Guttation Water – Oh My Gosh!
Guttation is the process plants use to handle excess water pressure developed when the leave’s stomata are closed or they aren’t transpiring. Xylem sap moves directly from the roots, depositing water droplets directly on the leaves or other plant structures.
Guttation water normally carries some sugars, a few minerals, and salts found in uncontaminated soil. But when man mistreats the soil, plant roots are exposed to much more than is naturally found there. Fungicides, herbicides, soil pesticides, systemic pesticides, environmental contaminates, and degradation products of all the above are concentrated there.
It was thought that these kinds of contaminates were locked up in the soil. If dust exposure was abated and water runoff water controlled, bees would be minimally exposed to these kinds of chemicals.
I wonder what else is sucked up and in what concentrations under actual field conditions? What kind of synergistic poisons await a bee looking to cool the hive, quench a colony’s thirst, or to dilute honey to feed young bee larva?
Under the video’s test conditions the bees died. That’s the good news! And that’s what most researchers look for when evaluating guttation impacts.
But under what conditions would the bees live and contaminate the hive? What happens to a colony’s beneficial bacteria when such contaminates are passed, in sub-lethal doses from worker to worker? Is their immune system compromised?
So far, my discussion on probiotics has focus on probiotic bacteria. But what about the other beneficial organisms likes yeasts and fungi? What happens when they are exposed to a chemical soup from guttation?
Oh my gosh! What have we done to ourselves with modern agriculture and the bee! I think of Sam Comfort’s short answer. 🙂
Maybe the bees need an external probiotic source now more than ever!
Clean Water Source
And maybe it’s way past time to routinely provide a clean water source for our bees.
What kind of water to use? What effect might water treated with chloramines have on the bee’s gut? That’s something I will have to think about and research. It will make a good topic for a future post.