Want to save the bees? Pay attention to pathogens and flowers

New research conclusively shows that certain physical traits of flowers affect the health of bumble bees by modulating the transmission of a harmful pathogen called Crithidia bombi. In particular, the research shows that the length of a flower’s corolla, or the flower’s petals, affects how this pathogen gets transferred between bees because shorter corollas mean that fewer bee feces wind up inside the flower itself and in the path of the bees in search of nectar.