I came across two great articles today where college students in Massachusetts are making a big difference learning how to help our bees. The first is at my daughter's school, The College of Natural Sciences, UMass Amherst. Lynn Adler, Biology, with co-authors former Darwin Scholar Anne Leonard, Karly Regan '15, Winston Anthony '13, and colleagues from Dartmouth College, have found that bees infected with a common intestinal parasite had reduced parasite levels in their guts after seven days if the bees also consumed natural toxins present in plant nectar. Adler's study finds natural plant chemicals reduce bee parasites https://www.cns.umass.edu/about/newsletter/april-2015/adler-finds-natural-plant-chemicals-reduce-bee-parasites
The second article has Heather Mattila at Wellesley College showing the importance of nutrition on honey bee development. Honey Bee Workers That Are Pollen Stressed as Larvae Become Poor Foragers and Waggle Dancers as Adults http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0121731
One of the easiest and best things we can do to help our bees is to simply plant more diverse flowers in our gardens. Not only do we aid the little pollinators, we also make our environment cheerier!