UMass professor gets $1M grant to study bee health

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AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — Sunflower pollen may play a role in improving the health of the bees that pollinate our fruits and vegetables, and a Massachusetts professor is trying to figure out exactly why.

UMass-Amherst biology professor Lynn Adler has received a three-year, $1 million federal grant to research the issue.

Federal agricultural officials say honeybee and bumblebee populations have suffered serious losses for a number of reasons over the past 30 years.

Adler says there is strong evidence that sunflower pollen can help bees fight a common pathogen called crithidia.

Her research will explore whether a medicinal supplement made from sunflower pollen might be helpful as an additive to bees’ staple diet and whether adding sunflower to pollinator-friendly plantings can improve bee health.

The grant will also support hiring an extension bee educator.___Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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