Microalgae is the Bee’s Knees

Honeybees feeding on microalgae

Microalgae could provide a strong, sustainably produced artificial diet for honeybees. (Photo by Vincent Ricigliano)

We love to eat the honey that honeybees produce, but what do honeybees eat?

The usual answer to this question is nectar and pollen. However, malnutrition in honeybees – a major reason why they’re growing more susceptible to pathogens, parasites, and pesticides – is a growing issue in the world of agriculture.

Fortunately, ARS scientists with the ARS Honeybee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research Laboratory in Baton Rouge, LA, have discovered another option on the honeybee menu: microscopic algae, or “microalgae.”

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