Flowers can pose a grave danger to bees, a team of researchers that includes a University of California, Riverside entomologist has determined.

The study is the first to show that flowers are platforms for a host of pollinator parasites subsequently dispersed onto visiting bees.

The finding could affect the national and international trade of flowers – unless sterilization of parasites on these flowers can be guaranteed.

Pollinators are one of the most important group of organisms on the planet for both agriculture and ecosystem maintenance.  Currently, declines are being found in some important pollinators due to a combination of stressors including parasites, habitat change and pesticides.

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