bumble bees use nicotine to self medicateadmin
Recent studies has shown that certain kind of bumblebee might seek out nectar that is high inalkaloids like nicotine, when they’re infected with a gut parasite. Just like how dogs eat grass when they’re not feeling well. The alkaloids were shown to reduce the amount of parasites after the bees had their tipple of nectar. A team from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) decided to put this to the test.
They figured that bees infected with a certain gut parasite were more likely than healthy bees to feed on nectar covered in nicotine. The nicotine took away the amount of parasites in the bee’s gut for a few days. The reduction in the severity of sickness might benefit not just the bee itself, but the colony too. They might be less likely to spread the disease to other members of the hive.