05 Jul '18, 8pm

These bees naturally produce an antibiotic cocktail that hasn't changed in 68 million years

These bees naturally produce an antibiotic cocktail that hasn't changed in 68 million years

Antibiotics may have transformed medicine in the 20th century, but the opponents — infectious diseases — are constantly adapting and becoming tougher to beat. Beewolves have been using antibiotics a lot longer than we have, and they haven't had that problem. Neither wolves nor bees — beewolves are solitary digger wasps that produce an antibiotic cocktail that hasn't changed in 68 million years . And it still works just fine. These wasps drag paralyzed bees to their underground nests for their young to feed upon once they hatch. After feasting for a bit, these larvae then hibernate in a cocoon. While they're hibernating, the larvae are vulnerable to a fast-growing fungus in the soil. Without some sort of defense mechanism, the species would've likely died out centuries ago. Their secret was unearthed in a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sci...

Full article: https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/beewolves...

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