'s Honeybee Lab at Newcastle University published the study in the Current Biology Journal, which linked serotonin to the bees' ability to recognize and avoid potentially harmful nectar, according to the European Commission's CORDIS Newsroom.

"Avoiding toxins in food is as important as obtaining nutrition. What we have shown here is that - like humans - bees are not only able to taste toxins but are also capable of learning to avoid flowers with nectar that made them feel unwell after eating it," Honeybee Lab director Dr. Jeri Wright told the news source.

For an outdoor bouquet or flower arrangement that's sure to delight your black and yellow friends, include honeybee-attracting flowers such as clover, marigolds, poppies, sunflowers, crocuses, geraniums and roses, suggests.

This article is brought to you by Teleflora - a leader in the flower delivery service for over 75 years. Teleflora helps its customers buy flowers online and specializes in bringing the freshest available flowers for a variety of holidays and occasions - all hand-delivered in keepsake vases by the best local florists.

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